Two games into the conference season, Wake Forest has yet to give up a point.
Add that Novocain-like running game that gradually takes over the game and you’ve got the formula that’s made the Cougars one of the state’s best teams this decade.
Millbrook got its taste of the combo on Friday night and fell, 37-0, as the N&O’s second-ranked team in the area moved to 6-0 overall.
“I thought we did pretty good overall,” said Wake Forest senior linebacker Darius Hodge. “The line did its job and we were able to do what we needed to do behind them.”
The Cougars (6-0 overall, 2-0 conference) held the Wildcats to just 89 yards of offense on the night. Millbrook, which was putting on 39 points a contest coming into the game, averaged just 1.78 yards gained per play.
The thirteenth-ranked Wildcats (4-2, 1-1) ran just one play on the Wake Forest side of the field. When that play came, with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, the Cougars led 17-0 and the multi-pronged Wing-T running attack was starting to click.
Junior Devon Lawrence scored three second-half touchdowns and finished with a game-high 138 yards rushing on just 14 carries.
His biggest play of the night came on a misdirection play with backfield mate Marquis Dunn drawing the attention of the defense as Lawrence took the ball and followed the block of quarterback Chris James into the open field. Sixty-seven yards later, the Cougars’ 10-point lead was suddenly a three-score bulge.
Lawrence added scoring runs of 11 and 2 yards in the fourth quarter.
“We just did a better job of playing assignment football in the second half,” Lawrence said. “We started to really execute in the running game.”
Dunn had a big night as well, going for 133 yards on the ground on 16 carries. He accounted for the game’s last score — a 37-yard TD run that popped open after the junior back broke two tackles along the Millbrook sideline.
The two teams exchanged interceptions near the Millbrook end zone early in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats’ Nic Vinson picked off a pass in the end zone to stop a Wake Forest drive, but Hodge came right back with a pick in the middle of the field that he returned to the Cougar 14-yard-line. The pick set up a 2-play TD drive for Wake Forest.
“I just read it and reacted,” Hodge said of the interception. “Coach told us to watch the curl patterns. I saw it and was able to get there and get the ball.”
The Cougars added TDs on their next two drives.
Wake Forest scored on the game’s first drive: a 38-yard field goal from Christoper Vidal, then struggled to break off runs of more than five yards for most of the first half against a solid Wildcat defense. (Wake Forest only had one play that gained more than 10 yards in the first half.)
Dunn capped a 14-play, 78-yard drive with a 4-yard scoring run midway in the second quarter.
The Cougars will know exactly where they stand in the CAP-8 Conference two Fridays from now: Wake Forest meets the other two teams — both big rivals of course — with unbeaten league records in the next two weeks. The Cougars host Wakefield on Oct. 7, then visit Heritage on Oct. 14.
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