The Baylor Red Raiders added their 43rd victory in the historic rivalry with McCallie, which dates back to 1905.
The Blue Tornado, riding a three-game losing streak heading into Friday’s game at Heywood Stadium, were looking to end a five-year drought against the rival Red Raiders (5-1, 2-1 Division II-AA). That wasn’t the case, though, as Baylor pulled away late, cruising to a 38-14 win while handing McCallie (3-4, 1-2) its fourth loss of the season.
“It was a total team effort, and a great job by my coaching staff and defensive coaches,” Red Raiders coach Phil Massey said. “We’ll certainly enjoy this one tonight.”
The player of the game had to be Baylor’s George Porter, though, after piling up 170 yards and three touchdowns while causing plenty of problems for McCallie’s defense.
“Sometimes when you start trying harder on defense, you get worse,” McCallie head coach Ralph Potter said. “You start getting out of position and it’s just hard to keep fighting through.”
But while the Blue Tornado was outgained 396-299, it jumped out to an early 7-0 advantage, churning out three first downs on its third possession before sophomore quarterback Javaughn Craig found the end zone from three yards out as the first-quarter clock expired.
On the ensuing possession, Baylor settled for a field goal — a 43-yarder from senior Rafael Gaglionone — which trimmed the team’s deficit to 7-3 midway through the second quarter.
A few minutes later, with the second-quarter clock winding down, the Red Raiders finally found the end zone. After converting a crucial fourth-and-one situation and using a pair of timeouts on the drive, Porter scored the go-ahead touchdown from three yards out, spotting his team a 10-7 advantage at the break.
Baylor never looked back from there.
Quarterback Nick Tiano, who finished with 147 yards of total offense, sparked his team with a 39-yard run early in the third quarter, setting up yet another Porter score.
Trailing by 10, McCallie showed some life on junior Sam Viscomi’s interception in the end zone. The defensive stop, which seemed vital at the time, appeared to ignite the team’s offense, too. The Blue Tornado marched 79 yards, eventually pulling to within 17-13 on Craig’s three-yard touchdown run.
Any momentum McCallie had built, though, disappeared on Baylor’s next possession.
Just two plays into the fourth quarter, Porter provided the play of the night after taking a handoff on third-and-one.
Porter’s initial burst would have moved the sticks, but he wasn’t settling for a first down. Surrounded by a sea of blue helmets, he spun to his right, reached the corner and found daylight for a 61-yard touchdown.
“I didn’t even think about spinning, but the [defender] came in, and I took it to the house,” said Porter, who considered Friday’s performance the best of his career.
“Offensively we took care of the football,” Massey said. “I was proud of them. I told George before halftime you need to keep going and keep going and one is gonna’ break. He gave second and third efforts."
Sign up for our email list to get your morning news delivered directly to your inbox. All we need is your email address.