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Wake Forest holds second preseason football scrimmage

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.  – In Wake Forest’s first preseason scrimmage of the year, head coach Dave Clawson felt the offense had the upper hand.  On Sunday afternoon, Clawson felt the defense had redeemed itself.

“I think it was a little bit flipped from a week ago,” said Clawson following the 100 minute controlled scrimmage at BB&T Field.  “I thought the defense got the better of things today.  I think it’s a good thing for our football team; overall it’s been a much more balanced camp.  There’s been a lot more back and forth than we’ve had before.  Today I thought the defense got the better of the offense.  I didn’t think the offense was as sharp as a week ago.”

After piling up 557 yards of total offense in the first scrimmage, the Demon Deacon offense collected 406 yards on Sunday, 99 yards on the ground and 406 through the air.  And the defense added a touchdown of its own when Thomas Dillon returned an interception 76 yards for a touchdown.

Offensively, Mike Weaver converted all three of his field goal attempts, from 37, 24 and 28 yards.  And each of Wake Forest’s top three quarterbacks threw a touchdown pass.  Kyle Kearns hit Steven Claude on a 21-yard scoring pass, Cortez Lewis had a 22-yard reception from John Wolford and Tyree Harris caught a 5-yard score from Kendall Hinton.

The defense put together six sacks on the day with DE Wendell Dunn collecting a pair of sacks.  Nate Mays, Willie Yarbary, Julian Jackson and Reid Althoff all collected solo sacks.  Mays and Deonte Davis each led the team with seven tackles while Zach Dancel added six.

[callout2]“I thought the offense won the first scrimmage and, overall, I thought the defense probably won this one,” said Clawson.  “I think they were a little ticked off from a week ago.  Those guys got challenged, especially the D-line.  I thought the D-line played better.  I thought we got more of a pass rush today and they were more disruptive.  It all starts up front.  If you’re going to have success on offense or defense, you have to control the line of scrimmage.  I thought a week ago the offense controlled the line of scrimmage and I thought today the defense controlled the line of scrimmage.”[/callout2]

Redshirt sophomore Dezmond Wortham led all rushers with 49 yards on 11 carries.  Freshman Rocky Reid had 29 yards on eight carries while classmate Matt Colburn rushed 10 times for 23 yards.  Freshmen Tyler Bell added 22 yards on nine carries while Hinton had eight attempts for 14 yards.

Wolford on the day completed 12 of 19 passes for 106 yards.  Hinton was nine-for-15 for 81 yards and Kearns completed eight of 14 passes for 108 yards.  Kyle Driscoll completed his lone pass attempt for 12 yards.

Steven Claude led all receivers with 92 yards on five receptions.  Tyree Harris had five catches for 49 yards and Cortez Lewis added 42 yards on three catches.  Claude had the longest catch of the scrimmage, a 30-yarder from Kearns.

Following the scrimmage, Clawson announced that wide receiver Jared Crump will miss the season with a torn ACL.  Crump was injured in practice earlier in the week and an MRI revealed the tear.  He had 32 receptions a year ago.

As for deciding on a running back, Clawson said that the evaluation process will continue in practice.

“It’s been a two and a half week evaluation so it’s the whole body of work,” in deciding the starter, said Clawson.  “We’ll watch this film and we’ll have a personnel meeting tomorrow and Tuesday and we’ll have a tentative line-up but there will still be some (changes).  We don’t play for 10 or 11 days so we have some time.”

For Clawson, it marked the first time he had a chance to see Reid in a scrimmage situation at BB&T Field after the rookie missed last week’s scrimmage with a sprained ankle.

“Rocky, he’s not 100 percent but it was good to see him at the end,” said Clawson.  “He made some nice runs but he’s probably only about 80 percent.  The ankle is still bothering him a little bit.”

The Demon Deacons will take the next two days off and will return to practice on Wednesday.  Wake Forest opens the 2015 season at BB&T Field against Elon on Thursday, September 3.