Wake Forest outlasts Tulane in OT thriller

Sage Surratt and Greg Dortch combined for 299 receiving yards and true freshman QB Sam Hartman found Alex Bachman for two TD receptions to help the Deacons to a win in their season opener

Wake Forest wide receiver Alex Bachman catches a touchdown pass in the third quarter against Tulane Green Wave cornerback Thakarius Keyes at Yulman Stadium. (Stephen Lew / USA TODAY Sports)

Running back Cade Carney ran six times for 21 yards in overtime, including the game-winning 1-yard touchdown carry, as Wake Forest defeated host Tulane 23-17 in the season opener Thursday night at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans.

Wake Forest true freshman Sam Hartman threw two touchdown passes to receiver Alex Bachman. Hartman finished 31 of 51 for 378 yards, all in regulation. Tulane senior quarterback Jonathan Banks hooked up twice with Terren Encalade for long touchdown plays. Banks completed 18 of 37 passes for 281 yards.

In overtime, Wake Forest’s defense prevented a Tulane first down before the offense — which moved the ball all night through the air — ran seven rushing plays that produced the winning points.

A 19-yard Hartman-to-Bachman touchdown play came in the first minute of the fourth quarter barely two minutes after the Demon Deacons fell behind for the first time. The Deacons then drove 78 yards into the red zone, but Hartman was picked off by linebacker Lawrence Graham.

The Green Wave responded with a 61-yard drive that resulted in Merek Glover’s 39-yard tying field goal with 3:27 to play. Tulane got the ball back after the Demon Deacons went three-and-out, moving into Wake Forest territory before punting.

After failing to direct a scoring drive in the first half, Banks hit Encalade on a 52-yard scoring play and later for a go-ahead 74-yard touchdown. Wake Forest scored first when Hartman connected on a 10-yard touchdown strike to Bachman midway through the second quarter to complete an 80-yard drive.

The Demon Deacons wasted a first-quarter scoring chance when Nick Sciba missed a 23-yard field goal attempt. He connected from 34 yards in the third quarter.

Receivers Sage Surratt, a redshirt freshman, and redshirt sophomore Greg Dortch racked up 150 and 149 yards, respectively, for Wake Forest, which won the 2016 opener against Tulane by a 7-3 score at home.

Hartman drew the start after a three-game suspension was handed to likely starting quarterback Kendall Hinton in June for a violation of team rules. The only other freshman to start at quarterback in his first game with the program was John Wolford, who wrapped up a four-year collegiate career in December.

Wake Forest had lost the last two times it played a season opener on the road.