There’s not much more Wake Forest football coach Reggie Lucas could have asked for in his team’s 56-0 North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-AA first-round playoff win over Panther Creek.
Now the 12-0 Cougars get ready to host Laney in the second round.
“We watched the films and studied their plays and focused on that,” said Wake Forest star linebacker Darius Hodge after the shutout. “And the offense did well, the line blocked and the guys ran hard.”
By the time the Catamounts gained their first first down in the game, late in the first quarter, the Cougars already had a 21-0 lead. Wake scored touchdowns on its first six possessions to take a 42-0 lead at halftime. The two teams opened the season with Wake winning that game 49-6 after leading 49-0 at halftime.
“Looking at the films, I feel Panther Creek improved during the year and got some good wins to get in the playoffs,” Lucas said. “But tonight, it was like coming off a bye week, but we played well and the guys executed the game plan. We had a couple of plays called back on penalties, but overall the kids did a great job.”
The Cougars offense drove 30, 40, and 36 yards for the first three touchdowns.
The next three touchdowns were quick strikes. An interception and 45-yard return by Jovon Terry set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Demarcus Jones. Jadacus Logan blocked a punt to set up a 33-yard touchdown pass from Chris James to John Jiles. Hodge then got his eighth blocked punt of the year to set up a 5-yard run by Devon Lawrence.
The second half was played with a running clock and Wake got a 5-yard touchdown from Marquis Dunn and an 18-yard run on a bootleg by backup quarterback Will Davis.
Panther Creek ran just seven offensive plays in the second half.
Lawrence got the Wake Forest offense going with touchdown runs of 17 and 35 yards in the first half. He finished the game with 162 yards on 10 carries.
“Devon had a really good game for us, Chris James threw the ball well, and Darius also did a really good job and got his eighth blocked punt of the season,” Lucas said. “The whole defense played well. On defense, our philosophy going into every game is to play solid, get the other team into third downs and not give up the big play. They did that tonight.”