Duke will have to wait one more year to break its long losing streak against Wake Forest.

Duke receiver Conner Vernon
  • Photo courtesy Duke athletics
  • Duke receiver Conner Vernon

The Deacons got their 11th straight victory in the series on Saturday, holding on for a 54-48 track meet squeaker in the ACC opener for both teams at BB&T Field.

Freshman Tanner Price came off the bench for an injured Ted Stachitas to complete 12 of 19 passes for 190 yards and three touchdowns, adding 55 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries for the Deacons (2-0).

Sean Renfree had another big day for Duke in the air, completing 28 of 44 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions. Conner Vernon caught eight passes for 181 yards including touchdowns of 70 and 51 yards for the Blue Devils (1-1). Desmond Scott carried 11 times for 122 yards and a touchdown for Duke.

Marshall Williams caught two touchdown passes and three for another for Wake Forest. Chris Givens had four receptions for 160 yards and a score in a game where the teams combined for 1,011 yards total offense.

Wake got what turned out to be the clinching touchdown with 3:00 left, as Devon Brown scored on a six-yard run to make it 54-41. Renfree hit Vernon on a 51-yard scoring connection at 1:43, but the Deacons covered the ensuing onside kick.

The score was tied 35-35 at halftime despite four Duke turnovers to one for the Deacons.

Duke had two long scoring plays in the first half to Wake’s one. Renfree connected with Vernon on a 70-yard scoring strike to make it 21-21 midway through the second, but the Deacons struck back with an 81-yard connection from Williams to Givens just 13 seconds later.

Wake held a 35-21 lead before Scott sprinted down the left sideline for a 63-yard touchdown, then tied the score with 44 seconds left in the half following Renfree’s 13-yard scoring pass to Austin Kelly.