Wake Forest knew Heritage would come out ready to play in front of a homecoming crowd Friday, but the Cougars took the first hit, adjusted and never looked back, cruising to a 33-7 win at cross-town Heritage.
The Cougars (8-0, 4-0 Cap Eight) came up with big plays to swing the momentum after Heritage scored first on a Blake Walters-to-John McCaffity connection midway through the first quarter. Heritage was held scoreless the remainder of the game.
Down 12-7 with less than a minute remaining before the half and back into Wake Forest territory for the first time since the score, Walters was intercepted by Wake Forest’s Charlie Costantino.
The Cougars quickly moved downfield as quarterback Mack Moore found Brooks Cunningham, who jumped high for the catch just beyond midfield and kept it for another 35 yards to put the Cougars on the Heritage 9. Moore would power his way in on the next play to put Wake Forest up 13 before the half.
Moore and Cunningham connected for 174 yards on eight passes, with 147 yards coming in the first half to open things up for the Cougars ground game later in the game. Running back Bryce Love ran in consecutive 68 and 92-yard touchdowns to put the game out of reach.
“I thought (we) played real hard,” Heritage coach Jason McGeorge said. “They kept competing. The score might not really show that, but (Wake Forest is) explosive. They have one of the most explosive players in the state.
“Early in the second half he had two really long runs and kind of took the wind out of us. Right at the end of the first half they had the long pass play that set them up for a quick touchdown where I thought we were going to leave the half a little closer than we were.”
The Huskies (6-2, 3-1), playing in front of a packed house on homecoming, nearly came up with an answer before the half as Matthew Baker came up with a 70-yard rush to the Wake Forest 10 with 6.2 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Heritage would miss on a pass attempt to the end zone and then miss a 27-yard field goal attempt to end the half down 20-7.
The Huskies rode Baker for much of the game with the senior running back compiling 203 yards on 35 carries.
Love (186 yards on eight carries) scored on a 6-yard run to put Wake Forest on the board in the first half, and Moore found Cunningham in the second quarter on a 35-yard TD pass to help the Cougars to a 33 unanswered points. Moore completed 9 of 12 passes for 191 yards.
Wake Forest, still undefeated, hosts Leesville Road next week.
“It’s scary,” Wake Forest coach Reggie Lucas said. “When you’re undefeated there’s only one way to go, and we understand that as a team. We’re going to take one game at a time and study our opponents and just try to grind these wins out and hopefully that will continue to happen next week.”