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Late INT halts NC State rally, preserves win for Wake

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Sam Swank kicked three field goals of more
than 50 yards and Riley Skinner threw a touchdown pass to lead Wake
Forest past North Carolina State 25-23 on Saturday.

Nate Morton had the 57-yard TD catch just before halftime for
the Demon Deacons (6-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who ended a
10-game losing streak at Carter-Finley Stadium and earned their
first win here since 1984. The win gave coach Jim Grobe the school
record for most ACC wins with 15, while giving Wake Forest its
first 6-1 start since 1979.

The win allowed the Demon Deacons to move forward after last
week's disappointing home loss to Clemson.

Wake Forest seemed to have that game in hand, leading 17-3
entering the fourth quarter and preparing to increase the margin
with a field-goal attempt. But Clemson's Gaines Adams forced a
fumble on a bad snap and returned it 66 yards for a
momentum-shifting touchdown in a 27-17 win.

This time, Swank and the special teams avoided any such
mistakes, with Swank kicking a 51-yard field goal and a pair of
53-yarders -- tying the school record for longest kicks -- to help
the Demon Deacons hold onto a 22-14 halftime lead. He became the
fifth player to kick three field goals of 50-plus yards in a game
in NCAA history and the first since North Carolina's Dan Orner in
2002.

Toney Baker ran for two touchdowns to lead the Wolfpack (3-3,
2-1), who was the only unbeaten team remaining in the league's
Atlantic Division. Andre Brown also ran for a score, but Daniel
Evans -- the quarterback who led N.C. State to comeback wins against
Boston College and Florida State in his first two starts -- couldn't
come up with more magic.

After Swank's second 53-yarder gave Wake Forest a 25-17 lead
with 8:05 left, Baker ran it in from 13 yards to cut that margin to
25-23 with 5:06 to play. But Evans couldn't connect with Anthony
Hill on the 2-point conversion to tie it.

Then, after the Demon Deacons went three-and-out, the Wolfpack
had one more chance for Evans to shine.

Evans -- who threw a last-second TD to beat the Eagles in his
first start -- led the Wolfpack to Wake Forest's 40 with about a
minute to play, but he made his only mistake by throwing an
interception to Josh Gattis with 45.4 seconds left to end it.

Skinner had a steady day, completing 9 of 14 passes for 124
yards. Kevin Harris also ran for 65 yards and a touchdown on Wake
Forest's first possession.

The Demon Deacons pushed ahead with a burst late in the first
half, starting when Brown fumbled the ball deep in Wolfpack
territory. The ball rolled to around the 5 and at least three Demon
Deacons had a shot to recover it, but the ball squirted into the
end zone and was recovered by N.C. State's James Newby for a safety
that gave Wake Forest a 15-14 lead.

Then, with time running out in the half, Skinner found Morton
downfield near N.C. State's 30, and Morton spun back toward the
middle of the field against the overpursuing defense and raced in
for the long TD just before the break.

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