GAMEDAY College Football

Wake Forest 37, Liberty 36

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

By JOHN BRASIER
Associated Press

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Liberty scored with about a minute left but No. 19 Wake Forest stopped CJ Yarbrough's two-point conversion attempt several yards short of the goal line for a tight 37-36 home win.

The Demon Deacons' ground game was ineffective - 21 yards on 26 attempts - so they turned to defense and a passing game, with quarterback Sam Hartman throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns. Wake Forest remains unbeaten at 3-0.

Liberty (2-1) had pulled within a single point on that late 18-yard, fourth-down touchdown grab by Demario Douglas, who jumped high and took the ball away from two Wake defenders in the end zone.

The second half turned out to be a shootout, pitting Hartman against elusive Liberty quarterback Kaidon Salter, a former Tennessee recruit. But Matthew Dennis made the extra point after a 1-yard touchdown run from Justice Ellison with 3:39 left.

The Deacons made three first-half interceptions en route to a 20-8 halftime lead, despite gaining only one yard on offense and yielding a safety on a blocked punt.

The Flames took their first lead on a 43-yard run Dae Dae Hunter, who escaped the grasp of one defender and raced down the middle of the field. A two-point pass put Liberty in front 23-20 less than five minutes into the second half.

Salter ran for 77 yards and one TD and passed for 192 with two TDs, often scrambling to wait for open receivers.

THE TAKEAWAY

Liberty: Liberty was riding momentum with a 23-20 lead in the final minute of the third quarter and had Wake pinned deep after sacking Hartman. But an unnecessary roughness call - the replay didn't show much extra contact on the sack - gave Wake new life. The Deacons converted a fourth-down pass near midfield. Later in the drive, a Liberty interception was negated by a defensive holding call. The drive ended in Matthew Dennis' 46-yard, tying field goal.

Wake Forest: The Deacons struggled on offense, especially in the running game, a source for worry with No. 5 Clemson next on the schedule. Wake, which averaged 181 yards rushing in victories over VMI and Vanderbilt, netted a single yard on its 10 first-half carries. Liberty shut down Wake's read-option running attack. The Deacons had only one run of more than six yards, a 13-yard Hartman scramble.

GAMBLING MAN

Liberty coach Hugh Freese, known since his days at Ole Miss for taking chances on fourth down, took one early against Wake and paid a price. A fourth-and-2 gamble was stopped near midfield, setting up Wake's first field goal. When the Flames took their first lead early in the third quarter, Freese called for a two-point conversion try that resulted in a successful pass and a 23-20 Liberty lead. The final gamble, choosing to opt for a two-point play rather than likely overtime, came up empty.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter LibWake
Wake FG 9:16 Matthew Dennis 33 yd FG 0 3
Second Quarter LibWake
Wake TD 13:19 Jahmal Banks 16 yd pass from Sam Hartman (Matthew Dennis kick) 0 10
Lib FG 10:55 Nick Brown 47 yd FG 3 10
Wake FG 8:39 Matthew Dennis 27 yd FG 3 13
Lib SF 4:39 Team safety 5 13
Wake TD 0:52 Blake Whiteheart 8 yd pass from Sam Hartman (Matthew Dennis kick) 5 20
Lib FG 0:00 Nick Brown 28 yd FG 8 20
Third Quarter LibWake
Lib TD 12:46 Kaidon Salter 43 yd run (Nick Brown kick) 15 20
Lib TD 10:08 Dae Dae Hunter 43 yd run (Demario Douglas 2pt pass from Kaidon Salter) 23 20
Fourth Quarter LibWake
Wake FG 12:39 Matthew Dennis 46 yd FG 23 23
Wake TD 9:14 Jahmal Banks 3 yd pass from Sam Hartman (Matthew Dennis kick) 23 30
Lib TD 5:50 Demario Douglas 38 yd pass from Kaidon Salter (Nick Brown kick) 30 30
Wake TD 3:39 Justice Ellison 1 yd run (Matthew Dennis kick) 30 37
Lib TD 1:11 Demario Douglas 18 yd pass from Kaidon Salter (failed 2pt rush) 36 37
Team Stats
  Liberty Wake Forest
First downs 22 16
  Rushing 8 2
  Passing 12 11
  Penalty 2 3
3rd Down Efficiency 4-17, 24% 6-16, 38%
4th down efficiency 4-5, 80% 1-2, 50%
Rushes-Yards 40-181 26-21
Passing Yards 256 325
Return Yards 123 38
Completions-Attempts-Int 19-37-3 26-44-2
Sacks-Yards Lost 5--30 3--10
Punts 2 4
Punts-Average 42 26.8
Fumbles Lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties - Yards 5-41 8-70
Time of Possession 35:28 24:32
Liberty Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
K. Salter 19 34 256 2 2
J. Bennett 0 3 0 0 1
Wake Forest Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
S. Hartman 26 44 325 3 2
Liberty Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
D. Hunter 18 93 5.2 1
K. Salter 15 77 5.1 1
S. Louis 6 20 3.3 0
J. Bennett 1 -9 -9.0 0
Wake Forest Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
S. Hartman 8 11 1.4 0
J. Ellison 7 4 0.6 1
C. Turner 6 4 0.7 0
Q. Cooley 1 4 4.0 0
Liberty Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Douglas 7 124 17.7 2
C. Snead 3 59 19.7 0
C. Yarbrough 2 36 18.0 0
D. Hunter 5 21 4.2 0
J. Jackson 1 9 9.0 0
N. Frith 1 7 7.0 0
Wake Forest Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
K. Williams 5 129 25.8 0
D. Greene 3 68 22.7 0
J. Banks 6 55 9.2 2
A. Perry 4 33 8.3 0
T. Morin 4 21 5.3 0
B. Whiteheart 3 20 6.7 1
J. Ellison 1 -1 -1.0 0
Liberty Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Q. Reese 1 9
R. Rahimi 1 0
Wake Forest Interceptions
Player Int Yards
I. Wingfield 1 0
C. Jones 1 0
C. Garnes 1 0
Liberty Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Alves 2 84 42.0
Wake Forest Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
I. Mora 3 107 35.7
Liberty Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Wake Forest Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
T. Morin 1 38 38.0
Liberty Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Douglas 4 79 19.8
M. Caper 2 16 8.0
D. Hunter 1 19 19.0
Wake Forest Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Liberty Missed FG
Player Length
N. Brown 52
N. Brown 53
Wake Forest Missed FG
Player Length




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