Sophomore quarterback Jamie Newman threw for 128 yards and Christian Beal had a pair of rushing touchdowns to lead the Gold team to a 26-6 win over the Black team on Saturday at BB&T Field in the annual Wake Forest Spring Game. The scrimmage was held in mist and rain with the temperature hovering in the low 40s.
“It was good to see the offense in tough conditions,” said head coach Dave Clawson. “We started out fast and moved the ball well. Like any scrimmage, there are things I’m excited about and things I’m concerned about. We have a lot of work to do before we’re ready to play a game, that’s for sure.”
The Gold team tallied first as Beal scored on a nine-yard run, set up by a 43-yard pass from Newman to Alex Bachman.
The Black team rebounded with its only score of the game as Greg Dortch caught a five-yard pass from Kendall Hinton on the next possession. The Black team’s PAT was blocked.
Strong special teams
The Gold team tallied a safety when defensive tackle Zeek Rodney touched Hinton down in the end zone on a pass attempt. The safety was set up by Zach Murphy’s 44-yard punt that was downed on the three-yard line. The safety put the Gold up 9-6.
In the second quarter, the Gold extended its lead to 16-6 when Beal notched his second rushing touchdown of the scrimmage. Freshman quarterback Sam Hartman engineered the 50-yard drive which featured Beal carrying five times for 30 yards.
After the Black team lost the ball on downs, Beal and Newman drove the Gold team 85 yards with the key play coming on a 42-yard pass from Newman to redshirt freshman Sage Surratt. Zach Murphy nailed a 26-yard field goal for a 19-6 Gold advantage.
In the second half, the Gold team earned its final score as junior Cade Carney barreled over several defenders en route to a 21-yard touchdown run.
Beal led the Gold team in rushing with 97 yards on 14 carries. Newman completed nine of 13 passes for 128 yards while Hartman had 80 yards on seven of 13 passing. Surratt was the scrimmage’s top receiver with 106 yards on six receptions.
“Christian (Beal) is going to be a really good player for us,” said Clawson. “He’s a home run threat. He’s going to be in the mix. We have every type of back you can want. If we can keep Cade Carney, Matt Colburn and Christian Beal all healthy, we have three tailbacks that can do a lot of good things with the football. They’re physical, they make people miss and can run for big plays. That’s exciting.
“Sage missed a lot of the spring with an injury, but he’ll make plays and give us some depth at receiver. It gives us some flexibility with (Alex) Bachman and lets us put him in the slot. Our offensive line is good and they should be good. We have the top six guys back.”
Hinton struggles passing
Hinton rushed for 118 yards on 15 carries to lead the Black team on the ground while throwing for 21 yards on five of 17 pass attempts. Steven Claude led the Black team receivers with two receptions for 19 yards while Dortch had two catches for 13 yards.
“(Kendall) was erratic,” said Clawson. “He can make plays with his feet. If it was live today, he may have scored two or three touchdowns.”
Linebacker D.J. Taylor led all defenders with nine stops for the Black team. Defensive end Michael Allen had a pair of sacks while Chris Calhoun, Chuck Wade, and Cameron Glenn all had one sack for the Black.
Carlos Basham, Jr. led the Gold with seven tackles and a sack while Manny Walker and Zeek Rodney added sacks. Freshman Zion Keith recorded the lone interception of the scrimmage when he picked off Matthew Considine in the final quarter.
“I was a little disappointed at corner today,” said Clawson. “I thought our corners had a chance to make some plays that they didn’t make. That’s a group that has to get better.”
The Deacons will hold one final practice before breaking for the summer. Wake Forest will open the 2018 season at Tulane on Thursday, August 30. The first home game is against Towson on Saturday, September 8.