WAKE FOREST — The Wake Forest-Rolesville High football team never lost its focus on Monday afternoon. If the Cougars minds had wandered they may not have taken a 31-21 Cap Eight 4A victory over Broughton in historic Trentini Stadium.
It would have been easy for the Wake Forest players and coaches to be distracted during the daylight game. The 7-0 Cougars play a huge game on Friday against neighboring rival Wakefield (6-1).
The Cougars and Caps were finishing up a game started last Friday and suspended because of storms. Wake Forest was leading 14-7 and was heavily favored so it might have lost its intensity.
Then, in the opening moments after play had resumed on Monday, Wake Forest athletic trainer Rick Baker was run over on the sidelines and knocked to the ground on a sweep. He didnt get off the soggy grass until the emergency squad arrived and placed him on a back board for a ambulance trip to the hospital. Bloodied, he was fine.
There were plenty of potential distractions, but none that lured the Cougars.
Coach Reggie Lucas said there was no temptation to start preparing his club for Fridays clash against Wakefield. When he met with his team on Saturday morning, the focus was on Broughton. He said he hasnt watched any film on Wakefield
If I did, I would have been setting us up for trouble, Lucas said. We worked today making sure we were focused on Broughton.
The game was resumed with 1:57 left in the second period and Wake Forest moved the ball quickly downfield before a long Cameron Fray pass was picked off by Broughtons Dominic Ford. The pass was the only Fray toss that was not completed as he finished 3 of 4 for 102 yards.
The passing game is an important wrinkle for the 7-0 Cougars, whose wing-T formation runs the field and the clock equally effectively.
Wake Forest rushed for 280 yards, led by Bryce Loves 145 yards. Petey Williams did much of the heavy lifting in the second half and finished with 91 yards, including scoring runs of 11 and 24 yards that helped the Cougars carry a 31-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
With the flats stacked with defenders, Love and Williams repeated cut upfield on abbreviated sweeps and with the Caps stacking the line, the Cougars went over the top to keep control of the game.
But Broughton mustered a games worth of offense in the closing minutes.
The Caps stunned the Cougars with an 81-yard catch and run from Maclin Batchelor to Trey Peace with 2:36 left and a 19-yard scoring strike from Batchelor to Romas White with 1:56 remaining after recovering an onside kick.
Lucas said he wasnt as concerned as he was aggravated by the two late scores.
We take a lot of pride in our defense and to line up in the wrong coverage against a formation we had prepared for all week is frustrating, Lucas said.
Before the late strikes, Wake Forest had bottled up the Caps, whose first half score -- a Batchelor to Romas seven-yard pass -- came following a Ford fumble recovery. Broughton managed 51 yards rushing in the game.
Lucas planned to spend much of Monday night watching Wakefield film, but planned a typical Tuesday practice on Tuesday. He turned the focus quickly to Wakefield. He doesnt think hell have trouble getting his clubs attention.
We know what Wakefield is going to do and it knows what were going to do, he said.
And added that his club needs to be focused on Friday night. Just like it was on Monday.
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