PLAINVIEW, TX (KCBD) - It took just over two minutes for the Wayland Baptist Pioneers to set the tone for a celebratory Saturday afternoon at Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldog Stadium.
The Pioneers scored two touchdowns in the game's first 123 seconds and went on to dismantle Bacone College (Okla.) in Central States Football League play, 48-21.
Quarterback Mitchell Parsley threw for 226 yards and tossed touchdowns to four different receivers, and the Pioneers found another ground threat in freshman JyUis Bumpus, who ran for 68 yards. Leading an opportunistic defense, senior linebacker Michael Nealy – the NAIA's fourth-leading tackler – logged nine tackles and recorded a tone-setting scoop-and-score.
It was De'Sean Johnson who got the ball rolling for Wayland (3-5, 3-3 CSFL), returning the opening kickoff 60 yards to the Bacone 30-yard line. On the Pioneers' fourth play from scrimmage, Parsley – returning after missing the last two games with injury – rolled to his right and found Jeremiah Eaton coming back the other way for an 18-yard touchdown.
Just 1:54 into it, Wayland was up 7-0.
Then, on Bacone's (2-6, 2-4) first play from scrimmage, JaQuavious Dean forced a fumble with a big hit on the Warriors' Kevin Jackson. Linebacker Nealy picked it up and returned it 23 yards to make it 14-0.
Wayland made it 21-0 thanks to a short field resulting from solid defense, a 15-yard Michael Romero punt return and a Bacone facemask penalty. That set up the Pioneer offense at the Warriors' 39-yard line, where two plays later Parsley found freshman Sebastian Hartless streaking up the visitors' sideline. Hartless hauled in the long pass in the end zone while managing to stay in-bounds, and on the last play of the first quarter Wayland took a commanding 21-0 lead.
The Warriors got on the board with a 33-yard pass 4½ minutes into the second period, but WBU kicker Daniel Martinez booted a 27-yard field goal that came after Pioneer Cody Thomas recovered a muffed punt and Parsley and Ben Owen hooked up on a 32-yard completion.
Martinez added a 43-yard field goal with 2:20 left in the first half after a drive stalled following a 36-yard run by Bumpus.
It appeared Wayland would add to its lead just before the break when David Garza intercepted Bacone's Sam Sewards near midfield and returned it all the way to the Bacone 17 with 27 seconds left in what was a 2-hour-long first half. Instead, Bacone got a boost as the Warriors' Eric Brown picked off Parsley and returned it 87 yards, making it 27-14 at intermission.
However, just as they did to start the game, the Pioneers set the tone early in the second half.
The defense forced a three-and-out that led to a short punt and Wayland starting its first second-half possession at the Bacone 38. On third-and-10 from the 12, Malik Sims hauled in a Parsley pass that extended Wayland's lead to 34-14.
Another strong defensive effort gave the Pioneers a head-start on their next TD with WBU freshman tackle Andre Smith credited for the tackle on Bacone's failed fourth-and-1 quarterback sneak at the Wayland 42.
Kirby came up with a 25-yard reception before Parsley found Devonte Hayden on a 17-yard scoring toss that made it 41-14 with just under 7 minutes left in the third.
The Warriors' final TD was a 64-yard pass-and-run late in the third.
The last of Wayland's four takeaways – a fumble recovery by Isaiah Levert – led to the game's final points with just over 10 minutes to go. Two plays after a 49-yard Parsley-to-Eaton completion, Romero took it up the middle for a 3-yard touchdown run.
The 48 points are the most for Wayland this season and the fourth-most in the six-year history of the restored program.
The Pioneers play their final road game of the season Oct. 28 in Fort Worth against a first-year winless Texas Wesleyan team (0-8, 0-5) that lost Saturday to Lyon College, 21-14. Wayland takes the following week off then plays its season-finale at home Nov. 11 against undefeated, eighth-ranked Langston College (7-0, 5-0), which squeaked past No. 23 Arizona Christian, 21-20. Langston will be tied for first in the CSFL with the winner between No. 18 Southwestern Assemblies of God (5-1, 4-0) and Oklahoma Panhandle State (5-1, 4-0).