KNIGHTDALE — By Caryn Grant
KNIGHTDALE – Wakefield dominated on both ends of the field early on Friday, taking a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter, helped by a Nick Dennis interception return. The fast start paved the way for the Wolverines’ 34-7 win at Knightdale Stadium.
Wakefield got on the board less than two minutes into the game when quarterback Connor Mitch found receiver Jordan Fielleteau on a 20-yard touchdown pass. On the Wolverines’ next possession, Mitch connected with Tommy Evans for a 17-yard score.
But the first half was littered with penalties, which stifled the team’s offense a bit.
“With the penalties offensively we couldn’t get in a rhythm, and we thrive on rhythm,” said Wakefield coach Rod Sink.
Still, the Wolverines led 27-0 at the half after a two-point conversion attempt with less than a minute remaining was unsuccessful.
Knightdale held Wakefield scoreless in the third, but couldn’t counter on the offensive end.
The Knights relied on its run game in its season-opener win against Millbrook last week, amassing 368 yards on 46 carries, but couldn’t get it going Friday.
The Knights started what looked like a promising drive on their second possession of the third quarter with junior Nathaniel Harvey moving the ball 37 yards on four consecutive carries, but the Knights quarterback Dylon Alexander was picked off by Wakefield’s Harrison Mull on a first down.
“Mistakes that we didn’t make against Millbrook in our opener, we made tonight, and we can’t do that,” said Knightdale coach Rob Senseney. “But anytime that we struggle, it ultimately comes down to the head coach.”
Mitch found Fielleteau for another score just seconds into the fourth quarter, putting the Wolverines up 34-0.
Sink said while he was happy with his team’s offensive play early on, it was the defense that stepped up to make the points count.
When the offense struggled to move the ball, the defense held strong, he said.
“Our defense is phenomenal,” Sink said. “They play aggressive, they hit people. That’s what we want in football.”
Knightdale back-up quarterback William Lassiter got the Knights on the board late in the fourth quarter, connecting with Marquavious Johnson on a 39-yard touchdown play.
That score was too little too late to change the game.
“It all comes down to how well do we play,” Senseney said. “The wins and losses take care of themselves. If you play well, you can win. We didn’t come out and play well tonight.”