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September 22, 2013In a match-up of two highly regarded teams in Wake County Friday night, the Wakefield Wolverines emerged victorious with a 34-24 win over the Middle Creek Mustangs.
The game started out as advertised as a "back and forth barnburner." Middle Creel would strike first at the 9:40 mark of the first quarter with a field goal by Mike Rubino to give the Mustangs an early 3-0 lead.
Wakefield would move the ball down the field under the guidance of super-athletic quarterback Evan Brabrand. The Wolverines would take a 7-3 lead as Brabrand connected with Nick Dennis on a 3-yard touchdown pass with 4:34 left in the 1st.
The Mustangs would respond in the 2nd Quarter with their best drive of the night. Middle Creek running back Josh Drake would smash in from the 1-yard line with 10:41 left in the half to retake the lead for the Mustangs 10-7.
The Mustangs seemed to be in control of the game at this point as Wakefield goes 3 and out on their next possession. The Wolverine punter bobbled the snap allowing the Middle Creek defense to block the punt and recover the ball in the end zone for a score. With 8:49 left in the half it was all Mustangs with a 17-7 lead.
This play really seemed to wake up the Wolverines as it would be all Wakefield from this point in the game forward.
Brabrand would be unstoppable the rest of the game and the Wolverine defense would completely shut down the Mustang offense.
Brabrand would lead his team on two drives to finish the half in which he would go 12-19 for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the first drive, Brabrand would hook up underneath with RB Kelton Whitehead (5-9, 215 lbs) on two nice gains. Whitehead would catch a short pass and take it 29 yards with a bruising run.
After getting backed up with penalties, Whitehead would catch another short toss and this time take it into the end zone for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 17-14 Middle Creek with 5:02 left in the half.
After a Mustang 3 and out, Brabrand would operate again this time with just 13 seconds left in the half. Brabrand was able to move in the pocket and create all night mostly with his arm and also running the ball. Brabaand would scramble and find Whitehead for a 25-yard touchdown pass to give Wakefield the momentum and the lead at halftime 21-17.
The 3rd Quarter would start with the Wakefield defense, led by super sophmore defensive tackle prospect Andrew Lair (6-2, 280 lbs) who was in the Mustang backfield all night. This allowed Brabrand and the Wolverine offense to keep excellent field position.
Brabrand would connect with Josh Lowery (6-1, 170 lbs) on his first 5 passes of the quarter. Lowery would finish the night with 10 catches for 160 yards. Brabrand, who finished the night by completing 28 of 43 passes for 449 yards with 4 touchdowns, would find Jake Butler for an 18-yard touchdown in the 3rd Quarter to give Wakefield a 28-17 lead.
Brabrand would also finish the night with 8 carries for for 62 yards and a top candidate for 4A State Player of the Week honors.
Middle Creek quarterback Brant Grisel would lead his team on a touchdown drive of their own. The drive was aided by key Wakefield penalties and a nice 24-yard completion to Jay Schuller. The Mustangs were able to get the ball into the end zone on an Elijah Perry's 7-yard run to close the gap to 28-24 with 11:43 left in the game.
The Mustangs were still in great position to win this game even though the lop-sided statistical advantage for Wakefield.
On the next Wolverine possession, Middle Creek had that chance. With 10:52 showing on the clock, Mustang defender Brendon Weinberg would see a sure interception drop from his hands. Ironically, the next play Brabrand would take advantage of the miscue and connect Whitehead for 30 yard gain deep into Mustang territory.
Whitehead would score from 7 yards out with 9:28 left. That would take any remaining air out of the Middle Creek's sails and end the scoring at 34-24 Wakefield.
Neither team would threaten the rest of the game. Wakefield would dominate the stats in this game going for a whopping 602 total yards compared to 153 for Middle Creek.
Whitehead would finish the night with 16 carried for 58 yards with a touchdown and 5 receptions for 109 yards with 2 touchdowns.
It should be noted that Middle Creek was without perhaps their best player in ECU commit WR Curtis Burston, who is out with an ankle injury suffered early in the season.
Both of these teams should be contenders in their conference races.
North Carolina NEWS