Wake For­est rolls past Leesville Road and into 4AA semi­fi­nal round

The News & Observer (Sunday) - - Sports - BY TOM SHANA­HAN

Two-time de­fend­ing state cham­pion Wake For­est ex­tended its win­ning streak to 43 games and ad­vanced to the semi­fi­nals for a third straight year in the N.C. High School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion 4AA state play­offs.

The Cougars (12-0) rolled up 220 yards rush­ing and 206 pass­ing in a 41-10 win over Leesville Road (10-3) on Fri­day night at Tren­tini Sta­dium.

Wake For­est, which had a first-round bye and beat Fuquay-Va­rina in the sec­ond round 55-7, over­pow­ered The Pride on its first pos­ses­sion. The Cougars drove 82 yards and 11 plays with se­nior run­ning back De­mar­cus Jones scor­ing on a 5-yard run.

How­ever, a blocked extra-point kick opened the door to a rar­ity – the Cougars trail­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Leesville Road, aided by a rough­ing the punter penalty, took a 7-6 lead when Noah Bur­nett caught a touch­down pass and kicked the extra point.

He scored on a 6-yard toss from Vince Amen­dola with 8:59 left in the first half.

But the lead lasted only 1:30.

Wake For­est se­nior Keish­mund Rodgers re­turned the en­su­ing kick­off 80 yards to the Leesville Road 15.

Se­nior quar­ter­back Ma­teo Sudipo scored three plays later on a 1-yard run for a 13-7 lead.

The Pride, who lost to Wake For­est by only 13 points (31-18) when they met in non-con­fer­ence mid­sea­son game, trailed only 20-10 at half­time thanks to Bur­nette’s 40yard field goal.

But Wake’s de­fense stiff­ened as the Cougars outscored Leesville 21-0 in the sec­ond half.

Traevon Ke­nion scored on a 43-yard pass, Maquel Hay­wood on a 9-yard pass and Jones on an 8-yard run.

Sudipo com­pleted 7 of 9 passes for 207 yards with two touch­downs pass­ing and one rush­ing.

Ke­nion fin­ished with five catches for 162 yards. His 76-yarder in the sec­ond-quar­ter set up Hay­wood’s first TD, a 4-yard run.

Hay­wood ran 14 times for 78 yards and one TD in ad­di­tion to his TD catch.

For Leesville, Amen­dola was 14-of-25 for 147 yards and one TD.


Wake For­est’s Chance Smith, right, in­ter­cepts a pass in­tended for Nyzere Baker, cen­ter, of Leesville Road dur­ing Fri­day’s game. Wake For­est won 41-10.

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