Wake Forest’s defense put the clamps on the high-powered offense of No. 21 Middle Creek (Apex) for a 21-17 overtime win Friday in a North Carolina 4AA semifinal.
The game was voted the Super 25 Game of the Week by readers of USA TODAY High School Sports.
Middle Creek (14-1) had been averaging 47 points a game, but the Mustangs couldn’t much going against the Cougars (15-0), who have allowed less than six points a game.
After tying the game at 14-14 with the help from some special teams play, Middle Creek had a chance to win the game with two minutes left and the ball at its own 23 when Wake Forest forced a fumble. Wake’s Cougars then missed a field goal that would have ended the game in regulation.
The Mustangs had the first possession of overtime but had to settle for a field goal. Wake ended the game when Devon Lawrence, a Clemson commit, ran it in from the 1-yard line for his second touchdown of the game.
Wake Forest got the only score of the first half, a 7-yard run by Delante Lucas in the first quarter.
A failed punt allowed Wake Forest to go up 14-0 early in the third quarter on a Lawrence 1-yard run. Lawrence ran for 103 yards in the first half alone.
Middle Creek’s first score didn’t even come on offense as a blocked field goal and 65-yard return by Daniel Jackson for a touchdown cut Wake Forest’s lead to 14-7 with seven minutes remaining in the game.
Another special teams play led to the Mustangs’ next score. They recovered an onside kickoff and one play later, Dominique Hoffner found Shammond Hicks for a 27-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14.
With the victory, Wake Forest will play in the 4AA state championship next Saturday against Page (Greensboro).