Deacs Outscore Aggies 55-52 to Win Belk Bowl
Dec. 29, 2017
By Wake Forest Athletic Communications (@WakeFB)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Wake Forest concluded the 2017 season with a 55-52 victory over Texas A&M in a Belk Bowl shootout at Bank of America Stadium. In the highest scoring game in program history, the Demon Deacons (8-5) edged the Aggies (7-6) in a contest that featured over 100 total points and 1,200 yards of total offense.
Belk Bowl MVP John Wolford threw for 400 yards, his second career 400-yard passing game, and four touchdowns in his final game as a Demon Deacon. Matt Colburn II had 150 rushing yards, his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Scotty Washington and Cam Serigne each had nine catches, for 138 and 112 yards, respectively, to lead the passing attack.
The Demon Deacons amassed 646 yards of total offense, the second-most in school history. It was the fourth 600-yard game in Wake Forest history, with three of the four coming this season.
Jaboree Williams, in his Wake Forest finale, led the defense with 11 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. Cameron Glenn and Justin Strnad each had 10 tackles. Texas A&M jumped out to the lead as the Aggies blocked a Dom Maggio punt and recovered it in the end zone to take a 7-0 advantage early in the first quarter. The Aggies doubled the lead with a 2-yard run by Trayveon Williams to make the score 14-0 less than four minutes into the game.
The Deacs got on the board with a 50-yard pass from Wolford to Washington to cut the lead in half midway through the first quarter. On the next possession, Wake Forest took advantage of a roughing the kicker penalty on a field goal attempt and Wolford threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Hines to tie the contest. A 66-yard run by Colburn set up a 28-yard field goal from Mike Weaver to give the Deacs their first lead at 17-14 late in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, the Deacs pushed the lead to 24-14 on Wolford's second 7-yard touchdown pass to Hines. A 59-yard punt return from Jessie Bates III made it 31 consecutive points for the Deacs, who led 31-14 early in the second quarter. Texas A&M stopped the run midway through the quarter on a 52-yard touchdown pass to Christian Kirk to cut the lead to 31-21.
Cam Serigne set the ACC career touchdown record for a tight end with his 21st career touchdown catch on a 37-yard pass from Wolford to push the Wake Forest lead to 38-21. In the final minute of the quarter, Kirk's second touchdown catch, this one from 10 yards, made the halftime score 38-28 in favor of the Deacs.
Texas A&M opened the second half with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kirk, his third of the game, to cut the advantage to 38-35. A 47-yard pass to Alex Bachman set up Weaver's second field goal of the day, a 27-yarder that extended the lead to 41-35. The Aggies retook the lead, 42-41, late in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Keith Ford.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Wake Forest defense made a goal-line stand to force a 19-yard field goal, which the Aggies made to push their lead to 45-41. The Deacs retook the lead with 9:06 left as they went for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard line and Cade Carney scored off an option pitch to give Wake Forest a 48-45 lead.
Texas A&M used a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jhamon Ausbon with 5:52 remaining to go ahead 52-48. The Deacs answered with a 13-play, 69-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard run by Colburn to retake the lead 55-52 with 2:18 to play. The Wake Forest defense sealed the win by forcing a turnover on downs with 0:28 seconds left.
With the victory, the Demon Deacons have won bowl games in consecutive years for the second time in school history (2007 and 2008). Wake Forest also set a school record with six wins this season over bowl eligible opponents.
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