With a big second half rally led by the running of senior George Porter, Baylor School defeated Knoxville Webb, 21-7, Friday night on the road in an exciting game.
However, the real drama occurred off the field.
For starters, Baylor coach Phil Massey was thrown out of the game and later out of the press box in the second quarter.
And then a Webb adult male supporter had a medical emergency in the stands right at the start of halftime that brought a hush to the packed stadium. He was later alert as responders tended to him.
In the Massey situation, with 6:54 in the second quarter, Baylor received its second sideline warning, which resulted in his ejection.
“I thought I couldn’t be on the field, so I went to the press box,” Massey said after the game, saying he did not realize he could not continue watching the game. However, he later had to be told to leave, so he went to the team bus.
He said he talked with the officials at the half, and now understands the rules.
Webb coach Dave Meske, however, said after the game he thought coach Massey knew what the rules were.
Coach Massey said the sideline warnings that resulted in his ejection were two situations in which a Baylor coach bumped into an official twice.
“I thought it was a very quick decision when you think about the spirit of the law,” he said. “I understand why the rules are put in. But I really thought it was taken too far. But they called it and it happened and I had to pay the penalty.”
After he left, Cos Damatteo began running the offense for Baylor.
At the start of the game, Webb (0-2) looked as if it would win easily. On its opening drive, University of Tennessee commitment Todd Kelly Jr. was hardly touched on a 58-yard touchdown dash before the game was two minutes old.
Baylor (2-0) soon tightened up defensively, however, and the score remained 7-0 at the half.
Baylor did mount a late second quarter drive following an interception by Sean Wampler on his team’s own 29, but a 51-yard field goal attempt by Rafael Gaglionone was blocked.
In the third quarter, Baylor’s offensive line began to dominate, and the small-but-bruising Porter scored from 13 and 7 yards on the Red Raiders’ first two possessions to go up 14-7.
The first Baylor score had been set up by a long pass from Nick Tiano to Gage Upshaw.
In the fourth quarter, Webb did drive deep twice, with the first one ending on a Baylor interception by Glenn Ireland at the Baylor goal line on a pass intended for Kelly.
Porter, who finished with 182 yards rushing, later scored from the 4 for Baylor with 3:48 in the game to complete the scoring.
The back admitted that he felt motivated after coach Massey was ejected, and added that the team rallied together in the second half.
“We started playing as a team,” he said. “We weren’t playing as a team that first half. We came back in the second half.
“Playing as a team, we just got the job done.”
Coach Massey was impressed with Porter’s results.
“He ran hard,” he said. “I’m really proud of him and proud of the team the way we responded to adversity.
Meske was also upbeat, despite the loss to the larger Division II school.
“I’m proud of the way they played,” he said. “It was 7-0 at halftime. We got a little worn down because of depth, but I thought every kid became a better football player.