Wake Forest Holds First Preseason Scrimmage
Aug. 15, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Wake Forest football team held its first intrasquad scrimmage of the preseason on Monday morning at BB&T Field. The Demon Deacons scrimmaged for almost two hours and saw a number of highlights on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, quarterback Tanner Price finished the day 10-of-14 passing for 175 yards and a touchdown. Danny Dembry was the main beneficiary of Price's efficiency, as the senior wide receiver caught six passes for a team-high 112 yards.
"I thought our offense was a little better than I expected," said head coach Jim Grobe. "It was fun to see our receivers catch some balls. We probably caught more balls today, just caught them clean and did stuff with them, than we did all spring. I just thought our guys did a good job catching the football."
"What you see with [Josh Harris] and Brandon Pendergrass is you see some pretty good decision-making," said Grobe. "They're pretty decisive about picking a hole. The thing I liked about [Harris] and Brandon too is once there wasn't really anything there, they lowered their shoulder and tried to minimize the effect. We didn't take those backup five-yard losses like we did in the spring."
Defensively, free safety Josh Bush led Wake with 10 tackles. Cyhl Quarles, Scott Betros and Joey Ehrmann each finished with seven tackles, while Mike Olson and Desmond Floyd registered six apiece. Floyd had 3.5 tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks, on the day.
As a team, the defense finished with 17 sacks but were aided on occasion by a no-contact rule on the Deacon quarterbacks which stopped play at first contact.
"I was disappointed we took too many sacks at the quarterback position," said Grobe. "I thought three or four times we could have gotten rid of the football and not taken a sack so we have to get better at that stuff."
The offense did not hit paydirt until its fourth drive of the day when Price led the first team unit 65 yards on six plays. Price hooked up with Dembry on consecutive plays, first on a 15-yard gain and then a 41-yard grab that put the ball at the two-yard line. Two plays later, Pendergrass bulled in for the score.
Chubb's interception return for a touchdown came five possessions later, but Price and the offense responded immediately. The Deacons went 65 yards on eight plays, culminating in Pendergrass' five-yard touchdown run. The senior tailback picked up 32 yards on four carries during the drive, while Dembry had a pair of catches for 16 yards.
After throwing a pick in his last action under center, Patrick Thompson redeemed himself on his next chance at the helm of the offense three possessions later. Facing a third-and-20 after a sack from Daniel Vogelsang put the ball on the offense's own 25, Thompson connected with Turner Faulk on a nice pass across the middle. Faulk eluded a couple of defenders and found his way into the endzone for a 75-yard touchdown reception.
Price engineered a third scoring drive when he led the Deacons 65 yards on seven plays. Price found James on a 12-yard gain to move the offense into the red zone. The two then hooked up again three plays later when Price hit James in the back of the end zone for a 14-yard score.
The Deacons capped the scoring on their next possession when Jimmy Newman hit a 44-yard field goal. Quarterback Ted Stachitas hit tight end Andrew Parker on a 33-yard gain to put the ball at the defense's 28. The drive stalled three plays later, and Newman put the three points on the board with relative ease.
Wake Forest also got in some punting work during Monday's scrimmage with Alex Wulfeck and Alexander Kinal splitting the duties. Kinal out-distanced Wulfeck by an average of almost 15 yards with the wind at their backs, but Wulfeck bested Kinal by two yards when kicking into the wind.
The Deacons are scheduled to hold a second practice on campus tonight at 5 p.m. and will then return to the field on Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. Wake Forest's second preseason scrimmage is set for Friday, Aug. 19, at 9:30 a.m. at BB&T Field. Admission is free and is open to the public.