The hostile home crowd enjoyed a very evenly matched first half, played largely between the 22s. Maryland maintained the bulk of possession, but the Terps were plagued by a steady stream of penalties at the breakdowns.
Wake Forest finally broke through the scoreless first half hour as senior Johnny McMurray charged down a kick and offloaded to sophomore Johnny Passarelli for the first try of the match. Maryland answered back with a try off a quick tap, closing out the first half at 7-7.
Wake opened the second half with pressure inside the opposing 22 and another dramatic try as freshman Austin Cunningham batted down the Terps’ attempt to kick away and shot down the touch line to add 5 points for the Deacs.
Wake missed the ensuing conversion, but held their lead at 12-7 through the 53rd minute, when Maryland’s forwards found the strength to power in a try that brought the score to 14-12 in the Terps’ favor.
Maryland soon pulled away with two corner tries from their #8. Missed conversions brought the score up to 29-12 Maryland, but the Terps would still touch one more down before the whistle froze the final score at 36-12.
Despite the loss, Wake Forest celebrated collective improvements in defensive pressure and ball retention as well as a laundry list of outstanding individual performances, including standout tackling from senior Liam McIntyre and freshman Mitch D’eramo, noteworthy offensive threats from sophomore Johnny Passarelli and freshman Mark Bernstein and essential leadership from seniors Bryce Lambert, Iain Dormer and Jack Zimmerman.
The Demon Deacons are looking to finish out the season with another strong performance this Friday night in Durham as they face off against North Carolina at 6:30pm.