ACC Football: Wake Forest 35, Elon 7
By Mike Cranston
WINSTON-SALEMó Chris Givens began describing his first career touchdown catch by saying they practiced the play all week.
It just didn’t include having an official take out the cornerback.
Wake Forest probably didn’t need any help in its 35-7 win over Elon on Saturday, but Givens’ bizarre 54-yard catch proved to be the decisive score. And they can thank back judge Tommy Pace.
Leading 14-0 late in the second quarter, Riley Skinner lofted a long pass over the middle. Elon cornerback Karlos Sullivan stayed with him. It looked to be a 50-50 ball ó until Pace couldn’t get out of the way.
His legs got tangled with Sullivan’s, and they both hit the ground. Suddenly Givens was open.
“I jumped because I thought he was right on my side,” Givens said.
He made the catch. Pace scrambled to his feet and signaled touchdown. A stunned Sullivan got up and put up his palms in disbelief.
“I was like, ‘What was that,’ ” Sullivan said. “I was trying to figure out can he throw a flag or not.”
Nope. The officials are part of the field. Elon trailed 21-0 at halftime and never recovered.
“I guess those officials need to stay in a little better shape early in the season,” Elon coach Pete Lembo said. “I’m just teasing. It was one of those things that I’ve never seen before and we might never see again.”
It was part of a big night for Skinner, who threw for a career-high 289 yards and three touchdowns, as Wake Forest (2-1) tuned up for next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference opener at Boston College.
Skinner was taken out after throwing an 80-yard touchdown to Marshall Williams late in the third quarter. It helped him set a career-high for yards passing ó and some ribbing for having yet to surpass 300 yards in his decorated career.
“Come on Riley, seriously,” Skinner said, smiling. “The one thing is we’ve got to take some shots downfield, which we don’t do a lot here. I was real excited to be able to take some shots. I think coaches are realizing that we’ve got some guys that can run under the ball.”