Wake Forest is so good that even when they turn the ball over three times and have been off a week they can blow out opponents.
The Cougars (11-0), the two-time defending 4AA champions, struck early and often, taking advantage of three first-half turnovers by Fuquay-Varina on their way to a 55-7 victory, extending their winning-streak to 42 in a row as they begin their quest for a third straight 4AA title.
Wake Forest will take on Leesville Road next weekend in Wake Forest.
“Proud of the way coming off the open week how we played,” Cougars head coach Reggie Lucas said. “Obviously, we started the game off with a turnover, fortunately we got it back, but I thought the guys played solid.”
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The Cougars’ defense, always stout, forced a turnover on Fuquay’s opening drive of the game and made the Bengals (8-5) pay by going on a 91-yard drive, capped of by a 48-yard score by Jordan Atwater.
Wake Forest fumbled away the opening kickoff to give Fuquay-Varina some early momentum. The Bengals rode that wave into Cougar territory before fumbling away on the 8-yard line. That put the Bengals in a 7-0 hole after sniffing the endzone, something teams rarely do against the Cougars.
On Fuquay’s next drive the Cougars forced a punt and after a nice return to the 22 by Wake Forest, the hometeam only needed two plays to strike paydirt, this time when Mateo Sudipo connected with Traevon Kenion for a 14-yard score.
The Bengals didn’t have problems putting together long drive, ending the first quarter on a 12-play drive that came up empty after consecutive incomplete passes in Cougars’ territory.
The Wake Forest defense scored the next touchdown, as defensive back Kahlil Watson returned a fumble 10-yard for a score, putting the Cougars up 21-0. Watson’s interception on the Bengals next drive led to the second touchdown connection between Sudipo and Kenion, this time covering 27-yards, putting the Cougars up 28-0 before the break. Wake Forest could have added to their scoring total, but Sudipo fumbled the ball away with under two minutes remaining in the second quarter.
It was one of just a few mistakes made by Sudipo, who took over the signal caller duties halfway through the season and gives Wake Forest another threat, running and passing, out of the backfield.
“I feel really comfortable in the pocket now and rolling out,” Sudipo said. “It’s easy.”
The Cougars made the third quarter look easy, ripping off 20 points to push their lead 48-0, causing a running clock. Sudipo connected with Kenion for the third time to make it 34-0, and Demarcus Jones took it in from 10-yards out with 5:44 remaining in the third to make it 41-0. That capped off a short, two-play drive. The final score come in the form of a 50-yard punt return for a touchdown by Keishmond Rodgers, giving the Cougars five touchdowns that came in two plays or less.
“That’s what you want,” Lucas said. “You want to prepare and you want to execute in a game and that’s what I saw tonight.”
LEESVILLE ROAD 49, BROUGHTON 25
Leesville Road set up a rematch with the two-time defending state champs with a convincing home win over Broughton, 49-25.
Pride junior running back David Sohn scored two touchdowns, and Leesville Road won its fifth straight game. Wake Forest and the Pride met on Sept. 7, with the Cougars coming away with a 31-18 win.
SCOTLAND COUNTY 7, CARDINAL GIBBONS 6
The Cardinal Gibbons offense came into the second round of the playoffs averaging 39.3 points per game, but were kept out of the endzone all season, falling to Scotland County, 7-6.
The Crusanders settled for two Riley Myer field goals in the game, but Myer missed a 43-yard attempt with 29 seconds remaining.