Provided by Wayland Baptist Athletics
PHOENIX - Anthony Campuzano threw three touchdown passes, including two to Josh Bailey, to lead Wayland Baptist to a 28-21 season-opening victory over Arizona Christian here Saturday night.
It was Wayland's first season-opening win since the school restarted its football program three years ago, and it was WBU's first on-the-field win since the third-to-last game of that initial season. The Pioneers were winless in 2013, although they picked up an after-season forfeit victory.
Campuzano, who completed 25-of-51 passes for 312 yards and no interceptions, threw touchdown passes of seven and six yards to Bailey. The latter came with 13:29 left in the game and broke a 21-21 tie.
The first Campuzano-to-Bailey score came on Wayland's second possession of the game and answered a 56-yard touchdown pass by Arizona Christian on the third play of the game.
The Pioneers took a 14-7 lead on a 39-yard pass from Campuzano to Trey Rowe with 4:33 left in the first quarter.
Arizona Christian came back with a four-yard touchdown pass midway through the second period, but a botched PAT left Wayland in the lead, 14-13.
The Pioneers made it 21-13 with 2:02 to go in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Payson Bain.
After the Firestorm scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass and two-point conversion toss, the Pioneers put together a nine-play, 81-yard drive that featured a clutch fourth-down completion. Facing fourth-and-8 from the ACU 38-yard line, Campuzano hooked up with Trey Rowe on a long pass that saw Rowe knocked out of bounds at the 1. A false start penalty moved the ball back to the 6, but on the next play Campuzano found Bailey for the winning points. Daniel Martinez booted his fourth PAT to end the scoring.
Wayland's defense allowed Arizona Christian (0-2) a mere seven yards rushing on 30 attempts, and the Firestorm managed only 12 first downs compared to 27 for Wayland. The Pioneers racked up 207 yards on the ground, led by senior transfer Evan Hearn with 18 carries for 78 yards and freshmen Mikorban Fields with 11 carries for 75 yards and Branden Valle with eight totes for 71 yards.
Campuzano completed passes to eight receivers, led by Bailey who had seven catches for 104 yards and Rowe who made five grabs for 108 yards.
Wayland plays its home-opener at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6 against Western State Colorado, an NCAA Division II team that will be making its season debut.