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RALEIGH — Wake Forest’s football team handled Wakefield for the sixth year in a row with a 41-24 victory on the road Friday.
The Cougars got off to a hot start with a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. It was a scoreless second quarter and then both teams started scoring again in the second half.
Wake Forest added 17 points in the third quarter and Austin Riley converted a field goal in the fourth. Wakefield tried to climb back into the game with 12 points in each of the last two quarters.
Wake Forest head coach Reggie Lucas said the defense played well in the beginning, which helped the offense play more comfortable.
“We play well defensively and were able to get great field position early in the game that led to scores,” Lucas said.
With senior running back Maquel Haywood still out with a knee injury, the Cougars relied heavily on running backs Chris Moore and Elijah Hines. Moore carried the ball 12 times for 112 yards and a rushing touchdown along with 22 receiving yards. Hines banked in two touchdown runs off of 49 rushing yards.
“We knew coming into this season Chris Moore would be a force,” Lucas said. “He did well last year as a sophomore and continues to excel this year. Chris works hard at practice and in the weight room. He does his job and enjoys playing. Elijah Hines moved from linebacker to running back to give us some depth at the fullback position. Every week he has gotten better. Early on this year, he had a few fumbles, but has become a force in the middle with his power. We will need both of them to continue to run and block well if we are going to have success on offense.”
The Cougars showed balance on offense with another great game from quarterback Noah Douglas. The senior completed seven out of 10 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. One was to Triston Spencer and the other was a 64-yard bomb to David Sanchez.
“Noah is one of the better quarterbacks in Wake County and every week he is proving it,” Lucas said. “Noah can not only run well, but he is a good passer when we give him time. He is a great leader on offense.”
As for Wakefield, they had some standout performances in the losing effort. Quarterback Trexler Ivey tried to guide the Wolverines to a comeback with 388 passing yards and three touchdowns. The senior also carried the ball nine times for 43 yards and a touchdown. He also threw two picks.
Juwan Bunch led the Wakefield receivers with seven catches for 193 yards and caught all three of Ivey’s touchdowns.
With the loss, Wakefield dropped to 5-5 overall and 1-3 in NAC 6 conference play. After starting the season 3-1, the Wolverines have lost four of their last six games.
With the win, Wake Forest improved to 9-1 overall and 4-0 in NAC 6 conference play. The Cougars also finished the regular season undefeated on the road at 5-0.
Wake Forest will have a conference rivalry showdown with Heritage at home Friday night at 7 p.m. to determine the NAC 6 champion. Heritage is also undefeated in conference play and is coming off a big win against Rolesville, a team that took the Cougars to overtime last week.
“We need to continue to focus on the game at hand and don’t get distracted by outside things,” Lucas said.
Wakefield will play at Knightdale Friday at 7 p.m.