Deacons down Devils
Published 4:51 pm Saturday, October 22, 2011
DURHAM — Tanner Price’s 66-yard touchdown pass to Chris Givens with 6:52 left lifted Wake Forest to its 12th straight victory over Duke, 24-23 on Saturday.
Price finished 15 of 25 for 215 yards with two scoring passes to Givens for the Demon Deacons (5-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). They let an early 17-0 lead vanish and allowed Duke to score on five consecutive drives before quickly retaking the lead.
Backup quarterback and short-yardage specialist Anthony Boone had two short touchdown runs for the Blue Devils (3-4, 1-2). They went up 23-17 on Will Snyderwine’s third field goal of the day with 7:14 remaining.
Wake Forest struck back on its next play. Price fired a quick pass to Givens, who made a nifty move to get by slipping defender Zach Greene before dashing down the left sideline for the go-ahead score.
Duke crossed midfield only once after that, moving to the Wake Forest 40 before Sean Renfree’s fourth-down pass for Donovan Varner sailed high with 1:20 left. Duke forced a three-and-out and got the ball back with 13 seconds left before Kenny Okoro intercepted Renfree’s last-gasp pass and allowed time to expire during the return.
Givens finished with six catches for 147 yards, after catching an earlier 26-yard touchdown pass from Price. Brandon Pendergrass finished with 43 yards rushing and a 2-yard touchdown.
Renfree completed his first 12 attempts and finished 28 of 45 for 213 yards for Duke, which was denied its first victory in the series since 1999.
The Blue Devils were down 17 in the final minute of the first half before they reeled off 23 straight points. Snyderwine kicked a 26-yard field goal with 4 seconds before the break, then added a 38-yarder midway through the third to cap the first of two straight 15-play scoring drives.
Boone’s 1-yard scoring run on a fourth-and-goal pulled the Blue Devils to 17-13 with just over 2 minutes left in the third, and the redshirt freshman gave Duke its first lead when his 2-yard quarterback draw made it 20-17 with 11:35 remaining.
At that point, the Blue Devils had run 38 offensive plays in the second half to six — and one total yard — for Wake Forest. And after the Demon Deacons’ third straight three-and-out, Snyderwine kicked a 19-yard field goal to make it a six-point game.
That’s when Price found Givens for exactly the kind of big play that has come to define this wacky intrastate series. In the last two games, the teams combined for nine touchdowns that covered at least 30 yards. Each team has scored at least 30 points in the last four meetings.
When this one started, it sure looked like the Demon Deacons would have no trouble hitting that total, going up 7-0 roughly 10 minutes in when Price found a diving Givens near the right edge of the end zone.
Four plays after Price’s 23-yard run on fourth-and-1, Jimmy Newman kicked a 38-yard field goal to make it a 10-0. Pendergrass then capped an 86-yard drive with his short scoring run that put Wake Forest up by three scores.