Wake Forest and Appalachian State padded their resumes Saturday for a spot in the national rankings by winning conference games and remaining undefeated.
The Demon Deacons went on the road and held off Boston College 27-24 in an ACC contest.
Meanwhile, Appalachian State outlasted Coastal Carolina and a thunderstorm, beating the Chanticleers 56-37 in a weather-delayed Sun Belt Conference game.
Both Wake Forest and Appalachian State were in the “others receiving votes” category in last week’s AP Poll and could climb into the top 25 when the new poll is released Sunday.
The Demon Deacons (5-0, 1-0) got 345 yards’ total offense from redshirt junior quarterback Jamie Newman, but it was a defensive play that turned the game around.
Trailing 20-17 in the third quarter, the Eagles (3-2, 1-1) decided to go for a first down instead of kicking a field goal deep in Wake Forest territory. But the Deacons redshirt senior defensive back Amari Henderson picked off a throw by Eagles redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Brown.
The winning score came early in the fourth quarter, when redshirt senior wide receiver Scotty Washington made a leaping catch of a 27-yard pass from Newman.
Boston College cut the deficit to 27-24 with 6:50 left on a halfback pass, but Wake Forest ran out much of the remaining time, converting several third downs. The Deacons converted 17-of-24 third-down situations in the contest.
“We told our guys to expect a fourth-quarter, one-possession game,” Deacons’ coach Dave Clawson said.
Road teams have won the last six games in this series.
Blake Proehl: A Providence High product, Proehl caught a 70-yard touchdown pass in East Carolina’s 24-21 victory at Old Dominion.
Zac Thomas: Appalachian State’s quarterback completed 19-of-23 passes for 246 yards.
Isaiah Totten: N.C. Central running back rushed for 112 yards, as the Eagles turned back Morgan State 27-17.
Making sense of the numbers
161: Yardage in pass completions for Lenoir-Rhyne’s Craig Rucker in his team’s 56-28 victory over Mars Hill. Two of Rucker’s receptions were for touchdowns.
13: Number of years since Wake Forest started a season 5-0. The Deacons are just one victory from bowl eligibility, and October hasn’t even arrived.
5: Sacks registered by James Madison in its 45-10 romp over Elon, in a battle of FCS nationally-ranked teams.
Other Carolinas games
Appalachian State 56, Coastal Carolina 37
Appalachian State went on a 21-0 run in the second and third quarters, and outscored the Chanticleers before a sellout crowd in Boone.
The game was delayed for more than two hours by a thunderstorm. The storm delay came in the second quarter, with the Mountaineers (4-0, 1-0 Sun Belt) ahead 14-7. After play resumed, Coastal Carolina (3-2, 0-1) rallied to tie the contest at 21-21.
But App State scored a touchdown before the half, then added two scores in the third quarter for a 42-21 lead.
The Chanticleers narrowed the gap to 42-30 late in the third quarter, but the Mountaineers’ Shaun Jolly intercepted a pass and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown.
App State’s quarterback Zac Thomas completed 19-of-23 passes for 246 yards. Malik Williams led the Mountaineer receivers with six catches for 75 yards. Coastal Carolina’s C.J. Marable ran 16 times for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Appalachian State is idle next weekend, then plays a Wednesday night game (Oct. 9) at Louisiana.
East Carolina 24, Old Dominion 21
ECU sophomore quarterback Holton Ahlers threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Watley with 10:36 remaining, to give the visiting Pirates a 24-13 lead that was enough for the victory. The Monarchs (1-3) narrowed the gap, scoring on a Kesean Strong 1-yard run and a two-point conversion run by Strong with 2:13 remaining.
Providence High’s Blake Proehl caught a 72-yard touchdown pass from Ahlers early in the second quarter, giving East Carolina (3-2) a 17-3 lead. The Pirates’ other touchdown was on a 4-yard return of a blocked punt by Warren Saba.
No. 2 James Madison 45, No. 24 Elon 10
The visiting Dukes rolled over the Phoenix in a meeting of top-25 FCS teams. James Madison quarterback Ben DiNucci passed for 185 yards and ran for a touchdown, James Madison (4-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic) outgained Elon (2-3, 1-1) 521-227 in total yardage.
Elon shocked the Dukes, scoring in the first minute on a 66-yard pass from Butler High’s Davis Cheek to Avery Jones. But James Madison outscored Elon 45-3 the rest of the way, sacking Cheek five times.
Elon, under then-head coach Curt Cignetti, upset James Madison last season. Cignetti left Elon after last season for the James Madison job.
No. 15 Furman 17, East Tennessee State 10
Darren Grainger passed 40 yards to Ryan DeLuca, and Devin Wynn scored on a 1-yard run on the next play, giving the Paladins (3-2, 2-0 Southern Conference) a home victory. Furman’s other touchdown came in the first quarter, on a 15-yard pass from Grainger to DeLuca.
Furman’s defense made the difference down the stretch. The Paladins recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass, and forced a punt on East Tennessee State’s final three possessions.
Wofford 51, VMI 36
Joe Newman passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, and Blake Morgan ran for a pair of scores in leading the visiting Terriers (2-2, 1-1 Southern) over the Keydets (2-3, 1-1).
VMI led 7-0 and 10-7 early in the game, but Wofford went ahead to stay with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns -- on a 41-yard pass from Newman to D’mauriae VanCleave and a 6-yard Newman run.
The teams combined for 1,066 yards’ total offense, with Wofford piling up a 581-485 edge.
Chattanooga 60, Western Carolina 36
The Catamounts’ Connell Young rushed 24 times for 217 yards, but Chattanooga scored 31 points in the second quarter and pulled away.
The Moccasins (2-3, 1-0 Southern) got two rushing touchdowns apiece from Ailyn Ford and Elijah Ibitokun-Hanks. Ford rushed for 195 yards.
Western Carolina (1-3, 0-2) closed to within 27-21 late in the second quarter and 44-36 late in the third.
N.C. Central 27, Morgan State 17
The Eagles’ Isaiah Totten, an Apex High product, carried 26 times for 112 yards in this MEAC contest. N.C. Central (2-3, 1-0) picked off three passes from Morgan State (0-4, 0-1).
The Eagles led 13-10 midway in the third quarter but pulled away with Davius Richard scored on a 6-yard run and Latrell Collins ran 43 yards for another score early in the final period.
North Alabama 41, Presbyterian 21
Presbyterian quarterback Brandon Thompson passed for 228 yards and two touchdowns, but the Blue Hose fell on the road.
The game turned late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter. Presbyterian closed within 14-9 after Thompson passed 16 yards to Jaiden Turner, but North Alabama scored a touchdown with two minutes left in the half, then added another score on their first possession of the third quarter.
No. 12 Lenoir-Rhyne 56, Mars Hill 28
Division 2 power Lenoir-Rhyne outscored the Lions 28-7 in the second half for a victory in a game delayed three times due to lightning.
The Bears (4-0, 2-0 South Atlantic) got 277 passing yards and three touchdown throws from quarterback Grayson Willingham of Weddington. Jace Jordan rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns, and wide receiver Craig Rucker caught 10 passes for 161 yards and two scores.
Collin Snead passed for three touchdowns and ran for another for Mars Hill (2-2, 1-1).
No. 18 Wingate 13, Catawba 10
The visiting Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 South Atlantic) drove from their 7 to the Catawba 17, and McLean Robertson kicked a 34-yard field goal with 38 seconds left for the winning points.
Catawba (1-3, 0-1) had tied the game at 10-10 late in the third quarter on a Clayton Crile field goal. Wingate drove into the red zone early in the fourth quarter but fumbled the ball away.
Virginia Union 16, Winston-Salem State 15
Virginia Union (3-1, 1-0 CIAA) blocked a punt with 1:30 remaining, and Jefferson Souza kicked a game-winning 25-yard field goal 70 seconds later. Winston-Salem State (1-3, 0-1) led 9-0 early in the game.
Shaw 49, Edward Waters 10
Shaw (2-2) scored four second-half touchdowns, blowing open a close game. The Bears piled up 512 yards’ total offensive, with junior quarterback Torrin Campbell completing 16-of-23 passes for 222 yards and five touchdowns.
Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle