Cougars pour on the heat following flagrant foul.
by Clellie Allen
WAKE FOREST — The Cougars seemed to struggle initially against Millbrook in their second conference game of the season, but by the middle of the second quarter had shaken off whatever was hampering them, and finished the game with a solid 31-25 win over the Wildcats.
At the beginning of the year, the Cougars set a goal for themselves, to not allow an opponent to score more than 14 points. And with the exception of their away game versus equally top-ranked, but non-conference Hoggard High, the Cougars have not had trouble meeting that goal.
Friday, however, Wake Forest found themselves in unfamiliar territory, allowing an aggressive Millbrook to go up 13-0.
The Wildcats, however, overplayed their hand. In the second quarter, as Raul Oquendo was racing down the field for Millbrook’s second touchdown, following a Wake Forest turnover, the Cougars’ Bryson Hestor was laid out flat by a Millbrook player, some 20 yards behind play action.
There was some question whether or not the blatantly personal foul occurred before or after the touchdown, nonetheless, the referees allowed the score to stand, assessing the penalty on the kickoff and ejecting the Millbrook offender.
That foul proved pivotal for the Cougars as they proceeded to put up 31 unanswered points.
Senior defensive back Kendall Massey netted a key interception with just over six minutes to go in the half. Three downs later, junior Bryce Love scored on a 15-yard run with sophomore Cole Westberry nailing the extra point.
Wake Forest squeezed in 14 additional points in just six minutes, even while Millbrook got penalized for yet another egregious chop block foul.
Love got the second touchdown with 2:43 to play in the second, on a 10-yard rush.
Following a interception by Wake Forest’s Kyle Stollmeyer, quarterback Mack Moore put the lid on the first half with a short 3-yard keeper play to make it 21-13.
The Cougars were not through making their point to Millbrook. On the opening kickoff after the break, Love caught the ball on his own 5-yard line and cut through the Millbrook players, scoring a 95-yard touchdown in 13 seconds. Westberry was equally perfect with his extra points and later in the third made a field goal.
Massey continued to harass the Millbrook receivers, batting down passes and staying in the face of whomever he was covering. He and fellow defensive back Chris Leonard covered everything from nearly lateral tosses to deep half-field hail Marys.
In the fourth quarter, with less than two minutes left in the game, Millbrook managed to get one more touchdown. Wake Forest denied the extra point and on the kick off, the Wildcats tried an onside kick. The Cougars were able to recover the ball and then run the time off the clock for the win.
Now 6-0, the Cougars are ranked 11th in the state. Friday, they will take on next door neighbor Wakefield, also 6-0. Wakefield is just a bit behind Wake Forest with a state ranking of 35. The two teams will not only play to retain a perfect record, they will also play for the Predator Trophy. Game time is 7 p.m. at Wakefield.
Wake Forest 49, Broughton 10
Before taking on the Millbrook Wildcats at home, the Cougars traveled to conference foe Broughton Sept. 27, following a bye-week. They easily dispatched the Capitals 49-10, with touchdowns shared by Brooks Cunningham, Love, Jamal Sweet and Devonte Reynolds.
Love tallied 20 points in that game, with Reynolds netting 12. Cunningham and Sweet had six a piece.
Westberry was also a key player in that game making five points on kicks.