By David Wells
On paper, BA’s homecoming matchup with Baylor was going to be a close one. On the field, it was a different story.
The BA offense scored on each of its first-half possessions while the defense shut Baylor out in the second half as the Eagles defeated the Red Raiders 36-10 Friday night.
Quarterback Tyler Swafford threw two touchdown passes in the first half and completed all but one of his passes out of a no-huddle offense that wore down the Red Raiders (5-3).
BA coach Cody White said that the first half was the best half of football he’s seen all season.
“If we’ve got a guy who can distribute it and exact it with the football, we’re pretty tough to defend,” he said.”
Baylor running back George Porter—the Red Raiders’ main offensive weapon—had 150 yards on 24 carries, but the defense held him to one touchdown and tackled him six times for losses.
Meanwhile, BA (6-3) held quarterback Nick Tiano to 6 of 15 passing for 90 yards and an interception.
That interception by defensive back Prince Momodu came on Baylor’s first drive of the game, which advanced as far at the BA 35.
But BA’s fast-paced offense proceeded to take over where Momodu left off, driving 74 yards in less than two minutes and taking a 7-0 lead with a 13-yard Swafford pass to Coutrell Plair.
Baylor went three-and-out on its next drive, and once again Swafford went to work, completing eight passes, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Sanders.
Sanders also ran in a two-point conversion, making it 15-7 with 0:35 left in the first quarter.
“He’s a great player, and I know that whenever I throw to C.J., good things are going to happen,” Swafford said.
But the Red Raiders weren’t about to lie down. On 3rd-and-4, Porter ran up the middle and broke away for 46 yards, making it 15-7 early in the second.
After a 1-yard Swafford run made it 22-7, Baylor’s next drive seemed to end when the BA defense forced a 4th-and-3; however, the Red Raiders ran a fake punt pass, and the Red Raiders were back in business.
Baylor drove as far as the 6 when Porter was tackled for a loss. Because the Red Raiders burned their first two timeouts, they were subsequently forced to kick a 24-yard field goal to end the half down 22-10.
In the second half, BA kept it on the ground to wind the clock down as the Baylor defense sent in extra defenders to put pressure on Swafford.
Nevertheless, Swafford added 9-yard a running touchdown to his stat line midway through the second quarter to put BA up 29-10.
A late score by running back Jacob Cretin put the game out of reach for Baylor with 5:35 left in the game.
The Eagles head into a bye week before taking on undefeated Ensworth at home on Nov. 1.