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Boston College falls to Wake Forest, 27-19

Posted by Mark Blaudschun, Globe Staff  October 1, 2011 04:49 PM

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Boston College staged a fourth quarter comeback against Wake Forest this afternoon that came up just short, falling to the Demon Deacons 27-19.

The loss dropped BC's record to 1-4 wtth road games coming up against 13th-ranked Clemson University and No. 11 Virginia Tech.

"It was a matter of them making plays when they had to and us not making them,'' said BC coach Frank Spaziani.

One positive note for the Eagles was that running back Montel Harris picked up 108 yards in 22 carries, surpassing Derrick Knight as the school's all-time leading rusher.

Beating Wake Forest was every bit as much of a necessity for the Eagles as was beating UMass last week. Wake Forest came into the game off of a bye-week, and with an assortment of tricks in Coach Jim Grobe's playbook that Spaziani and his staff knew was coming.

Wake didn't need any trick plays on offense, starting the game on their own 26. Led by the precision passing of Tanner Price, (19 of 29, 252 yards, 1 TD) the Demon Deacons marched down the field, taking 10 plays to score the first touchdown of the game on a 2-yard burst by Josh Harris. Price, who was intercepted four times by the Eagles one year ago, completed 4 of 5 passes for 57 yards on the opening drive.

It took awhile, but the Eagles finally put a drive together, reaching the Wake Forest 19 yard line before Nate Freese came in and booted a 36-yard field goal to cut the Wake margin to 7-3 with 2:52 left in the first quarter. Freese had missed a 47-yard attempt earlier in the drive, but that miss was negated by an offside call that extended the Eagles drive.

Price kept Wake Forest in rhythm on its next drive, as he took Wake from their own 20 to the BC 4 yard line as he continued to pick apart an Eagle defense which was bending to the point of breaking through the early going. The BC defense came up with a stop that forced Wake to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Jimmy Newman to make the score 10-3 with 13:41 left in the first half.

The BC offense continued to sputter as it was hurt early in the second quarter when back-up running back Andre Williams was knocked down with a injury to his right ankle.

BC came up with the first trick play of the game when wide receiver Alex Amidon took a hand-off from quarterback Chase Rettig (23 of 47, 188 yards, 1 TD) and sprinted 21 yards into Wake Forest territory to the 40 yard line. But once again the BC offense stalled.

On their next series, however, BC came up with some more pop, marching into Wake Forest territory as Freese kicked a 45-yard field goal to cut the Wake Forest lead to 10-6 with 6:18 left in the first half.

Wake did not waste time responding as the Deacons, led by Price and running back Brandon Pendergrass, sliced and diced their way from their own 27. Pendergrass almost went untouched as he ran into the end zone and extended the Wake lead to 17-6.

BC again made an effort to come back in the final minute of the first half, reaching the Wake Forest 34 before Freese again came in and kicked a field goal -- this time from a career-long distance of 52 yards.

As the half ended with Wake holding a 17-9 lead, BC had work to do in figuring out how to stop Wake on defense, while finding a way to score on offense.

It got worse before it got better for the Eagles in the second half. After going three-and-out on their first series of the half, the BC defense again broke down as Wake scored quickly on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Price to Chris Givens in which at least three BC defenders missed tackles. The score gave Wake Forest a 24-9 lead.

It got worse for the Eagles who reached the Wake Forest five yard line before Montel Harris fumbled to end the drive. The Eagle defense came up witih a turnover when freshman cornerback Al Louis-Jean came up with his first career interception on a tipped pass.

But as the game moved into the fourth quarter, BC still had to prove that it's offense could generate enough punch to bring the Eagles back into the game. Predictably, it was Harris who led the way. With one burst in the fourth quarter, Harris raced 26 yards from the Wake Forest 30. Harris was shaken up on the play with a left knee injury, although he eventually returned to the game.

This time, however, the Eagles did not squander the chance to score as Rettig rolled out of the pocket and threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Alex Amidon. With 13:05 left to play, the Eagles had again turned the contest into a one-posssesion game, at 24-16.

The BC defense held, forcing Wake into a three-and-out on its next possession, giving the offense another opportunity to see if it could tie the game. The best they could was another Freese field goal from 32 yards to cut the Wake lead to 24-19 with 6:00 left.

The final minutes of play mirrored the rest of the game. The BC defense had to do its job , and the offense had to score a touchdown. The defense sagged when Price connected with wide receiver Terrrence Davis on a spectacular 44-yard reception on 3rd and 15. Wake then went to a trick play on a reverse in which flanker Michael Campanaro threw a 36-yard pass to Givens, which gave Wake a first and goal at the BC five yard line.

The Eagle defense came up with the stop and Newman came in and kicked a 22-yard field to increase the Wake Forst lead to 27-19.

With 2:59 left, Rettig and the BC offense had one last chance to pull out the victory. Starting at their own 34, Rettig went to work, but faced with a fourth and four from the Wake 47. But when Rettig was forced out of the pocket and into a scramble, he came up two yards short of a first down and any chance of a comeback win.

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