The Baylor Red Raiders stormed back in the second half to secure a 14-6 win over the Montgomery Bell Academy Big Red on Baylor's senior night Friday.
With the rain coming down throughout, both teams relied on their running games. MBA running back Patrick Wilk set the tone early with 46 yards on six rushes.
After a punt, Baylor (8-1, 3-1 Division II-AAA East Region) took over on its 11-yard line. The Big Red's defense bottled up Elijah Howard on the first possession and forced a three-and-out. On the ensuing play MBA (5-4, 3-1 II-AAA West) blocked Cooper Wick's punt and recovered it in the end zone for the first score of the game.
The third quarter started with a jolt as Howard took the handoff on the third play 59 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point try failed, keeping the game tied at 6.
On MBA's next possession, the Red Raiders' special teams returned the favor and blocked a punt. They did not recover it for a touchdown but did record the go-ahead safety.
"We came out and didn't play the football that we are capable of," Baylor coach Phil Massey said. "But the coaches challenged our guys at halftime, and we came back and did what we needed to do to put us in position to win the game."
After the safety, Baylor received MBA's short kick and took over at its own 47-yard line. Quarterback Neyland Jean and the Red Raiders offense charged down the field and scored on Jean's 9-yard rush. A second straight failed 2-point conversion left it 14-6 Baylor.
Now trailing, the Big Red's offense found its spark. Freshman quarterback Marcel Reed completed three straight passes to lead them deep into Red Raiders territory. With 10:15 left in the fourth quarter, Reed fumbled the ball to give possession back to Baylor. MBA was able to force Baylor to punt, but on the next possession Reed threw his second interception of the game.
With less than six minutes remaining, Baylor was able to put together a 67-yard drive to run out the clock and clinch the win.
Next week Baylor will have a road test against Brentwood Academy while MBA will be home against Christian Brothers.
Contact Dan Kopf at firstname.lastname@example.org.