Wildcats lead the Bears 14-12 at half

Senior wide receiver Jalen Hurd rushes by Kansas State defenders on Saturday at McLane Stadium. The Bears trail the Wildcats 14-12 at halftime. Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Adam Gibson | Sports Writer

Baylor football trails Kansas State 14-12 at halftime at McLane Stadium.

The Bears received the kick off in the first half for its matchup with the Wildcats at McLane Stadium. Sophomore quarterback Charlie Brewer came out to lead Baylor from its own 25-yard line. Brewer completed two of his first three passing attempts for 20 yards while junior running back JaMycal Hasty led the ground game for the Bears with five attempts for 32 yards. After an incomplete passing attempt to senior wide receiver Jalen Hurd on third down, junior kicker Connor Martin came out and knocked down a 35-yard field goal, giving the Bears a 3-0 lead with 11:17 to go in the first quarter.

The Wildcats came onto the field for their first drive led by sophomore quarterback Skylar Thompson. The drive seemed to be over after what looked like a defensive stop, but junior running back Alex Barnes leapt over the line to gain for the first down. Thompson connected three of his four passing attempts for 17 yards before Barnes came back out and unleashed a 55-yard rushing touchdown down the right sideline for the first touchdown of the game. Junior kicker Nick McLellan put the ball through the uprights, giving the Wildcats a 7-3 lead with 9:04 to go.

On its third drive, Baylor once again drove down the field on eight plays for 40 yards, but after a penalty and 50-yard missed field goal by Martin, Kansas State took over possession.

Sophomore defensive tackle James Lynch made his presence known, coming straight through the middle of the Wildcat offensive line to take down Thompson for his fourth sack of the season. The drive ended after a fourth down attempt with Barnes in wildcat formation fumbled the snap and was taken down by sophomore linebacker Jalen Pitre to prevent Kansas State from converting.

Baylor closed out the first quarter with the ball and 154 total yards, split between 74 rushing yards and 80 passing yards. The Wildcats had 105 total yards, 40 from passing and 65 on the ground.

As the Bears continued their drive to start the second quarter, an incomplete pass was followed by a dropped pass by senior wide receiver Chris Platt and a Brewer scramble leading to fourth down. Martin knocked in a field goal off the right upright, closing in on the Wildcat lead 7-6 with 14:40 left in the half.

Sophomore safety Jairon McVea cut the Kansas State drive short after intercepting a pass from Thompson at the Kansas State 46-yard line. The interception led to a 10-play 43-yard drive which Brewer capped off with a diving touchdown off a quarterback keeper to the left side. Martin hit the post on the extra point, but unlike the try earlier, was not able to get the bounce through as the Bears took the lead 12-7 with 9:47 to go in the first half.

The defense for the Bears held the Wildcats yet again after a three-and-out due to a sack from sophomore defensive end BJ Thompson for his second on the season. Unlike the previous drive, the Bears were unable to get any points on the board as Brewer threw his second interception of the season that was intercepted by senior cornerback Duke Shelley. On the second play, Barnes rushed 34 yards untouched for his second touchdown of the day. McLellan converted the extra point, taking the lead back 14-12 with 5:50 to go in the half.

Coming out for their sixth drive, the Bears marched 59 yards down the field on seven plays, thanks most in part to a 37 yard rush from Hurd. Just like the previous drive, the Bears turned over the ball on a trick play hand off to sophomore running back Trestan Ebner who threw the ball to junior receiver Denzel Mims in the end zone, but instead threw an interception. The Baylor defense this time held its ground after the turnover, holding the Wildcats to a five play three yard drive, ending with a sack by junior linebacker Henry Black on third down, forcing a punt.

The teams went into half after another missed field goal from Martin as Kansas State had the lead, 14-12.

The Wildcats will receive the second half kickoff.