The lightning bolts that flew over Heywood Stadium and delayed Friday night's season opener between Baylor and Howard by 75 minutes only served as a preview of the high-voltage offense the host Red Raiders unleashed once the game began.
Striking for 39 points in the game's first 11 minutes, Baylor rolled to a 46-8 victory over the Hustlin' Tigers.
Baylor junior quarterback Nick Tiano demonstrated great touch on his deep passes opening the season. Tiano threw a 34-yard touchdown to Isaac White on the fourth play. Senior tailback George Porter scored the first of his two long TD runs with a 53-yarder on the first play of Baylor's second possession.
Less than two minutes later, Tiano, who completed three of his first four passes on the way to 123 yards for the night, hit Gage Upshaw for a 40-yard touchdown. Porter, who finished with 152 yards on seven carries, added a 32-yard scoring run.
"I was proud of the way the guys stayed focused through the rain delay," Baylor coach Phil Massey said. "They came out and played well right away. The offense was good and the defense was solid."
The Hustlin' Tigers picked up their initial first down of the game shortly before halftime. Emory Norred, Ryan Parker and Chandler Gouger all registered sacks.
"We knew were outmanned coming into the game. We knew it was going to be tough," said Howard coach Michael Calloway, whose Tigers returned just six players with experience from last season.
Howard scored its touchdown in the fourth quarter when Terrance Brooks hit Quatarrius Porter on a 49-yard pass.
With the game well in hand and the clock running continuous time, Baylor began going to its bench and giving some of its younger players varsity experience. Sophomore Adrian Harris was one of those who benefited, racing 74 yards for his first high school touchdown with 4:09 left in the first half.
Baylor finished with 427 yards of total offense, with 304 on the ground.
"We were just happy that we got to play," said Porter, noting that the team had seen where many other games had been postponed because of the weather. "We came out ready to play. This was a good start for our team."
We know that we are going to have to get better each week."
Contact Greg Thompson at email@example.com or 423-757-6291.