MONROE, La. -- Louisiana-Monroe held Wake Forest to 94 yards of total offense and Centarius Donald ran for 117 yards to lead the Warhawks to a 17-10 win in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.
Neither team scored an offensive touchdown until Louisiana-Monroe quarterback Pete Thomas rushed up the middle for a nine-yard touchdown with 3:37 left. The senior transfer from North Carolina State completed 23 of 41 passes for 189 yards.
"That's the same play we used to run with [former quarterback] Kolton [Browning]," Louisiana-Monroe head coach Todd Berry said. "As I mentioned at one other time, [Thomas is] a better runner than people think he is. He had to scramble and drop his shoulder and go make a play, and I was excited to see that too. There are time periods when you have to bow up, and he bowed up and he earned a lot of respect from the team for that."
Donald picked up 43 yards as Louisiana-Monroe bled the final 2:06 off the clock.
The Warhawks had seven sacks for 55 yards and limited the Demon Deacons to minus-3 yards rushing.
"It was impressive," Berry said. "They are an ACC team, a Power Five. They spend three times as much money as we do. They have a lot of advantages, but I think coach [Dave] Clawson is going to be a great fit for that program, and I'm excited for him.
Linebacker Steve Donatell blocked a punt and Kevin Johnson returned the loose ball for a 25-yard touchdown in the opening minutes and Wake Forest took a 10-0 lead into halftime.
Mitch Lane's 31-yard interception return for a touchdown put Louisiana-Monroe on the board late in the 3rd quarter. He added six sacks.
"I was pleased with the defense," Berry said. "I am not necessarily surprised. I felt good going in about how we would play."