Opponents will need to start paying attention to Wakefield after its impressive 34-24 win against Middle Creek on Friday night.
“We’re no secret anymore,” said Wakefield coach Rod Sink with a smile.
Wakefield (4-0 and No.11 in the N&O rankings) rolled up 579 yards of offense over previously unbeaten Middle Creek.
“It’s our first big test of the season,” Sink said. “We talked about this all week. Here’s our chance. A lot of people have not said a lot about us. If you want to be talked about in this area you have to win the game.”
People also will be talking more about the Wolverines and the breakout play of senior quarterback Evan Brabrand.
Finally out of the shadows of Connor Mitch, who graduated last year, Brabrand made the most of his chance in the spotlight, finishing with
with 445 yards passing and four touchdowns.
“Evan’s a phenomenal player. Definitely underrated at his position right now. He stepped up tonight,” Sink said.
Wakefield didn’t make it easy on itself, committing several penalties, dropping passes and allowing an early blocked punt that resulted in a 17-7 hole in the second quarter.
Middle Creek’s special teams blocked Jules Drew’s punt at the Wolverines’ 20 yard line. The ensuing scramble caused the ball to skitter to the end zone, where it was recovered by Terrance White for a touchdown and the 17-7 lead.
After the teams traded punts, Wakefield closed the gap on a 15-yard TD pass from Brabrand to Kelton Whitehead. Two plays earlier, Brabrand completed a 20-yard pass to Nick Dennis on a fourth-and-15 to keep the drive alive.
The Wolverines then stopped the Mustangs on a three-and-out. Wakefield worked against the Middle Creek defense, and itself, to move the ball down the field. Wakefield committed six penalties for 36 yards on the drive, but the end result was another touchdown pass from Brabrand to Whitehead for a 21-17 lead with 13 seconds left in the half.
“I think that was the turning point in the game. It gave us the momentum going into the half,” Sink said.
The teams’ respective defenses seemed to settle down to start the second half, but the no-huddle offense employed by both teams was quickly wearing down the defenders.
Wakefield capitalized first using an 11-play drive culminating in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Brabrand to Jake Butler. The score gave the Wolverines a 28-17 lead late in the third quarter.
Middle Creek responded early in the fourth quarter with Elijah Perry’s 8-yard touchdown run. The score closed the gap 28-24. The nine-play drive took only 1:28.
However, Wakefield answered on its ensuing possession. Brabrand had passes of 30 and 29 yards on the drive. Whitehead capped it with a 7-yard touchdown run. The extra point was blocked, leaving Wakefield a 34-24 lead with 9:38 left.
Despite the efforts of quarterback Brant Grisel, who finished with 187 yards passing, Middle Creek (2-2) couldn’t get the offense clicking for the remainder of the game. Dropped passes and the Wolverines’ defense kept the Mustangs out of Wakefield territory for the remainder of the game.
“We weren’t supposed to beat this team, so we had a little chip on our shoulder. We really went after it in practice, we really wanted to show everyone we could play,” Brabrand said.