Tennessee’s quarterback of the future made a huge play late on Friday night to lead his team to victory over a nationally ranked team.
Bailey and his Marietta High School squad got the ball trailing 17-14 with 1:18 remaining in the game after St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) took the lead. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Bailey wasted no time in guiding his team down the field, and within 55 seconds of game time, he and the Blue Devils grabbed the lead back for good.
The four-star Vol commit began the drive by throwing a deep pass down the sideline to Michigan State wide receiver commit Ricky White, who dropped it. Drops were the theme of the night for Marietta, as Bailey had several of his attempts go incomplete because of the inability to bring it in by his pass catchers.
Still, Bailey didn’t let that missed opportunity fluster him.
The senior scrambled for 13 yards and a first down on the next play, but he took a huge helmet-to-helmet hit out of bounds on the play. But offsetting penalties would negate any gain from St. Joseph’s Prep’s hit.
After that, Bailey connected with White for 30 yards to bring the Blue Devils to the 23 yard-line. Bailey’s next pass would fall incomplete, but then with 14 seconds left, he made magic happen.
Bailey surveyed the field with a clean pocket, moved to his left to avoid a defender, and with pressure to his right, threaded a perfect pass to White across the middle for the game-winning touchdown with 14 seconds remaining in the game.
Stadium shaking so hard the camera’s wobbly?
Marietta hits hard in the final seconds with Ricky White’s SNAG to take the win!!@HBailey_05 @yunqbrezzy_ @MHSFBFAMILY #1Family #GoGreen #ChaseTheMoment @MSU_Football @Vol_Football #PoweredByTheT pic.twitter.com/XjtoKrMlMI
— Who’s Next (@WhosNextHS) August 31, 2019
Marietta’s defense would hold, and the Blue Devils improved to 2-0 on the season thanks to the efforts of Bailey and White on that final drive.
Bailey, who is rated as the No. 130 overall prospect and No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the 2020 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, finished the night completing 17 of his 35 pass attempts for 259 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Marietta’s win came over a nationally-ranked powerhouse, too. St. Joseph’s Prep was ranked No. 8 by MaxPreps and No. 11 by USA Today prior to Friday’s game. Marietta came into the match-up ranked No. 9 by USA Today and No. 17 by MaxPreps.
Bailey’s comeback performance against St. Joseph’s Prep came on the heels of his impressive performance in Marietta’s season opener last week where he tossed five touchdowns and 367 yards on 19-of-30 passing to help the Blue Devils blow out Rome High School.
But Bailey wasn’t the only Vol commit who shined on Friday night.
Four-star outside linebacker BJ Ojulari finished the game with four tackles for loss and looked unblockable at times by St. Joseph’s Prep. He and the Blue Devil defense were a big reason why Marietta remained in the game and able to pull off the comeback victory.
Ojulari, who is the No. 158 overall player and No. 17 prospect in the state of Georgia per the 247Sports Composite rankings, committed to the Vols earlier this month on August 16th.
Marietta will be back in action next Friday when they travel to Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia.