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WFU defense shines in second football scrimmage

Posted Saturday, April 2, 2005

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Forced turnovers highlight Saturday morning session

Winston-Salem, N.C. -- The Wake Forest defense shined in the football team’s second intrasquad scrimmage at Groves Stadium, a two-hour session on Saturday morning. The Deacon defenders forced multiple turnovers, including fumble recoveries by redshirt freshmen linebackers Aaron Curry and Antonio Wilson.

“Those young kids have a lot of energy. They’re creating an enthusiastic atmosphere on that defense. You hear a lot of guys patting each other on the back and team-type of stuff. Right now, they are like kids at Christmas,” head coach Jim Grobe said. “This class (of redshirt freshmen) is not only going to help us with our depth and on special teams, but they’re going to play a lot, too.”

Offensively, one of the stars of the scrimmage was redshirt sophomore Kenneth Moore. The wide receiver made a number of nice catches including one deep ball from Ben Mauk that set up a Micah Andrews touchdown run. Converted fullback Richard Belton was involved in the offense rushing for first downs in short yardage situations and making catches out of the backfield.

“One of the best moves we’ve made is putting Richard at fullback. With Damon McWhite out until August, we were worried about what we were going to do at fullback,” Grobe said. “Right now, he is leaps and bounds ahead of where we thought he would be. He catches the ball great, he blocks great and he runs the ball well. He’s been a great find for us and the best part about him is that we’ve got four years left out of him.”

The offense struggled at times due to the turnovers and penalties.

“We’re sort of going no-holds barred on both offense and defense. We have our entire defensive package in right now and we’re throwing it all at the offense. Sometimes it looks like a fire drill out there because our young offensive linemen are seeing blitzes and different looks,” head coach Jim Grobe said. “But they’re going to see these things in the fall and I think seeing them now is going to make us better in the long run.”

Redshirt freshman placekicker Sam Swank displayed his leg strength during the scrimmage. He attempted several field goals from 40 yards or greater and plenty of distance. He made two attempts from 42 and 45 yards despite heavy pre-kick heckling from the defenders on the sideline. Swank’s attempt from 55 yards was straight down the middle and shaved the crossbar, falling just short and crashing into the pad at the base of the uprights.

The Deacons return 43 letterwinners from last year’s 4-7 team that was tied or leading in the fourth quarter in nine of its 11 games in 2004. The Deacons bring back nine starters on offense and six on defense.

Wake Forest has one week of practice left before the Spring Game on Saturday, April 9 at 1:00 p.m. Admission to the game is free. The remaining mid-week practices are scheduled to be held on campus. For start times, call the Wake Forest Football office at (336) 758-5633.

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WFU defense shines in second football scrimmage
WFU head coach Jim Grobe
photo by Gene Galin
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