WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Presbyterian College football team (0-1) fell to ACC foe Wake Forest (1-0), 51-7, on Thursday night at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, N.C. in the season opener for both teams.
Head Coach Tommy Spangler’s Take:
On Wake Forest:
“Wake Forest has got a good football team. I mean they’re going to win some games. They’re going to win some games in the ACC. Their first-string quarterback can do a lot of special things and they present some issues. But, we sure helped things a little bit and made them look a little bit better than maybe they are. By not doing what we are supposed to be doing, it got out of hand a little bit early. You have to give them credit, I’m not taking anything away from that because they’ve got a heck of a football team. Both sides of the ball, the kicking team, they’ve got some weapons and guys that will go make plays.”
On Presbyterian’s showing:
“We’ve got to be able to move the ball a little bit better, we have to sustain some drives and not punt so much. We have to help each other out, offense was struggling, defense was struggling, special teams were struggling, and it kind of snowballed and then it’s twenty-something to nothing. They just kept out-executing us. I’ve got to look at the tape and see what kind of toughness we are playing with, what kind of effort we are playing with, what kind of scheme discipline we are playing with, what kind of execution we have. I don’t care, we knew it was going to be tough to come up here and beat an ACC school but I’m disappointed with just the overall night and how we really could have played better at times and we didn’t.”
On his message to his team:
“Our message to the team was ‘that ain’t us.’ We were trying to not come up here and let that happen but it did. We’ve got to regroup.”
How It Happened
The Wake Forest offense got going early and built a sizeable lead by the end of the opening half Quarterback John Wolford found tight end Cam Serigne for a score on each of the Deacons’ first two drives to make it 13-0, after a missed PAT on the first score. PC was able to stall Wake’s final drive of the quarter with stand in the redzone, forcing a 22-yard field goal from Mike Weaver to make it 16-0 at the end of the first.
The Demon Deacons found the endzone three times in the second quarter to extend its lead. Wolford rushed for one, crossing the goaline from two yards out, before throwing for another as he found Greg Dortch from seven yards out. Dortch later worked his way in to the endzone again on the receiving end of a 42-yard pass from Kendall Hilton to push the halftime to 37-0.
WFU tacked on a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. Alex Bachman scored on a 29-yard pass from Kendall Hinton early in the frame, before Hinton rushed for a one-yard score late in the quarter.
Presbyterian got on the board in the fourth quarter with a five-play, 91-yard drive touchdown drive, capped off by a 14-yard rushing score by Mark Robinson. Torrance Marable keyed the drive with 15-yard rush followed by a 58-yard dash to setup the Robinson score for PC’s first TD of the year.
Stat of the Game
PC saw 15 players made their collegiate debut on Thursday night, including starters Torrance Marable, KJ Presley and Dirk Cureton. The remaining Blue Hose to see their first collegiate action were Colby Campbell, Lucas Catalfomo, Nick Chiaravalloti, Zane Dimiati, Rod Haygood, Antonio Leroy, Keith Pearson, Mark Robinson, Darrius Rowe, Cooper Short, Chad Stevens and Tyler Wilhelm.
Freshman running back Torrance Marable led the way for PC, rushing 16 times for 162 yards in his collegiate debut. He saved his longest run of the night, a 58-yard gain, to set up PC’s first touchdown of the season. That is the most rushing yards by a PC running back since 2015 when Darrell Bridges rushed for 186 yards against Coastal Carolina.
Michael Fisher and Ryan Burgess led the Blue Hose defense on the night, each totaling 10 tackles, with Fisher reaching a career-high. Grant Beidel and Rock Ya-Sin each contributed six tackles, including a tackle for loss, while Ya-Sin recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter.
- Quarterback Ben Cheek made his 14 career start under center for PC. He was 2-for-7 passing in the game for 41 yards, while rushing 21 times for 13 yards.
- Mark Robinson scored PC’s first touchdown of the season with a 14-yard run in the fourth quarter. Robinson rushed five times for 29 yards in his collegiate debut.
- DarQuez Watson recorded the longest pass play of the game for the Blue Hose, coming up on the receiving end a 30-yard pass from Cheek to move the ball in to Wake Forest territory.
- PC rushed for 207 yards in the contest, coming on 45 attempts for an average of 4.6 yards per carry. In its last two games, dating to last season, PC has rushed for a combined 404 yards against a pair of FBS opponents, an average of 202 yards per game.
- KJ Presley recorded a sack in his first career action, the first by a PC player this season. The interior defensive lineman made his first career start in tonight’s action after redshirting a year ago.
- Rock Ya-Sin made his first career interception in the fourth quarter of today’s game. It was the first takeaway by the PC defense this season and the second in Ya-Sin’s career but the first INT.
PC travels to in-state foe The Citadel on Saturday, September 9, with a 6 p.m. matchup in Charleston, S.C.