WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Greg Dortch returned two punts for touchdowns and caught a scoring pass, and Wake Forest beat Towson , 51-20, in its home opener on Saturday.
"I'm disappointed," Towson coach Rob Ambrose said. "I thought there were a lot of good takeaways against a tough opponent for us, but we can't give up two punt returns. Those are momentum killers."
Dortch returned punts 60 and 70 yards for touchdowns in the second quarter and hauled in an 8-yard touchdown reception. He finished with 310 all-purpose yards — 94 receiving, 85 on kick returns and 131 on punt returns — and became the first Wake Forest player with four consecutive games of at least 200 all-purpose yards.
"I may be biased, I think he's the most exciting player in college football," said wide receiver Alex Bachman, who made a one-handed touchdown grab in the first quarter. "Every time he touches the ball there's a chance something spectacular is going to happen."
Freshman quarterback Sam Hartman passed for 242 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 64 yards and a score for the Demon Deacons (2-0). He threw a 10-yard touchdown to Bachman on the Wake Forest's opening drive and the touchdown to Dortch on the second as the Demon Deacons never trailed.
Tom Flacco, younger brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, passed for 345 yards and three touchdowns for Towson.
Flacco, who completed 35 of 51 passes, kept the Tigers competitive briefly, responding to each of Hartman's scores with touchdown passes of his own to make it 14-14 at the end of the first quarter.
But Hartman ran in a 14-yard touchdown on the third play of the second quarter to put Wake Forest up for good, and Dortsch put it away with his two electrifying returns.
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Hartman became the Demon Deacons' quarterback only after projected starter Kendall Hinton was suspended three games for violating team rules, but the true freshman may not give the job back. After passing for 378 yards in the season opener — most ever by a Wake Forest quarterback in his first career start — Hartman delivered another sharp passing performance and showed off his mobility with three rushes of at least 10 yards. He now has 778 total yards and five total touchdowns in his first two career starts and is cementing a grip on the starting job.