Baylor Beats MBA For DII-AAA State Title

Caleb Hampton Scores Two TDs As Baylor Rallies With Big Second Half

  • Thursday, December 1, 2022
  • John Hunt
baylor's Caleb Hampton takes a handoff from quarterback Whit Muschamp in the DII-AAA state championship game against MBA. Hampton led the Red Raiders to a 38-34 win and the state title.
baylor's Caleb Hampton takes a handoff from quarterback Whit Muschamp in the DII-AAA state championship game against MBA. Hampton led the Red Raiders to a 38-34 win and the state title.
photo by Lawson Whitaker

They saved the best for last at Finley Stadium Thursday night.

It was the first day of the 2022 BlueCross Bowl for state championships in football and all three of the Division II winners were determined.

Lipscomb Academy totally steamrolled Christ Presbyterian Academy by a 42-0 final in the day’s first game in AA while Friendship Christian defeated Nashville Christian by a 34-27 tally in the Class A contest that followed.

But it was the last game of the day that was totally worth the price of admission where the Baylor Red Raiders won their first state title in 49 years with a come-from-behind 38-34 victory over Montgomery Bell Academy.

The Red Raiders finished a fine season under first-year coach Erik Kimrey by winning 11 of 13 games, Thursday’s victory over the Big Red making up for the team’s first loss in Nashville in late October by a 42-34 count.

MBA suffered its first loss of the season after 12 straight wins.

“My guys showed so much character all season, but especially tonight,” said Kimrey, who won a bunch of state titles in South Carolina at Hammond before taking the job back in the spring.

“We made some key defensive adjustments at the half and that made the difference, but I’m just so happy and proud to be a small part of their success. It’s more reflective on what these kids have done than anything I’ve contributed, but I’m so thankful to be part of the Baylor community with hopes we can do this a whole lot more,” Kimrey nodded before the post-game awards were distributed.

MBA has more than their share of outstanding athletes, including quarterback Marcel Reed, who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

He had a great first half as he completed seven of 12 passes for 163 yards, four of those completions going for touchdowns as the Big Red built a 28-24 lead in the first 24 minutes.

But coach Chris Brown, who did a great job leading Red Bank before taking over as Baylor’s defensive coordinator, made a few changes during the halftime break that made all the difference.

And while MBA scored touchdowns on four of its first five possessions in the first half, the Baylor defense only allowed one touchdown in the second half and that was late in the game with Baylor leading 38-28.

Caleb Hampton, who was named the MVP for the game after gaining 170 yards on 24 carries and scoring two touchdowns, scored the most important one of his brilliant career as he raced 45 yards on a crucial third-and-2 play to score with 6:45 to play.

Cooper Keown’s fifth straight extra point extended Baylor’s lead to 38-28.

Most folks knew that MBA could and would most likely score again and they did, but the Baylor defense extended the Big Red offense and forced them to use eight plays to cover 70 yards.

More importantly, more than three minutes were taken off the clock, putting Baylor in a great situation to win if they could just get a first down or two and avoid any turnovers.

It all began with sophomore Zane Restelli covering the onside kick at the 49 with 3:17 to play.

Hampton picked up seven yards on two carries, but it was a four-yard gain by Amari Jefferson on third and 3 that kept the chains moving and the ball out of Reed’s hands.

Hampton then picked up 12 more yards on two carries, putting the game out of reach as Baylor only needed to snap the ball two more times and take a knee before the game would be final.

“Every member of this team has worked so hard for this moment since early spring, so it’s totally a team win for us,” Hampton said with a huge smile on his face.

“Our coaches deserve a lot of credit because they created plays to give us the best shot at winning, but it’s an amazing feeling. This has been everyone’s goal since coach Kimrey got here, but I have to give my offensive line credit as they did a great job all season and especially tonight,” the 17-year-old Hampton added.

Whit Muschamp, a talented junior quarterback who transferred to Baylor from Hammond when Kimrey was hired, was a state champion quarterback last year as a sophomore.

“This feels so amazing as I feel great right now,” Muschamp said after completing 19 of 29 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns in addition to gaining 52 yards on eight rushing attempts.

“I could see it in the look of their eyes at the end from my teammates. All we had to do was execute at the end and we did,” he nodded.

Baylor got the opening kickoff and went three and out before punting while MBA drove 55 yards in six plays to score its first touchdown when Reed hooked up with Hutton Durrett for a 23-yard TD pass with just 1:35 elapsed.

Baylor answered with a long drive of its own, moving 80 yards in seven plays to score when Muschamp found Louis Vincent open in the end zone for a 38-yard score with 7:18 left in the first quarter.

A 46-yard kickoff return by Ty Burd put MBA in great field position at their own 49 and it took just one play for Reed to toss his second TD pass of the game, this one covering 51 yards to Claiborne Richards some 20 seconds later.

The Big Red then made it 21-7 as Reed hooked up with Johnothan Moore from the 8 on the first play of the second quarter.

MBA was quickly building momentum, but Baylor responded with a quick touchdown of its own.

A 25-yard kickoff return by Evan Haynie put Baylor at their own 45 before Amari Jefferson raced 48 yards on the second play with a sweep to the right to get the Red Raiders within 21-14 with 11:04 before halftime.

Baylor scored again about four minutes later to knot the score at 21 when Hampton scored his first touchdown on a run from the 32, but once again, MBA came right back to regain the lead when Reed hooked up with Moore on a 38-yard pass for a 28-21 lead with 4:49.

A 29-yard field goal by Keown with nine seconds left cut the MBA lead to 28-24 at intermission, setting the tone for Baylor’s masterful comeback in the second half.

While Baylor wins its first state title since 1973 with two second-place finishes in 2010 and 2011, MBA now has finished second four of the last six years after winning their last state title in 2014.

SUMMARY

BAYLOR

7

17

7

7

-- 38

MBA

14

14

0

6

-- 34

MBA Hutton Durrett 23 pass from Marcel Reed (Liam Hackett kick) (10:25, 1st)

BAY Louis Vincent 38 pass from Whit Muschamp (Cooper Keown kick) (7:18, 1st)

MBA Claiborne Richards 51 pass from Reed (Hackett kick) (6:58, 1st)

MBA Johnathan Moore 8 pass from Reed (Hackett kick) (11:53, 2nd)

BAY Amari Jefferson 48 run (Keown kick) 11:04, 2nd)

BAY Caleb Hampton 32 run (Keown kick) (6:41, 2nd)

MBA Moore 38 pass from Reed (Hackett kick) (4:49, 2nd)

BAY Keown 29 field goal (0:09, 2nd)

BAY Jefferson 46 pass from Muschamp (Keown kick) (10:58, 3rd)

BAY Hampton 45 run (Keown kick) (6:45, 4th)

MBA Blake Ragsdale 13 pass from Reed (kick blocked) (3:19, 4th)

STATS

BAY

MBA

First Downs

24

17

Rushes-Yards

36-265

21-132

Passing Yards

252

263

Total yards

517

395

Passing (Comp-Att-Int)

19-29-0

16-24-0

Penalties-Yards

3-35

4-40

Punts-Average

3-36.0

3-35.7

Fumbles-Lost

0-0

1-1

Time of Possession

28:12

19:48

Individual Stats

Rushing: Amari Jefferson 2-52 ; Caleb Hampton 24-170 ; Whit Muschamp 8-52 (BAY); Johnathan Moore 9-61; Marcel Reed 8-67; Hutton Durrett 1-5; Brooklen Davis 1-1; Ty Burd 1-(-1)(MBA).

Passing: Whit Muschamp 19-29-0 for 252 yards, 2 TDs (BAY); Marcel Reed 16-24-0 for 263 yards, 5 TDs (MBA).

Receiving: Amari Jefferson 0-89; Dalton Restelli 5-71; Max Leblanc 3-53 ; Louis Vincent 1-38; Caleb Hampton 1-1 (BAY); Johnathan Moore 3-63; Claiborne Richards 6-102 ; Durrett Hutton 3-54, Blake Ragsdale 1-13; Ty Burd 3-31 (MBA).

Records: Baylor 11-2; MBA 12-1

Most valuable Player: Caleb Hampton, Baylor

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)

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