Watch the entire game at www.ACCSelect.com
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. The Army football team began its two-game ACC road stretch with a 21-10 loss at Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon in front of 32,142 fans at BB&T Field.
The loss dropped Army to 1-2, while the Demon Deacons earned their first victory of the season (1-2).
Both offenses battled turnovers throughout the game. Army threw two interceptions and lost one fumble, while the Demon Deacons turned it over three times on fumbles.
Wake Forest scored 14 of its 21 points on defense and special teams. Kenny Moore started the scoring with a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown, and Aaron Curry returned an interception 84 yards for a score in the first half.
The Army offense outgained Wake Forest, 256-213, but converted several opportunities in Demon Deacons’ territory into only three points.
Sophomore QB Carson Williams made his fifth career start, and first of 2007, completing 14-of-34 passes for 165 yards and two interceptions. Williams’ favorite target was senior WR Corey Anderson who caught four passes for a career-best 66 yards. Senior WR Jeremy Trimble had three catches for 22 yards to run his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 13 games. Sophomore WR Damion Hunter made the first two receptions of his career for a total of 21 yards.
Junior RB Wesley McMahand was Army’s leading rusher for the third time this season with 45 yards on 11 carries. Senior FB Mike Viti accounted for the lone Army touchdown with a 3-yard run. Viti gained eight yards on six carries. Junior RB Tony Dace set career bests with 34 yards on 12 carries. Rookie RB Patrick Mealy saw his first extended action with 23 yards on six carries.
Defensively, freshman DE Joshua McNary recorded his first career sack, an assist with sophomore DT Mike Gann, and had two tackles in his collegiate debut. Army was able to record two sack and five tackles for loss in the contest. Senior SS Caleb Campbell led the defense with 11 total tackles, including one for loss. Senior CB John Laird and senior LB Brian Chmura each had seven stops. Sophomore DT Ted Bentler recorded a career-high five stops, including 1.5 for loss.
Wake Forest QB Brett Hodges threw for 49 yards, completing 9-of-12 passes. Josh Adams rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, while Moore led the receiving corps with five caches for 26 yards.
The Black Knights took the first offensive possession and drove into Demon Deacons territory, but a holding penalty forced a 1st-and-20. On third down, Williams’ pass attempt was tipped and intercepted by Stanley Arnoux. The Black Knights’ defense held firm, however, forcing Wake Forest into a three-and-out on its first offensive drive.
Army could not pick up a first down on its next possession, forcing the first of nine Owen Tolson punts on the day. Moore fielded the ball at the Wake Forest 45-yard line and went 55 yards for the game’s first score. Sam Swank’s extra point gave the Deacons a 7-0 lead with 8:12 left in the first quarter.
Another Army three-and-out set up the Demon Deacons at their own 45-yard line. Adams capped the five-play, 55-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. Swank’s second PAT of the game gave Wake a 14-0 lead with 6:15 left in the first quarter.
Army was able to move to midfield on the ensuing possession before a 42-yard punt pinned Wake Forest at its own 14-yard line. A holding penalty on first down backed the Demon Deacons up to the 7-yard line. The Black Knights appeared to gain the field position advantage, but Swank hit a 64-yard punt that Trimble returned to the Army 25-yard line. A false start on the first play of the drive gave Army a first down on its 20-yard line for the fourth straight possession.
Dace gained 11 yards on the first play of the drive and ran for five more on the next play to give the Black Knights a first down at their own 36-yard line. Army moved the ball into Wake Forest territory on the first play of the second quarter when Williams found junior WR Mike Wright for a 19-yard gain, the longest of his career. Army kept the drive alive when Anderson converted a 3rd-and-9 with a diving catch along the left sideline to give the Black Knights a first down on the Deacs’ 15-yard line. The play was reviewed by instant replay, but the officials in the booth upheld the catch. A four-yard run by Viti gave the Black Knights a 1st-and-goal at the 3-yard line, and Viti did the honors on the next play for his second touchdown in as many weeks. Adam DeMarco’s PAT cut the Wake lead to 14-7 with 11:41 left in the second quarter. Williams completed 4-of-5 passes for 51 yards on the 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive.
Wake Forest drove inside the Army 25-yard line on its next possession, but back-to-back tackles behind the line thwarted the Deacons’ scoring attempt. Junior LB Frank Scappaticci snuffed out an end around on second down for five-yard loss, while Gann and Bentler dropped Hodges for a six-yard loss on a third-down quarterback draw attempt to force a punt.
Army took over at its own 13-yard line. Despite not being able to move the sticks, the Black Knights were able to flip field position when Tolson boomed a season-long 64-yard punt that was downed at the Wake 14-yard line.
The Deacons committed their first turnover when Moore fumbled and Laird recovered to give the Black Knights the ball on the Wake 23-yard line. On 3rd-and-9 from the 22, Curry stepped in front of Williams’ pass at the 16-yard line and returned it 84 yards for the Wake Forest score. Swank’s third PAT pushed the Deacons lead to 21-7 with 3:21 left in the half.
Army moved the ball into Wake territory after a 17-yard catch and run by Carlo Sandiego, but the offense could not move the chains again to force a Tolson punt that landed in the end zone for a touchback. The Demon Deacons ran three straight running plays to end the half and go into the locker room with a 14-point advantage.
The Black Knights outgained Wake Forest 200-122 in the first 30 minutes, including a 125-13 advantage through the air. Williams completed 10-of-21 passes for 125 yards and two interceptions during the first half. Dace led the rushing attack with 31 yards on 10 carries, while Trimble paced Army’s receivers with three catches. Anderson accounted for a team-best 30 first-half receiving yards on two catches.
Wake received the opening kickoff of the second half, but the Deacons fumbled on their second play. Senior LB Charlie Rockwood forced the fumble, and senior CB Kevin Opoku fell on it to give Army the ball at the Wake Forest 40-yard line. Mealy picked up eight on second down, but Williams was forced to throw the ball away on both second and third down to turn the ball back over to the Demon Deacons.
The Army defense again did its part, forcing yet another turnover. Brandon Thompson caused an errant pitch on an option play and Campbell recovered the ball at the Wake Forest 42-yard line. The Black Knights went to the ground game on their first seven plays of the ensuing possession, including a 1-yard plunge by Viti to convert a fourth down. The drive stalled at the 19-yard line, but junior K Adam DeMarco converted a 36-yard field with 7:26 remaining in the third quarter to cut the Wake lead to 21-10. It was DeMarco’s first career field goal.
Wake responded by driving inside the Black Knights’ 40-yard line, but the defense stiffened and held on third down when Bentler registered a sack to force a punt. It was the Demon Deacons’ turn to force a turnover. Anderson caught a screen pass and turned up field for what would have been a first down, but a Wake defender stripped the ball from behind and the Deacs took over at the Army 44-yard line. Wake Forest could not take advantage and neither offense mustered much of a threat as the Deacons held on for the 21-10 win.
The Black Knights take to the road again next week, traveling to Boston College on Saturday, Sept. 22. The game can be seen live on ESPN Classic at 1 p.m.