Wake Forest looks to win third straight title, Vance hoping for first
Wake Forest has become a football powerhouse at the 4AA level over the last decade.
The winners of 44-straight games, the Cougars are making their sixth appearance in the state championship game and are the two-time defending state champions.
Wake Forest will face Vance in the championship game on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Unlike Wake Forest, Vance is making its first appearance in the state championship. Five times before, Vance has lost in the western regional championship.
The teams are similar in that they both feature solid defenses. Wake Forest has allowed just over 10 points per game this season. Vance has pitched six shutouts and allowed more than 14 points just four times this season.
All three linebackers for Vance have multiple college offers from high major schools. Wake Forest’s defensive line is one of the top concerns for Vance, according to head coach Aaron Brand.
Wake Forest is known for its rushing attack on offense. This season, Wake Forest has collected more than 270 yards per game on the ground, led by Maquel Haywood’s 1,202 yards and 18 touchdowns. Demarcus Jones has rushed for 1,174 yards and 17 touchdowns this season.
Through the air, Wake Forest has thrown for more than 1,400 yards. Wake Forest started the season with Seth Hillman at quarterback but later moved Mateo Sudipo to the position.
Vance also has a strong rushing game that is comfortable controlling possession, just like Wake Forest.
Wake Forest got to the state championship with a 55-7 win over Fuquay-Varina in the second round of the playoffs after a first-round bye. In the third round, Wake Forest defeated Leesville Road 41-10, then knocked off Pinecrest in the regional championship with a score of 49-7.
Vance did not receive a first-round bye, instead it beat Northwest Guilford in the first round, 50-7. The next week, Ardrey Kell was knocked off by Vance, 34-0. A 34-21 win over Hough in the third round then led Vance to a 21-14 win over Myers Park in the regional championship game.
Wake Forest enters the game with a perfect 13-0 record. Vance has lost once this season, a 20-7 loss to Mallard Creek in September, and reports a 14-1 record.