Wake Forest 35
By David Allen
WAKE FOREST — A three-year losing streak was broken Friday night as Wake Forest’s football team defeated their longtime rival Leesville 35-18 on homecoming night.
The game started off a little rocky for the Cougars, as they received the starting kickoff but fumbled the ball two plays later.
While the Cougars halted the Pride’s first drive, they were unable to keep them out for long. With 6:29 left in the game, Leesville was able to drive into the end zone to take the initial lead 6-0 with a blocked extra point.
Wake Forest was quick to reply, however, after freshman Devon Lawrence made a huge kickoff return and then finished off the drive to push the Cougars past Leesville, 7-6.
Still in the second quarter, Wake Forest senior Bryce Love sprinted into the end zone for his first touchdown of the night, making it 14-6 with 9:21 left in the half. He followed that one with another on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Mack Moore for another seven points.
The Cougars seemed unstoppable as they gained control of the ball after another defensive stop and were churning down the field. But a Leesville defender jumped to intercept a pass which put seven more points on the board before the half came to an end, making it 21-12.
Both teams battled back and forth for the first half of the third quarter, until Love scored another touchdown after running 51-yards with 5:32.
On his fourth and final touchdown run, Love made a short dash for the goal line to get his fourth of the night giving the Cougars the lead, 35-12.
Leesville continued to fight back and were able to take advantage of a Wake Forest fumble that they then turned into a touchdown which would be the last of the night as the game wound down to a close.
Love had a huge game with 232 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns to his name, reinforcing his position as a powerful weapon in Wake Forest’s arsenal.
“The coaches showed us everything we needed in practice,” Love said after the game. “The blocks were good and the plays we wanted to hit opened up for us. It was just another game and step in the right direction.”
Wake Forest head coach Reggie Lucas is pleased with how his team played, despite more turnovers than he would have liked. But like every other game he and his team are focused on the game right ahead of them and are not letting anything else distract the from their goal – the state playoffs.
The undefeated Cougars play again at Sanderson Friday at 7 p.m.