Football: Wake Forest routs Campbell

Football: Wake Forest routs Campbell

After a lackluster start to the season, the Wake Forest football team roared to life on both sides of the ball, providing a slew of highlight plays and exceptional performances en route to a 66-14 home victory against Campbell on Friday night. The Deacs dominated from the start, jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looking back.

On offense, the Deacs’ run game was virtually unstoppable; Wake Forest halfbacks combined for three touchdowns in the first half alone, and starter Christian Beal-Smith finished with three total scores. Beal-Smith and Kenneth Walker both racked up over 100 yards, and the squad finished with just shy of 300 total yards on the ground.

QB Sam Hartman put together a mistake-free performance through the air, completing 12 of 16 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown pass to freshman WR Tyler Morin. While Hartman’s numbers didn’t exactly stuff the stat sheet, he provided exactly what the Deacs are looking for at the QB position: consistency and no turnovers. With so many potent weapons at the halfback position, all Hartman really needs to do is get the ball to his playmakers and refrain from handing the ball to the other team.

The Wake Forest defense rose to the occasion as well, chipping in three sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles against an overmatched Campbell offense. Campbell QB Hajj-Malik Williams was held to just 187 yards through the air, while none of the Campbell halfbacks were able to reach the 50-yard mark on the ground. It was exactly the morale booster the Deacs’ defense needed after being thoroughly torched by North Carolina State and Clemson in the season’s first two games; they’ll be looking to carry this momentum in future games.

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In such a decisive victory, there was no shortage of worthy candidates for this week’s offensive and defensive MVPs, a Wake Forest fan’s absolute favorite problem to have. After much deliberation, the biggest standout on each side of the ball can be found below:

Offense: RB Christian Beal-Smith

The Campbell defense simply had no answers for Beal-Smith on Friday; he marched down the field at will, finishing with three touchdowns and 130 yards on 20 carries. Anytime Beal-Smith touched the ball he looked primed to score, and his performance this week will definitely put him at the top of the scouting report for future Wake Forest opponents. One would think that if Beal-Smith can continue to put up similar numbers in games to come, the Deacs might have a shot at making some leeway in the ACC. Beal-Smith’s top-tier speed and field vision will prove important assets to Wake Forest’s offensive identity the remainder of the season.

 Defense: DE Jacorey Johns and DB Zion Keith

Johns and Keith will be sharing the wealth this week, as they both impacted the game in ways that simply couldn’t be ignored. Johns finished with a whopping three TFLs (and one sack), while Keith provided the Deacs’ lone defensive touchdown with a 45-yard interception return in the third quarter. Their contributions set the tone for the entire Wake Forest defense, and we’re all hoping they’ll be able to maintain a high level of play during the remainder of ACC play.

 Wake Forest is set to continue their regular season campaign at home against Virginia Tech on Oct. 17.

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