WAKE FOREST — Wake Forest withstood a Millbrook surge on both ends of the game to walk away with a 31-25 Cap Eight 4A win Friday and remain undefeated.
The Wildcats came out looking to play spoiler at Wake Forest’s homecoming game. Millbrook scored twice in the first half, both on big plays.
Millbrook (4-2, 1-1 Cap Eight) recovered a Wake Forest fumble at midfield, and two plays later junior Trey Threatt found a hole up the middle and sprinted the rest of the way for a 48-yard touchdown to light up the scoreboard.
The Cougars’ first punt of the second quarter turned into another Millbrook touchdown as Trey Sterling was able to break free for a 72-yard return to give the Wildcats a two-score lead.
Millbrook held Wake Forest scoreless for its first five possessions. It was the second week in a row the Cougars were held scoreless in the first quarter, but once Wake Forest got rolling, the Cougars were relentless.
“Our conference knows each other pretty well. We don’t hide any secrets,” said Wake Forest coach Reggie Lucas. “What you see on film, that’s what you have to prepare for. Some teams do a good job and for the most part everybody in the conference is going to be read. We just have to play hard and stick to our game plan.”
Wake Forest (6-0, 2-0), ranked No. 1 in The News & Observer among area teams, drove in three touchdowns in as many drives to close out the half with a 21-13 lead.
Bryce Love (14 carries for 122 yards) scored twice with 14 and 10-yard runs.
The Cougars got good field possession on the first after Kendall Massey intercepted Millbrook quarterback Reid Herring’s pass at the Wildcats’ 35, and Wake Forest finished the half with another interception-turned-score when Kyle Stollmeyer snagged a Reid pass at midfield giving the Cougars the ball back with less than 30 seconds remaining. Stollmeyer ran it back to the 22-yard-line, and quarterback Mack Moore was able to run in the 3-yard score before the break.
“Our defense has been playing well all year, and played well again tonight. We just unfortunately had too many turnovers, put them in good field position,” said Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore. “That’s a great football team and when you have turnovers and put them in a short field, they’re going to make you pay for it, and they did.”
The Cougars wasted no time getting things going after the intermission when Love blew past everyone for a 97-yard kickoff return to open the half.
Cole Westberry booted in three more for Wake Forest on a 28-yard field goal on the Cougars’ next possession, putting the Cougars up 31-13 with less than five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
No. 9 Millbrook didn’t give in, scoring twice more in the second half to make it a one-possession game with less than two minutes remaining.
“Our kids played with a lot of heart, I’m proud of them,” Inscore said. “I like the fact that we didn’t give up in this game. We kept battling back until the very end and had a chance right there at the end.”
Herring (12 of 34 passing for 147 yards) found Anthony Bowman for a 20 yard score to end the third quarter, and then connected with Jonte Leaston in the fourth.
The latter came after Millbrook recovered a Wake Forest fumble with just under two minutes remaining.
“The way the game was going, that’s all we needed was ball security, and our kids know that,” Lucas said. “I’m disappointed on how we finished, but proud of the way we hung in. As always, when you win, you take it and move on. I’m proud of the kids.”
Wake Forest travels to Wakefield next week. Millbrook plays at Broughton.