Wakefield scored with 3:24 left in the game to retake the lead and the defense intercepted its third pass to help the Wolverines hold on for a 40-35 win over the Huskies in the first round of the 4-AA NC High School Athletic Association playoffs Friday night.
Wakefield (7-5) showed its playoff resiliency after it watched a 20-point third quarter lead evaporate to host Heritage.
Quarterback Matt McKay led the Wolverines with four touchdown passes; the last an 8-yard jump ball to Dontel Dunston in the end zone to take the lead for good.
“This has been our mantra for a good while. When they score, let’s go. It’s time to get back on the field on offense and keep working,” Wakefield head coach Rod Sink said.
Dunston did it on defense as well, picking off a pass with 2:23 left to help seal the win. It was Dunston’s second interception of the game to bookend two receiving touchdowns.
Wakefield led 34-14 when Kelton Whitehead rumbled 22 yards for a touchdown with 4:03 left in the third quarter.
Then momentum swung to Heritage’s side as the Huskies scored touchdowns on its next three possessions. Running back Matt Baker accounted for all three scores; his last a 46-yard burst up the middle that gave the Huskies a 35-34 lead with 8:45 remaining.
Ultimately, it was penalties and turnovers that were the downfall of Heritage.
The Huskies committed six turnovers. The last was a costly fumble on a punt return with 5:09 left in the game. Wakefield would end up scoring the game winner on its possession.
Heritage (8-4) was hosting its first playoff home game. The Huskies had lost their two previous playoff games on the road.