Louisiana-Monroe staves off Wake Forest, 21-19
Kolton Browning threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns, and Louisiana-Monroe stopped a late Wake Forest rally for a 21-19 victory Saturday.
Browning completed a career-best 43 of 68 attempts, with two interceptions, as the Warhawks (2-1) won for the first time in three tries over a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Tanner Price threw for 310 yards and two touchdown for the Demon Deacons (1-2), with both scores going to Orville Reynolds as Wake Forest fought back with a late drive over the final two minutes.
Price found Reynolds deep for a 65-yard score in the first quarter, and a 23-yarder with 4 seconds remaining to cut Louisiana-Monroe's lead to two points. But Price's two-point conversion pass to Michael Campanaro went low.
Wake Forest's offense generated little else, with two other drives leading to field goals of 28 and 38 yards from Chad Hedlund in the first half.
Campanaro finished with 16 catches — tying a single-game ACC record — for 177 yards, while Reynolds had a career-best 101 receiving yards.
The Demon Deacons' option offense again struggled, gaining just 15 yards rushing, 15 first downs and converting 5 of 15 third-down opportunities. Meanwhile, Louisiana-Monroe had its third straight 400-yard game, piling up 424 total yards and 26 first downs.
Browning threw two TD passes — a 1-yarder to Harley Scioneaux and a 5-yarder to Kenzee Jackson — in the first half to stake Louisiana-Monroe to a 14-13 lead, then hit Tavarese Maye on a 9-yard score in the second half.
However, the Warhawks blew two other second-half scoring opportunities. A bad snap thwarted a 26-yard field goal attempt by Justin Manton in the third quarter, and he bounced a 24-yard attempt off the left upright in the fourth quarter.
Despite turning the ball over twice, Edwards threw for 200 yards in the first half as Louisiana-Monroe engineered two long scoring drives for a 14-13 lead at the break.
The Warhawks went 69 yards in 17 plays on their opening possession before Browning hit Scioneaux on a 1-yard TD pass with 8:14 remaining.
However, Wake Forest got its offense on track late in the first quarter, with Price hitting Reynolds over the middle with 5:16 left, tying the game at 7-7.
A short punt by Louisiana-Monroe set up Hedlund's first field goal, which gave Wake Forest its first lead of the game, 10-7, with 14:49 left in the second quarter.
The Warhawks took advantage of a running into the kicker penalty set up their second scoring drive, with Browning's pass to Jackson with 41 seconds left putting them ahead 14-10.
The Demon Deacons made one last drive in the first half, with Price's 31-yard completion to Campanaro setting up Hedlund's second field goal.