published Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Montgomery Bell Academy fights back, beats Baylor late

Montgomery Bell Academy struck for two touchdowns in the final six minutes to rally for a 24-20 Division II-AA victory over previously unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Baylor Friday.

The host Red Raiders had overcome a 10-3 halftime deficit with three impressive scoring drives to open the second half, taking a 20-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. But MBA answered with a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive, capped by Dylan Hall's 4-yard touchdown toss to Wilson Johnson, converting third-and-goal.

After stopping Baylor on third-and-2, the Big Red drove 68 yards in six plays, again ending in a Hall-to-Wilson third-down touchdown pass. This one covered 10 yards with just 49 seconds remaining.

"It was a slant and we felt like it would be there because we had used it earlier in the game," Hall said. "This is a huge road win for us in this league."

After having rotated quarterbacks through the first three games, and in the first half Friday, a shaky second quarter by sophomore Nick Tiano opened the door for junior Michael O'Connor to take control of the offense for the final drive of the first half, and throughout the second half.

O'Connor accounted for 74 of the 80 yards on Baylor's scoring drive to open the third quarter, including an 11-yard scoring dart to Reggie Upshaw. He connected again with Upshaw on a 35-yard pass to set up the Red Raiders' second TD, a 4-yard run by O'Connor, who finished 16-of-25 for 200 yards.

"He did a good job of running the offense in the second half," Baylor coach Phil Massey said. "But we've still got a long way to go on offense.

"We thought was had them gassed early in the fourth, but that long drive they had kind of recharged them, and they had a lot of energy to finish the game."

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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