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Cougars crush Mustangs

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WAKE FOREST — It was men among boys in Wake Forest’s 52-6 blowout win against Middle Creek at home Monday night. Wake Forest’s football squad looks as if they’re back to their usual selves with back-to-back blowout victories after losing their first game of the season to Cardinal Gibbons. The 52 points on offense is the most since they scored 55 against Fuquay-Varina in the 4AA state playoffs last year Nov. 23, 2018. In the victory against Middle Creek, Wake Forest head coach Reggie Lucas said it was all about execution and doing your job. “We just talked about executing the game plan,” Lucas said. “Individually, the guys had to do their job. I think we did that all four quarters.” The Cougars got going early with a 32-yard rushing touchdown by running back Chris Moore two minutes into the game. Less than two minutes later, Wake Forest’s Cody Britt intercepted a pass to give the ball back to the Cougars. Wake Forest responded with another rushing touchdown by Moore four minutes later. With less than two minutes left in the first quarter, Moore scored again, making it three rushing touchdowns in one quarter. The junior running back punched in a one-yard score to give his Cougars a 21-0 lead before the end of the first quarter. “We just needed to focus on our keys,” Moore said. “We have to know our plays. Our offensive line stepped up and did very well.” From there, Wake Forest scored four more rushing touchdowns by three different players. Britt picked off his second interception of the game early in the second quarter. Two minutes later, Elijah Hines barrelled his way into the endzone on an 11-yard run. Less than two minutes after that, Maquel Haywood took off on a 67-yard touchdown run to make it 35-0 with 6:38 left in the first half. Middle Creek finally got on the scoreboard off a 26-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 35-6.

With 44 seconds left until halftime, Wake Forest kicker Austin Riley booted a 48-yard field goal. That made the halftime score 38-6. In the third quarter, Wake Forest capitalized on their third interception of the night. This time, it was Matthew Panz picking off the pass. Less than three minutes later, D.J. Sellers ran it in on a 17-yard touchdownsprint. The senior running back scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter to extend the Cougars’ lead to 52-6. “Everybody knows about Maquel, but there’s some other guys back there who are just as good and who work just as hard,” Lucas said. “ We saw that tonight.” Wake Forest didn’t need to throw the ball. Even quarterback Noah Douglas put in some good carries to wear down the Middle Creek defense. Moore said it was all about making blocks down the field which allowed the Cougars to run all over the Mustangs. “We worked on our pass blocking throughout the week at practice,” Moore said. “We worked on going up the field on our trap plays. We’ve watched a lot of film and focused on the front seven to prepare.” On defense, the Cougars forced four turnovers on defense with three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Wake Forest’s Kahlil Watson recorded a sack, which poked the ball loose and Josiah Parsons recovered the fumble near the end of the third quarter. “We didn’t want to give up the big play on defense,” Lucas said. “We knew that Middle Creek ran their screen plays really well. We wanted to be prepared and be in the right spot. Overall, the defense played great.” With the win, Wake Forest improved to 2-1 overall and handed Middle Creek their first loss of the season to drop them to 2-1. The Cougars will play at Millbrook Friday night at 7 p.m. “We have to recover from this game with a short week,” Lucas said. “Millbrook is coming off a big win over Garner. They are going to be up for us. They’re going to be ready. We have to get ready for another big game.” “These past two wins have raised our confidence very high,” Moore said. “We still need to remember that loss against Cardinal Gibbons and stay humble as we move forward throughout the season.”