By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Insider
WACO, Texas- Fighting through windy conditions, junior quarterback Bryce Petty finished off his first spring as the starter with an impressive 13-of-15 performance for 181 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's spring football game before an estimated crowd of 3,500 at the Highers Complex practice field
The Bears also showed off their run-pass balance with Glasco Martin and Lache Seastrunk combining for 204 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries. Overall, the first- and second-team offenses rolled up 478 yards on 78 plays in the 60-minute scrimmage.
"I thought both sides competed well," sixth-year Baylor head coach Art Briles said. "And I, honestly, thought it turned out about like it should have. I was extremely excited about the crowd. I thought the crowd was unbelievable. It just keeps getting better every year. That's something that we certainly don't take lightly, because support brings energy, and energy brings good results."
With winds blowing out of the south with gusts up to 35 mph, Petty said it was a "challenging" day to throw the ball. But he was near-perfect, missing on a couple sideline routes, and hitting Clay Fuller for a 34-yard TD and Jay Lee for a 55-yarder down the left sideline.
"It's something you just have to tough through," Petty said. "It makes it challenging, but it adds a new dimension to it. You're not going to play too many games indoors, so you just have to play through it."
On the first-team offense's first drive, Petty hooked up with Fuller on a 30-yard pass for a key third-down conversion. And then Martin finished it off with a 15-yard run up the middle.
Seastrunk and Martin got to show off their wheels on back-to-back series, scoring on TD runs of 44 and 66 yards against the second-team defense.
"The potential us unlimited," said Martin, who led the way with 114 yards and three TDs on 12 carries. "We've got a great quarterback in Bryce and two good running backs that run downhill and can make the big play. We're really going to keep defenses on their heels."
Senior cornerback Joe Williams shined on the defensive side, picking off a pair of passes by redshirt freshman quarterback Seth Russell, who was just 9-of-22 for 42 yards. The Bears' first-team defense didn't even give up a first down until the fourth series, when Devin Chafin picked up a tough yard on third-and-one.
Aaron Jones booted a 38-yard field goal with the wind behind him for the only score by the second-team offense.
Antwan Goodley, who had four receptions for 54 yards, made a diving catch over the middle for 29 yards to set up a TD run by Martin on fourth-and-one. And then Lee finished the scoring with his 55-yard catch on a rope from Petty.
Over the last week and a half of the 15-practice spring training, Petty "has really come on and grabbed a hold of what we feel like he can do and should do; and has kind of embraced it," Briles said.
"Since before we started spring, I've said he's got to be the guy," Briles said. "It's his fourth spring here, he knows what we're doing, and now it's time to turn potential into reality and reality into production. And that's what he's doing."
After wrapping up the spring session, the Bears will go back to off-season workouts and open fall camp in August. Baylor begins its final season at Floyd Casey Stadium with an Aug. 31 game against Wofford.
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| Head Coach Art Briles
On the game today:
"Really kind of how you want it to go. We had a staff meeting this morning and we said that if the first defense can get a bunch of three and outs and the first offense can put some points on the board and sustain a drive or two, that is what you are looking for and really how it should be. We stayed healthy and I thought both sides competed well and I thought it turned out about how it should have."
On the crowd:
"I thought the crowd was unbelievable. It just keeps getting better each year and that is something we certainly don't take lightly because support brings energy and energy will lead to good results."
On Bryce Petty:
"If you want a spring game you are going to have wind. That is just the way it is. He did extremely well and the last week to 10 days he has really come on and grabbed hold of what we feel like he can do and should do and he has kind of embraced it. He is getting out of the spring with a good feeling and we just need to carry it in to fall camp and the first football game."
| Junior Quarterback Bryce Petty
On the game:
"It was just like last year. The wind makes it challenging and adds a new dimension to it and makes it fun. It is just something you have to tough through. You are not going to play too many games indoors so you have to go through it."
On the offensive production today:
"I think we handed the ball off 300 times for 7,000 yards so it made my job easy, makes it fun. That is our offense, the run sets up the pass so it was fun to see those guys get up and work and do what they do."
On his performance in the game today:
"I felt like I did pretty good. It is the last practice of spring so you kind of want to be firing on all cylinders. We did some good things, but there are a few things we can work on this summer. I think overall we did well as a team and it was a good day."
| Senior Safety Ahmad Dixon
On the defensive improvement:
"Everybody has bought in. That is not to say that we weren't bought in last season, but there is a difference between buying into a program that you have been in for two or three years. Now everybody knows what is going on and knows the ins and outs of the defense. We know what can kill us and what can help us. That brings in great leadership when the upperclassmen are helping these younger guys out. We still have a lot of work to do, but it is coming along nice."
On switching positions:
"It is a lot of fun. It also helps me understand the defense more. To see what everybody else around me is doing. It gives me an advantage and I am also able to help out guys who are around me in certain situations because I have been in them before at multiple positions. It helps me out and it helps the team out so I am all for it."
| Senior Cornerback Joe Williams
On the defensive improvement and getting stops:
"We go through the plays every day, but once you get into game mode, everything just starts slowing down and it just becomes fun. We just made good plays."
On the mindset of the defense:
"We feel like we have to improve everyday and work to get better. Getting better is our motto and that is what we are going to work to do."
Clay Fuller - 4-72, TD; Jay Lee - 2-60, TD; Antwan Goodley - 4-54; Brandon Brown - 2-18; Levi Norwood - 4-15; Jordan Najvar - 2-5; Andy Ritter -2-4; Lynx Hawthorne - 1-4; Kaleb Moore - 1-3.
Terrell Burt - 5; Suleiman Masumbuko - 5; Ahmad Dixon - 4; Kendall Ehrlich - 4; Kiante' Griffin - 4; Sam Holl - 4; Prince Kent - 5; Shawn Oakman - 4; Anthony Webb - 4; Beau Blackshear - 3; Demetri Goodson - 3; Bryce Hager - 3; Xavien Howard - 3; Terrance Lloyd - 3; Jamal Palmer - 3; Tyler Stephenson - 3; Aiavion Edwards - 2; Patrick Levels - 2; Javonte Magee - 2; Brody Trahan - 2; Trevor Clemons-Valdez - 1; Eddie Lackey - 1; Cody Wetsel - 1; Ryan Reid - 1; Joe Williams - 1.
Joe Williams - 2.
Martin 15 run (Jones kick)
Seastrunk 44 run (Jones kick)
Martin 66 run (Jones kick)
Fuller 34 passfrom Petty (Jones kick)
Jones 38 FG
Martin 1 run (Jones kick)
Lee 55 pass from Petty (No PAT attempted)