WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The only thing that stopped either of Wake Forest’s top two quarterbacks was the halftime clock.

Presbyterian certainly couldn’t do it.

Starter John Wolford accounted for four touchdowns, backup Kendall Hinton added three more and the Demon Deacons opened their season by routing the Blue Hose 51-7 on Thursday night.

Wolford threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, while Hinton had two scoring throws and a short TD run.

“It’s a good thing for this team when both of us are playing well,” Wolford said, “because you never know when someone could get hurt and you always need that guy to be ready.”

As expected, the Demon Deacons faced little resistance from the Blue Hose of the FCS. Wake Forest scored on each of its first six possessions and led 44-0 before Presbyterian finally crossed midfield midway through the third quarter.

Wake Forest finished with 487 total yards and reached the 50-point mark for the first time since 2010. The Demon Deacons had the ball nine times in the first three quarters, and the only time they were stopped came when they took a knee to run out the first half.

“Moved the chains, a lot of big plays — all the things you look for in an offense, I think we did,” Wolford said.

Wolford — who had to beat out Hinton during preseason camp for the starting job he’s held since 2014 — became the program’s first quarterback to start four consecutive season openers .

He only needed to play about 1½ quarters, leading five scoring drives and finishing 11 of 15 for 107 yards with a 2-yard touchdown run and TD passes of 8 and 26 yards to Cam Serigne.

Wolford checked out after his 7-yard score to Greg Dortch made it 30-0 with 8:25 left until halftime.

Hinton added touchdown passes of 42 yards to Dortch and 29 yards to Alex Bachman, along with a 1-yard TD run.

Mike Weaver kicked a 22-yard field goal for the Demon Deacons.

Mark Robinson ran 14 yards for a touchdown against the backups while Torrance Marable finished with 162 yards rushing for Presbyterian.

THE TAKEAWAY

Presbyterian: Tommy Spangler’s return as the Blue Hose’s head coach couldn’t have gone much worse. Presbyterian is routinely routed by college football’s big boys — this was its sixth loss to an FBS program by at least 40 points since 2010 — and was beaten badly in Winston-Salem for the third time since that season. Flush this one and refocus on the Sun Belt.

“Offense was struggling, defense was struggling, special teams were struggling,” Spangler said. “And it kind of snowballed.”

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons didn’t have to work too hard, and didn’t put too much on film in this one. That’s important because — with the Atlantic Coast Conference opener at Boston College coming up next weekend — and with an almost entirely new defensive coaching staff, the last thing Wake Forest needed was a test from an outmanned FCS opponent.

“Games like this, as a Game 1, coaches love,” coach Dave Clawson said. “There were some things tonight that didn’t go smoothly, despite the score … There are things that we have to get worked out as a staff, and this game gives us an opportunity to do that without it being a fatal mistake.”

QUICK HITS

Serigne caught multiple touchdown passes for the second time in his career and the first since he pulled in a pair of them in a loss to Clemson as a freshman in 2014. … Wake Forest had 37 points at halftime. In Clawson’s first three years, the Demon Deacons had scored more than 37 in a game only twice. … Dortch had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown called back due to a holding penalty.

UP NEXT

Presbyterian: The Blue Hose visit The Citadel in a cross-state matchup on Sept. 9.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons travel to BC on Sept. 9 for a matchup of ACC Atlantic Division teams trying to catch up to Clemson, Florida State and Louisville.


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