Junior running back Trestan Ebner scored a career-high three touchdowns in the first half, as the Baylor Bears notched a 56-17 victory over the visiting Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks on Saturday night in McLane Stadium.
Ebner was part of a diverse attack for the Bears, who outscored Stephen F. Austin 21-0 in the second quarter to take a 35-7 lead at halftime. R.J. Sneed scored two touchdowns, and quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for 178 yards in the first half, as coach Matt Rhule’s team took care of business against its FCS opponent.
Ebner had scoring runs of 21 and 11 yards, plus a 16-yard touchdown catch from Brewer, as Baylor (1-0) produced an uncomplicated season opener.
The Bears, who held the Lumberjacks (0-1) to just 277 total yards, dominated the first half in total yards (271-90) and first downs (18-4). However, they did need a little help to smooth their path in the first half.
Baylor gained an early 14-0 lead, but Stephen F. Austin then moved 75 yards in 11 plays to cut the Bears’ lead to 14-7. SFA quarterback Trae Self scored on a three-yard touchdown run after the Lumberjacks converted two third downs.
Stephen F. Austin then stopped Baylor’s offense and got the ball back early in the second quarter. The Lumberjacks had a chance to tie the score, but Baylor outside linebacker/hybrid Blake Lynch then made the defining play of the night.
The senior picked off Self to give the Bears’ offense a short field. Ebner scored moments later, and the Lumberjacks never threatened the Bears again. Lynch also blocked a punt in the first quarter to set up another Baylor touchdown.
Brewer finished with 199 passing yards and three touchdowns for Baylor. After the Bears took a 42-7 lead early in the second half, the starting quarterback was relieved by backup Gerry Bohanon.
Self completed 15 of 29 passes for 140 yards and one interception for the Lumberjacks.
—Field Level Media