Sep 1, 2012
It’s Football 101 – find a way to stop the other team’s strength.
For Wakefield’s defense, that meant stopping the Knightdale running backs. For the Knights, it meant shutting down the Wolverines’ passing attack.
Wakefield got an ‘A’, Knightdale an ‘F’ as the Wolverines earned a 34-7 nonconference victory on the road Friday night.
“Our defense has been phenomenal all year,” Wakefield coach Rod Sink said. “They did a great job. They get after people and they play football like you want to play football.”
Sink added that it was a no-brainer that his team had to shut down the Knights’ runners who amassed 368 yards in a win over Millbrook last week.
“Of course,” he said. “When you have a team like that, with the talented running backs they have, you want to make sure that they have to throw the ball.”
Knightdale (1-1, 0-0 Greater Neuse) ran for just 120 yards on 33 carries. In the air, the Knights completed a measly 4 of 18 passes for a measly 88 yards – 39 coming on a TD pass by backup William Lassiter to Marquavious Johnson that ended Wakefield’s shutout bid with 4 minutes and 28 seconds left in the game.
“The first rule of defense is to align to stop their best play, and they did it,” Knightdale coach Robert Senseney said. “We saw that and we went to step two, which every offense should do, and we just didn’t click.”
Meanwhile, South Carolina commit Connor Mitch completed 19 of 38 passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns to pace the Wolverines (3-0 overall, 0-0 Cap Eight). Jordan Fielleteau had seven catches for 96 yards and two scores, while Tommy Evans had four receptions for 65 yards and a pair to TDs.
Despite the lopsided score, the Wolverines were not satisfied with the final product. They believed they could have done more, Mitch said.
“We scored quick tonight, and then we took our foot off the pedal,” Mitch said. “We kind of coasted it and we shouldn’t have. We should keep pushing it and I guess that’s something we should learn from.”
A key moment in the game came midway through the first quarter. Down 7-0, Knightdale’s Christopher Malone stepped in front of a Mitch pass, but the ball bounded off his hands and fell incomplete.
Three plays later, Mitch hit Evans for a 10-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 with 6:13 on the clock.
The Knights marched 52 yards down to the Wolverines’ 11 before missing a field-goal attempt on the next drive. Not downtrodden, the defense stuffed Wakefield and had great field position at the Wolverines’ 47.
However, on second down, Wakefield’s Xavier Smith batted a pass by Dylon Alexander and Nick Dennis scooped it out of the air and returned it for a touchdown for a 21-0 lead as the first quarter expired.
It was one of three interceptions on the night by the Wolverines.
“They were all really important,” Smith said. “We made those turnovers in crucial situations.”
The string of momentum shifts were so quick it put his team in a tough spot, Senseney said.
“It felt like we were always down 0-2 in the count,” he said. “It was kind of a weird deal.”
Defense set up the last Wakefield score of the half when Smith picked off a Alexander pass and returned it into Knights’ territory. Mitch eventually connected with Evans for a 16-yard TD to make it 27-0.
The Wolverines’ final score came at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Mitch lofted a pass over two Knightdale defenders to an in stride Fielleteau for a 15-yard score.
Both teams will have winless opponents next week as Wakefield hosts East Wake (0-3), while Knightdale will travel to Enloe (0-3).
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