By Michael Vega
It was Friday Night Lights Out at the Heights.
After posting just two wins last season, the Eagles matched that total by following up an uneven season-opening victory over Villanova with a far better effort against Wake Forest in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams before an Alumni Stadium crowd of 32,465.
Quarterback Chase Rettig led the Eagles to a 24-10 victory by directing a balanced 53-play, 314-yard offensive performance, completing 7 of 14 passes for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns on a 26-yard toss to Alex Amidon (5 receptions, 93 yards) and a 22-yard strike to Spiffy Evans.
On both scoring tosses, Rettig capitalized after BC’s defense came up with a pair of Wake Forest turnovers, highlighting a night in which the Eagles rang up a pair of sacks and an interception against Tanner Price (18-30, 191 yards, 1 TD) and staged a goal-line stand before intermission that enabled BC to control a 17-7 lead at halftime.
Senior running back Andre Williams led all rushers with 35 carries for a career-high 204 yards and a 2-yard TD that allowed the Eagles to seize control of a commanding 24-7 lead with 1:54 remaining in the third quarter.
BC’s defense, which forced four turnovers against Villanova, wasted little time making its presence felt by forcing Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price into making a bad pitch to Josh Harris on the second play of the game.
Spenser Rositano pounced on it for BC at the Demon Deacons’ 27, giving the Eagles a huge scoring opportunity on their first offensive possession.
Two plays later, Chase Rettig found Alex Amidon on a short screen. Amidon turned upfield and scampered untouched 26 yards for a touchdown with 13:37 remaining in the first quarter.
After the teams traded possessions, Wake Forest got the ball at its 24 and proceeded to march 76 yards in 10 plays, with Michael Campanaro converting a third-and-9 by hauling in a 30-yard TD pass for for a 7-7 tie with 2:48 remaining in the period.
Rettig went to work on the first play of BC’s ensuing possession, lofting a 51-yard spiral to Amidon, who ran past cornerback Kevin Johnson for a first down at the Demon Deacons’ 24.
The drive bogged down when redshirt freshman fullback Bobby Woolford got behind Wake’s defense and let an apparent TD pass slip through his fingers.
The Eagles were forced to settle for a 33-yard field goal by Nate Freese, giving them a 10-7 lead with 48 seconds left in the quarter.
Then Bryce Jones recovered a fumbled pitch at the Deacons’ 22 on the last play of the first frame.
The Eagles spared little time or energy punching it in when Rettig dropped back, rolled to his right and found Spiffy Evan with a 22-yard strike to make it 17-7 at 14:55 of the second quarter. The one-play scoring drive consumed all of five seconds.
Rettig was intercepted by Kevin Johnson at the Wake Forest 10 on an underthrown flea-flicker intended for Amidon, who ran free behind Wake’s secondary.
The Deacons marched to midfield, but the drive stalled after Brian Mihalik sacked Price for a 10-yard loss. Andre Williams ripped off a 31-yard run on the first play of BC’s ensuing possession, but managed just 4 yards on two more carries, prompting the Eagles to punt.
The teams again traded possessions before the Eagles threatened when Williams carried four times for 39 yards to the Wake Forest 25, but Wake Forest rang up a back-to-back sacks for 16 yards in losses.
BC backpedaled out of field goal range and was forced to punt, Jones intercepted Price at the BC 30 to give the Eagles’ defense its third turnover of the game.
With 1:16 left in the half, the Eagles were unable to capitalize. On BC’s punt, senior nose guard Nikita Whitlock came up the middle untouched and got a piece of Freese’s punt.
The Deacons took over at the BC 3 and appeared on the threshold of an easy score, but BC’s defense stonewalled during a goal-line stand, with Kasim Edebali and Steele Divitto combining to stuff Harris for no gain on a fourth-and-goal rushing attempt from the 1.
A review of the play upheld the ruling on the field: no touchdown.
It enabled the Eagles to head into the locker room in control of a 17-7 lead.Michael Vega can be reached at email@example.com.