Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
WAKE FOREST — Wake Forest and Wallace-Rose Hill’s football team took their fans back in time to some old school football as both teams combined for 814 rushing yards, but the Cougars came out on top 42-28 at home Friday.
Even though the Bulldogs outran the Cougars by almost 200 yards, Wake Forest made some plays in the air with two touchdown passes and 125 passing yards. Wake Forest quarterback Noah Douglas was the deciding factor according to head coach Reggie Lucas. The senior even scored a rushing touchdown in addition to his two touchdown tosses.
“Noah Douglas has improved every week this year,” Lucas said. “He had a great game running the team.”
It was a high-scoring first half, but Wake Forest maintained the lead throughout the majority of the evening. The Cougars led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter and then took a 28-21 advantage going into halftime.
Wake Forest only gave up one touchdown in the third quarter. From that point on, the defense shut down Wallace-Rose Hill. The Cougars scored one touchdown per quarter in the second half to finish the night with a 42-28 victory.
“Wallace’s offense is very similar to ours,” Lucas said. “If you are not in the right place or miss tackles, it can hurt you. Overall, we were not physical and did not play disciplined defense. Our run defense must improve for us to be successful moving forward.”
Wake Forest’s Maquel Haywood guided the run game for the Cougars with 18 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns. The senior running back also caught a pass for 30 yards. Chris Moore also added 70 yards on nine carries.
Kahlil Watson was a big playmaker for the Cougars. The junior hauled in two receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
“Football is not a one-side sport,” Lucas said. “The offense like the defense is a part of our team. The offense ran and threw the ball well like they have all year. I give credit to the offensive line and the offense staff for executing their game plan. I also give the defense credit for hanging in there and coming up with some key stops in the fourth quarter.”
Like many schools on the east coast, Wallace-Rose Hill was hit hard from Hurricane Florence last year. Some of their football players were left homeless. Wake Forest athletic director Mike Joyner presented a check of $1,300 to Wallace-Rose Hill’s principal. They also helped pay for their transportation and fed the team after the game.
“Mike wanted to help Wallace-Rose Hill out because they suffered severe damage from the hurricane,” Lucas said. “He is good friends with the principal of the school and felt the need to give a donation to help the school.”
With the win, Wake Forest improved to 5-1 overall on a five-game win streak. The Cougars will have a bye week and then take on Knightdale at home Friday Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. to kick off NAC 6 conference play.
“I’m pleased with my team playing a tough game and finding a way to grind out the win against Wallace,” Lucas said. “We will evaluate the game on film and get ready for Knightdale.”