CARY - The Apex football team has tripled its season win total over the past two weeks by going back to an old winning formula. It wasn't always pretty, but the Cougars won back-to-back games for the first time since 2008 on Friday, downing winless Green Hope 30-13.
The Cougars started the season as a pass-first team out of the spread offense, but after a week eight bye week, Apex has gone almost exclusively with running the ball out of the same look.
The Cougars (3-6, 2-4) ran it three times as many times as they passed on Friday, and now Apex has a shot at the playoffs if it can win out.
"We didn't go into our bye week with the idea of abandoning the pass at all. We just wanted to work on our running game more," Wolfe said. "We've been real fortunate these last two weeks we've been running the ball better."
The Cougars weren't able to put away Green Hope (0-10, 0-7) until a one-yard quarterback sneak by Adam Nelson with 3:55 left in the game. Quincy Mangum added a 56-yard touchdown run a little over a minute later.
Apex's Adam Calogero broke a 13-13 tie with 2:05 left in the third quarter on a 25-yard field goal.
The Falcons turned it over three times in the fourth quarter alone, including interceptions by Joey Stephens and Jake Tart.
"We made mistakes at crucial times. We got dragged into some things that we knew we shouldn't be doing," Green Hope coach Steve Katz said.
Apex took the opening drive in for a score, ending with a 19-yard touchdown run by Mangum that put the Cougars ahead 7-0 at the 7:27 mark.
Green Hope answered with 7:51 left in the second quarter as Drew Lloyd found Kevin Collins on a 13-yard slant to tie the game at 7-7 with 7:51 in the second.
Malik Hayes broke three Falcon tackles as he hauled in a 33-yard touchdown pass with 3:00 left in the second quarter. The extra point was blocked, and the Cougars took the 13-7 at half.
Lloyd found Collins again in the third from 30 yards out for the final Falcons score.
Green Hope will try to snap its 37-game losing streak in its season finale next week against 1-8 Holly Springs.