McCallie Rallies Late on St. Hilaire Bomb to LeClair to Beat Baylor 34-31

Win Puts Blue Tornado In Early Playoff Driver's Seat

  • Saturday, September 30, 2023
  • Mark Wiedmer

At the end of every McCallie home football game, the Blue Tornado players go to the Spears Stadium student section and sing the alma mater. Then coach Ralph Potter huddles his team together to discuss both the good and the bad of the game. Every game night. No exceptions.

But not Friday night. At the end of perhaps the most electric football game ever played at Spears, undefeated McCallie knocked off defending state champion Baylor 34-31, then watched what appeared to be entire student bodies of McCallie and Girls Peparatory School storm the field as fireworks filled the sky..

So as a happy mass of humanity engulfed them, there was no alma mater and there was no post-game huddle.

There was only Big Blue bedlam as television reporters from the CW, which televised the classic locally, attempted to scream questions at Potter as the crowd blanketed the field.

“Great game,” said Potter over the noise of a game that saw McCallie compile 369 yards and Baylor 396.

“It was tough on defense at times, but a lot of that was them. They’ve got a really good team. I’d say there’s a good chance we’ll see them again (in the playoffs).”

Indeed, if top-ranked McCallie, now 7-0 on the season, would appear to now be the favorite to win its fourth Division II Class AAA state title in five years, No. 2 Baylor (5-2) is probably no worse than the second choice after leading the Blue Tornado at both the half (21-19) and deep in the fourth quarter (31-27).

“Too many crucial mistakes,” said Red Raiders coach Erik Kimrey as he left the field.” We talk about playing smart football. We didn’t always do that tonight. It’s a long season, though. We may see these guys again.”

If they do, they’re sure to lament a fumbled punt in the fourth quarter while ahead 24-19. McCallie recovered at the Baylor 37, then saw Ja’Von McMahan barrel 18 yards for a go-ahead score (25-24) then just cross the goal line on the subsequent 2-pointer to push the advantage to 27-24.

Not that Baylor was done. Just as they had erased a 10-point deficit in last year’s fourth quarter at Baylor, the Red Raiders regained the lead in the blink of an eye, quarterback Whit Muschamp finding star receiver Amari Jefferson for their second touchdown completion of the night, this time from nine yards out. A 55 yarder from Muschamp to Jefferson, the Alabama commit, had given Baylor a 7-0 in the first quarter. An 80-yard Shekai Mills Knight run at the close of the first quarter put the Red Raiders on top 14-7.

But despite Baylor going up 31-27 _ which was last year’s final score _ McCallie had one more bit of magic. Quarterback Jay St. Hilaire unleashed an 80-yard bomb to Enrique Jaimes Leclair with 3:55 on the clock to give McCallie a 34-31 lead. Carson Lawrence intercepted Baylor on the Red Raiders’ final drive to lock up the win. Lawrence also caught a touchdown from St. Hilaire.

“Coming out of the huddle, we just looked at each other,” said LeClair. “We knew. I’d visualized it. I had to score.”

Said St. Hilaire, whose fourth-quarter fumble a year ago helped fuel the Baylor win: “Last year was a big motivator for this year. We were confident.”

Added Potter, whose team gets a week off this coming week before hosting Father Ryan on October 13: “I feel like I’m dreaming a little bit.”







-- 31






-- 34

1st Quarter
BAY: Amari Jefferson 55 yd Pass from Whit Muschamp (CNV), Cooper Keown (PAT) 7-0
McC: Jay St. Hilaire 2 yd Rush (TD), Elliott Arnold (PAT) 7-7
BAY: Shekai Mills Knight 80 yd Rush (TD), Cooper Keown (PAT) 14-7
2nd Quarter
McC: Carson Lawrence 7 yd Pass from Jay St. Hilaire (PAT failed) 14-13
McC: Ja’Von McMahan 21 yd Rush (TD) (PAT failed) 14-19
BAY: Zane Restelli 26 yd Pass from Whit Muschamp, Cooper Keown (PAT) 21-19
3rd Quarter
BAY: Cooper Keown 25 yd (FG) 24-19
4th Quarter
McC: Ja’Von McMahan 18 yd Rush (TD) 24-25
McC: Ja’Von McMahan 3 yd Rush (CNV) 24-27
BAY: Amari Jefferson 9 yd Pass from Whit Muschamp; Cooper Keown (PAT) 31-27
McC: Enrique Jaimes Leclair 80 yd Pass from Jay St. Hilaire; Elliott Arnold (PAT) 31-34




First Downs






Passing Yards



Total yards



Passing (Comp-Att-Int)












Time of Possession



Individual Leaders

Rushing: Skekai Mills Knight 12-153; Whit Muschamp 5-19 (BAY); Ja’Von McMahan 20-124; Jay St. Hilaire 15-32; Keylan Syam 1-9; Keyshawn Tabuteau 1-1 (MCC).

Passing: Whit Muschamp 18-29-2 for 224 yards, 3 TDs (BAY); Jay St. Hilaire 11-17-1 for 181 yards, 2 TDs; Nolan Sergeant 1-2-0 for 22 yards (MCC).

Receiving: Amari Jefferson 9-138; cam Sparks 2-40; Zane Restelli 3-39; Mx Leblanc 3-12 (BAY); Enrique Jaimes Leclair 3-115; Keyshawn Tabuteau 3-29; jay St. Hilaire 1-22; Nolan Sergeant 1-14; Mathieu Hebert 1-10 (MCC).

Records: Baylor 5-2 (2-1 DII-AAA East); McCallie 6-0 (3-0 DII-AAA East)

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