Wake Forest holds first football scrimmage of fall camp

Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest ran 103 plays during a 90 minute controlled scrimmage Saturday night at BB&T Field. The offense scored four touchdowns and added three field goals in the first of two expected preseason scrimmages.

wfu football practiceFreshman quarterback Sam Hartman led the Deacons on their first scoring drive which resulted in a 28-yard field goal by redshirt freshman kicker Zach Murphy. The offense added a second score, under the direction of redshirt freshman quarterback Tayvon Bowers, on a 41-yard run by freshman running back Courtney McKinney. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Jamie Newman raced 56-yards for a score on a third-and-two situation for the third touchdown of the game. The final touchdown came on a five-yard pass from Hartman to freshman wide receiver A.T. Perry.

Freshman kicker Nick Sciba added a pair of field, converting from 32 and 49 yards.

Hartman completed 16 of 25 passes for 129 yards and one touchdown while Newman was 13-of-17 for 70 yards. Bowers completed his only pass attempt of the evening for six yards.

McKinney and junior Cade Carney led the Deacons in rushing with 79 yards each. McKinney had eight carries while Carney had 10. Newman had seven carries for 47 yards while Matt Colburn II gained 36 yards on nine carries.

Redshirt junior wide receiver James Sriraman was the top pass catcher with five receptions for 46 yards. Redshirt freshman Jaquarii Roberson had five catches for 18 yards while redshirt sophomore tight end Brandon Chapman and Perry each caught four passes for 31 yards.

Freshman linebacker Vincent Notzon led the Demon Deacon defense with seven tackles. Linebacker D.J. Taylor, a sophomore, added six stops and sack. Defensive tackle Connor Hebbeler and defensive end Manny Walker each had two sacks. Freshman defensive back Zion Keith led the club with a pair of pass break-ups.

“I thought the energy level, the effort, all those intangible things were good,” said head coach Dave Clawson. “Like any first scrimmage, there’s a lot of things to clean up. In our five years here, it was as balanced a scrimmage as we’ve had. We had three years that the defense dominated. Last year the offense would dominate. This was good back and forth. You didn’t walk out of this thinking one side of the ball is way ahead of the other.”

Clawson was asked if he was pleased with the poise shown by his quarterbacks during the scrimmage.

“No question, when you get in this atmosphere, things feel a lot more rushed,” said Clawson. “In our practices, we don’t always go all tempo and today was all tempo. The challenge of playing quarterback in our offense is the ability to do that for 60 minutes, 80 to 90 plays, and make all those decisions as quick as you have to make them in our offense. I think they both did some good things.”

Clawson was asked if he was pleased with the defense in the scrimmage.

“Overall, yes, but we were having a great scrimmage on defense then we gave up the one big play (Newman’s 56-yard run) and that kind of opened the cap a little bit,” said Clawson. “I thought it was good back and forth and I was really happy with the field goal and extra point team. We lost an all-conference kicker (to graduation) in Mike Weaver and that’s a concern but I thought both (Zach Murphy and Nick Sciba) kicked the ball well.”

Wake Forest opens the 2018 season on Thursday, August 30 at Tulane. The home opener with Towson is slated for Saturday, September 8 at BB&T Field.