Marion’s kick return sparks Deacons’ win over UNC
By By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer
WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest kept piling up the points — even with its offense on the sideline.
Kevin Marion returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, linebacker Aaron Curry brought back one of his two interceptions 77 yards for a score and the Demon Deacons routed North Carolina 37-10 on Saturday for their sixth straight win.
Wake Forest scored its ninth non-offensive touchdown of the season. Five have come on interception returns, two after fumble recoveries and one apiece on kickoff and punt returns.
Josh Adams rushed for two scores and Skinner completed 12 of 15 passes for 133 yards, but the big plays produced in the other two phases of the game allowed Wake Forest (6-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) to avoid taking any unnecessary chances and remain a step behind unbeaten Boston College in the Atlantic Division race.
Marion also returned a fourth-quarter kickoff 83 yards to set up Adams’ second scoring run of the game. Wake Forest won its seventh straight against a North Carolina-based team.
Adams, a redshirt freshman who grew up about 25 miles from the Tar Heels’ campus, rushed 18 times for 82 yards with scoring runs of 6 and 14 yards.
T.J. Yates completed 26 of 33 passes for 236 yards with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Rome for the Tar Heels (2-6, 1-3), who held a 313-269 advantage in total yards. North Carolina has lost two straight and six of seven.
Curry picked Yates off twice, jumping in front of a fourth-quarter pass at the Wake Forest 23 and racing down the left sideline for his second interception return for a touchdown of the season.
Wake Forest scored the first three times it touched the ball, with Curry intercepting Yates on the first play of the game to set up Sam Swank’s 23-yard field goal.
Wake Forest then went 73 yards in 12 plays, with Skinner completing 4 of 4 passes for 48 yards and Adams running 6 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0.
After Connor Barth made it a 7-point game with a 38-yard field goal early in the second, Marion took the ensuing kickoff at the 2 and burst untouched down the right sideline and into the end zone for the second-longest kick return in school history.
Swank became Wake Forest’s career scoring leader, and as a junior with 1 1/2 seasons left figures to have plenty of chances to add to it. He later added field goals of 22 and 46 yards and kicked three extra points to move to 250 points — 10 ahead of the 240 scored by running back Chris Barclay from 2002-2005.
WAKE FOREST 37, NORTH CAROLINA 10
North Carolina 0 3 0 7 — 10
Wake Forest 10 7 6 14 — 37
Wake—FG Swank 23, 13:12.
Wake—Adams 6 run (Swank kick), 5:00.
NC—FG Barth 38, 13:46.
Wake—Marion 98 kickoff return (Swank kick), 13:34.
Wake—FG Swank 22, 8:14.
Wake—FG Swank 46, 1:20.
NC—Rome 11 pass from Yates (Barth kick), 14:04.
Wake—Adams 14 run (Swank kick), 13:46.
Wake—Curry 77 interception return (Swank kick), 11:00.