Preview: Wake Forest at Middle Creek football

mblake@newsobserver.comDecember 2, 2013 

Friday games

No. 12 Wake Forest (11-3)

at No. 2 Middle Creek (12-2)

The Cougars will visit the Mustangs with a spot in the 4AA state championship on the line.

Wake Forest runs the Wing-T offense and is balanced with who carries. It has three players with more than 690 yards rushing, led by highly-recruited junior Bryce Love (1,911 yards, 26 TDs). Sophomore lineman Dexter Lawrence has ACC offers as well. The Cougars have thrown the ball just 97 times this year, but quarterback Mack Moore has no interceptions. The Cougars’ three losses came by a combined 12 points.

Middle Creek shut down one of the state’s best playmakers last week, and this isn’t the dominant Wake Forest of previous years. The Cougars won a second-round game with just 133 yards total. In a regular-season loss to Sanderson, it was held to just 166 yards rushing on 40 carries. If there is one area where Wake Forest can neutralize Middle Creek’s run defense, it’s how well the Cougars defend the pass. Middle Creek is averaging about 224 passing yards per game.

Last time they met: This will be the first meeting.

The game starts 7:30 p.m.

Player of the Week

Junior quarterback Brant Grisel completed 34 of 57 passes against Garner for 413 yards and two touchdowns. Grisel became the third passer in school history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season, joining current N.C. State quarterback Garrett Leatham and current Campbell quarterback David Salmon.

Overtime points

• Middle Creek is the first team from the current Southwestern Wake Athletic Conference to play in an East final since Panther Creek in 2010 (the Catamounts lost at Wake Forest).

• Middle Creek is on a 10-game win streak, second-longest in school history, and has won its last eight games at home. Since 2009, Middle Creek is 33-3 at home, having lost only to Leesville Road and Garner (twice).

• Wake Forest has seven straight seasons with nine or more wins, the longest streak of any Wake County school. Middle Creek’s nine-win season streak is at five.

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