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2021 Rival Backs Shine Before Scenic City Showdown

by | Sep 24, 2019

Baylor-McCallie is one of the biggest rivalries in not just the Southeast but the entire country. They both took the field this past Friday night just two weeks ahead of their annual crosstown showdown against some stout competition. McCallie hosted a home game against perennial power Knoxville Catholic and came away with a crushing win. Baylor made the trip to Ensworth to play the Nashville powerhouse in a game that they were not picked to win but walked away with a win.

Both games were littered with college prospects in the 2020, 2021, and 2022 classes. Ensworth is home to 2020 Tennessee commit Keshawn Lawrence, 2021 Athlete Andre Turrentine, and 2022 WR Isaiah Horton. Baylor has 2021 Tennessee RB commit Elijah Howard and 2021 QB Neyland Jean. McCallie has 2020 defensive end Jay Hardy, 2020 athlete Deangelo Hardy, and 2021 RB BJ Harris. Knoxville Catholic has 2020 Tennessee OL commit Cooper Mays, 2020 defensive end Tyler Baron, and multiple others. The purpose in this article is to talk about the pair of 2021 running backs that stole the show ahead of this Scenic city showdown.

McCallie will play one more game ahead of the matchup as they will take their undefeated record on the road to West Forsyth (GA). While Baylor will have a bye week to prepare for a group of McCallie seniors that have not lost to them during their high school career.

Series History per Kristopher Kennedy of the “Baylor Notes Student Newspaper” from September 16th, 2019- “The Cross River Rivalry has raged between the Ridgers of McCallie and the Baylor Red Raiders since 1908. The football rivalry was suspended in 1940 when McCallie elected to back out of it, but resumed again in the seventies and has been played every year since then. The rivalry has produced heroic moments and statement wins. The Baylor Lady Raiders took on a rivalry of their own against the GPS Bruisers (not the Wasps, unfortunately) when Baylor went co-ed in 1985. Since then, Baylor has continued its age-long dominance over both the Blue Tornado and the Bruisers, with the Cross River Rivalry consistently producing memorable moment after memorable moment.  In the all time football series Baylor is up 44-38-3.”

So, what exactly did this pair of 2021 running backs do on Friday night? They combined for 450 yards on the ground and 7 touchdowns. Howard rushed for 235 yards and 3 touchdowns on the night. Where Harris ran for 215 yards and four scores. Both backs stole the show with their ability to display patience and hit the home run when the opportunity presented itself. Both backs excelled in the open-field by consistently making defenders miss and running through arm tackles time and time again.

What was the most interesting about both of these backs is that they are smaller more elusive backs that play in offenses that love to hammer you in between the tackles. They both consistently found ways to make defenders miss in the hole at the point of attack, and when they did not make them miss, they always seemed to fall forward.

You can watch highlights from both below and then take a look at the tale of the tape.,50

The two will get a chance to leave to their mark on one of the oldest rivalries in the state on October 4th at 7:30 PM.

Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape so you can be a little more familiar with each.

Tale Of the Tape

Elijah Howard- Baylor

Ht- 5’11
Wt. 183lbs

School: Baylor
40 yard dash- 4.33
Natl. Rank- 737

Notable offers- Tennessee, Miss. State, Purdue, Virginia Tech

BJ Harris- McCallie

Ht- 5’10
Wt. 193lbs
School: McCallie
40 yard dash- 4.6
Natl. Rank- 539
Notable offers-LSU, Miss. State, Nebraska, Kentucky

Matt Ray

Matt Ray

Recruiting Analyst

Matt Ray is the managing content editor for VR2. He founded VR2 in November of 2017. He is an FWAA Member and covers Tennessee prospects across the country from the Opening Regional Camp series to Under Armour All-American game and everything in between.

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