Category Archives: Football

Opening weekend for college football

Charlotte 49ers at Eastern Michigan, 6 p.m. Friday

The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and on local radio at ESPN 730 AM. Get details and and more about the 49ers at Charlotte49ers.com

 

Brevard at Davidson, 7 p.m. Saturday

Get all the details, including links to the broadcast, at www.davidsonwildcats.com The radio broadcast from Learfield is on WHIP-AM 1350 in Mooresville and on the TuneIn Radio App.

 

 

 

Under the Lights on Friday Nights

Scores and highlights from across the area

Perry Gabriel and Mark Plemmons host this week’s scoreboard show from the site of Concord at Hickory Ridge.

Shaked Bar-Tal will provide live reports from the Cox Mill at Mount Pleasant game. Chris Hudson will report from Piedmont at Central Cabarrus.

We will follow other games and we encourage you to call in your scores from across North Carolina live between 7:30 and 10 p.m. each Friday night. The number to call is 704-786-0001 to connect live on the air with Mark and Perry.

under the lights

49ers wrap up 2016

The Point After
UTSA 33 at Charlotte 14
Alamodome; San Antonio, Texas

#49: Wolfgang Zacherl
Captains: Austin Duke, Workpeh Kofa, Daquan Lucas, Nick Cook

QUOTEABLE:
“I want to just thank (the senior class) for taking a risk and coming to Charlotte to start this program. They laid a great foundation for us and it has a chance to propel us forward as we move into the coming years.” – HC Brad Lambert

The 49ers concluded the 2016 season with a 4-8 overall record; 3-5 in Conference USA. The four wins double the win total of 2015, the 49ers first at the FBS level. The three C-USA wins are the first in school history.

It was the final game for 27 seniors, including 19 members of the program’s First Class.

After going winless in league play in 2015, the 49ers finished 5th of 7 teams in the C-USA East Division and T8th of 13, overall with a 3-5 league mark.

Charlotte had two league games decided by one possession, last year (three-point losses to ODU and UTSA). This year, six of the eight league games were either wins (3) or one-possession losses (3).

Six of Charlotte’s eight losses came to bowl eligible teams. Charlotte also scored a victory over a bowl eligible team (Southern Miss) for the second straight year.

Sr. RB Kalif Phillips established the school career record with 4,020 career rushing yards.

R-Sr. WR Austin Duke established the school career record with 3,437 career receiving yards.

Kalif Phillips and Austin Duke rank 1-2 in touchdowns scored for the 49ers: Phillips has 43 career TDs (41 rushing; 2 receiving) while Duke completed his career with 25 career TDs (24 receiving; 1 rushing).

Kalif Phillips completes his career with 4,504 yards from scrimmage (4,020 rush; 484 rec.), including 1,149 from scrimmage (907 rush; 242 rec.), this season.

Austin Duke notched his 13th career 100-yard receiving game with 115 yards in his finale at UTSA. It is the most receiving yards put up by a 49er against FBS competition. It was Duke’s 4th 100-yard game of the year.

The 115-yard game is the ninth-most in school history. Duke owns each of the top nine performances and 13 of the 16 100-yard receiving games in school history.

Austin Duke had a 76-yard TD reception, matching his longest of the year and the 4th longest in school history. Duke owns each of the 49ers six all-time longest TD receptions.

The 76-yard TD pass from Hasaan Klugh to Austin Duke is the longest TD throw of Klugh’s career. He had a 69-yarder to Duke earlier in the season at FAU.

Klugh finished his first year with the 49ers connecting on 120-of-224 passes for 1356 yards (123.3/gm) and 10 TDs with 3 INT. He was third on the team with 426 yards rushing.

Austin Duke had at least 50 catches in each of his four years, and finishes his career with a school-record 24 career receiving TDs (25 total, 2nd all-time), 252 receptions and a 74.7 per game receiving avg.

QB/RB Matt Johnson completes his 49ers career with a school-record 5,405 yards passing and he added 1,273 career yards rushing.

Three players started over 40 of the 49ers 46 all-time games. DL Larry Ogunjobi is the only player that started all 46 games. DL Brandon Banks made 43 starts and Austin Duke made 41 career starts.

DL Larry Ogunjobi had 0.5 TFL at UTSA to complete his 49ers’ career, fittingly, with a school record 49.0 TFL.

Ogunjobi completes his 49ers career with school records for tackles (217), TFL (49.0) and sacks (13.0).

Sr. LB Nick Cook established a new single-season record with 107 tackles. Cook had at least 8 tackles in each of the last five games and 10 of 12 overall. He ranks 8th in C-USA in tackles.

LB Karrington King had 7+ tackles in four of the last five games, averaging 8.4 tackles over that span. He ranked 32nd in C-USA with 6.1 tackles this year.

Fr. S Ben DeLuca led the 49ers with 10 tackles at UTSA. It was DeLuca’s third game with 10 or more tackles and the 12th double-digit tackle performance by a 49er, this year.

Ben DeLuca ranks second among C-USA freshmen with 5.7 tackles per game.

Charlotte finished the year with an FBS record 302 points scored, surpassing last year’s total of 210.

The 49ers scored 40 TDs (18 rushing; 17 passing; 5 Def/ST).

Charlotte allowed 106 yards rushing to UTSA and completes the regular season ranked third in the league in rushing defense (143.4/gm). Four of the last six opponents were held to 106 yards rushing or less.

Charlotte special teams scored its third TD of the season when Juwan Foggie recovered the punter’s fumble and rambled three yards for the score at UTSA. Earlier in the year, Foggie blocked a punt that was recovered by Ed Rolle in the endzone and Anthony Covington recovered a muffed punt in the endzone. In addition, Terrance Winchester had a Pick Six and Ben DeLuca returned a fumble for a score to give Charlotte five TDs from its defense/special teams.

Charlotte forced a turnover in 11 of 12 games. The lone game without a forced turnover: Temple. Charlotte finished the year with a +8 TO margin (2nd in C-USA).

Charlotte led C-USA through the regular-season with 16 interceptions and had at least one pick in 10 of 12 games.

KR Chris Montgomery finished the season with a single-season record 845 kick return yards and he ranks 4th in C-USA with a 19.7 return avg. He owns the 49ers career record with 1345 return yards.

2016 Season Leaders:

Rushing Yards Kalif Phillips 907
Receiving Yards Austin Duke 803
Passing Yards Hasaan Klugh 1356
Touchdowns Hasaan Klugh 8
Passing TD Hasaan Klugh 10
Receiving TD Workpeh Kofa 5
Rushing TD Hasaan Klugh 8
Tackles Nick Cook 107 – SCHOOL RECORD
TFL Larry Ogunjobi 13.5
Sacks Larry Ogunjobi 3.0

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Sports Information
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Sports Information

‘Cats win, 49ers fall

Defense Leads Davidson Past Livingstone 38-12

DAVIDSON, N.C. – In addition to forcing four first-half turnovers, Davidson jumped out to a 38-0 lead en route to a 38-12 victory over Livingstone in non-conference football action Saturday night at Richardson Stadium.

With the win, the Wildcats open the season 2-1 for the first time since the 2011 campaign, while the Blue Bears fall to 1-2.

Davidson, which led 21-0 late in the first quarter, took advantage of two Livingstone special team miscues. Following a failed fake punt, quarterback Stockton McGuire put the ‘Cats up 6-0 with a six-yard run.

Midway through the first, Livingstone punter Tyler Keene mishandled a snap that Thomas Sykes scooped up and took to the end zone for Davidson, the first of two defensive scores.

Along with forcing a combined nine turnovers in their last two contests, the Wildcats’ defense held Livingstone to just 68 yards on the ground, while finishing with six sacks.

McGuire connected with Derek Jones on a 12-yard pass with 3:29 left in the quarter to cap off a seven-play 58-yard drive.

Freshman Preston Grase extended the margin to 30-0 when his picked off Bryan Digsby and returned his first career interception 43-yards for a touchdown.

Keylan Brown, who rushed for 95 yards and a score in Davidson’s win over Kentucky Wesleyan last weekend, led both teams with 87 yards on 19 carries, including an eight-yard touchdown scamper just prior to the half.

Digsby paced the Blue Bears with 201 yards in the air, including 102 on eight catches to wide receiver Everett Ransom.

The Wildcats open Pioneer Football League play next Saturday, Sept. 24 when they visit Valparaiso. Kickoff from Brown Field is slated for 1 p.m.

Eastern Michigan Upends Charlotte, 37-19

Eastern Michigan took the early lead on the 49ers (1-2) and thwarted Charlotte’s comeback efforts with key turnovers to grab a 37-19 victory at Jerry Richardson Stadium.

The Eagles (2-1) went ahead 7-0 in the first quarter and led 17-3 at the half before forcing two third quarter turnovers to push ahead 34-6.

The 49ers rallied with two fourth quarter scores and had another drive stopped in the red zone on fourth down.

Statistically, Charlotte and Eastern Michigan looked similar. Eastern Michigan had 357 yards of total offense.  Charlotte had 346.  EMU was better on third down (7 of 13) but Charlotte was 8-of-20 and made up for the slight difference by going 3-of-4 on 4th down.

For the first time this year, however, Charlotte lost the turnover battle – and the Eagles took advantage by stopping the 49ers opening drive of the second half in EMU territory on a fumble and then returning an interception for a TD, late in the quarter.

“Going into halftime, I was really proud and thought we had things under control,” head coach Brad Lambert said.  In the second half, we did a few things we can’t do and gave up some plays.  The biggest thing is that we need to clean up mistakes.”

Charlotte was without starting running back Kalif Phillips, who is nursing a hamstring injury and did not dress.  Freshman Robert Washington filled in nicely however, rushing for 120 yards on 20 carries.  It was Washington’s first 100-yard game and the second-most rushing yards ever by a true freshman for the 49ers.

Hasaan Klugh came off the bench to replace starting QB Kevin Olsen, who left the game late in the third due to cramps.  Klugh threw fourth-quarter TD passes to Workpeh Kofa and TL Ford II to close the gap.  It was Ford II’s second straight game with a TD reception while Kofa made his first career TD catch.  The two TD passes were the first of Klugh’s career.

“We never give up,” said Ford, “but when we have penalties and mental mistakes like we did tonight, it makes things that much harder.”

EMU took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter when Ian Eriksen capped the game’s first substantial drive with a five-yard TD run.  Charlotte answered with a 29-yard field goal to open the second quarter to make it 7-3.  An EMU field goal push the lead back to 7, 10-3.

Jaylen Pickett pulled down his first interception and returned it to the Charlotte 20 to set up the Eagle second TD of the game:  a five-yard pass from Todd Porter to Nigel Kirby to make it a 17-3 game at the half.

After forcing a fumble just across midfield, the Eagle struck quick with a 49 yard TD pass from Porter to Johnnie Niupalau.  Porter was 24-for-31 for 285 yards and had three passes of 30 or more yards.

“They came in and played really hard.  They had some guys make good plays and I thought the quarterback played well and made timely plays.” Lambert said.  “There were too many deep balls in our secondary.”

After Niupalau’s 49-yard TD grab put the Eagles ahead, 24-3, Charlotte drove to the EMU eight but had to settle for another Stephen Muscarello field goal to make it 24-6.  EMU’s 36-yard FG made it 27-6 before Pickett pulled down his second INT of the game and ran it back 36 yards for the touchdown.

Trailing 34-6 at the end of three, Klugh found Kofa for a 10-yard TD early in the fourth quarter.  After the defense forced a three-and-out, Klugh completed an 11-play; 83-yard drive with a 28-yard TD strike to Ford II, to make it 34-19 with 9:42 left.

The Eagles chewed up over six minutes on their next drive and kicked a field goal to increase the lead to 37-19 with just over three minutes remaining.

Charlotte’s final drive went 45 yards on nine plays, but the 49ers could not convert on 4th down at the EMU 11 in the final minute.

Olsen finished the game with 14-of-28 passing for 123 yards and his first two interceptions of the season.  Klugh was 9-of-15 for 66 yards and two TDs.  Austin Duke led the 49ers receivers for the third straight game with 84 yards while Ford II finished with 51.

Senior LB Nick Cook led the 49ers for the third straight game in tackles, with 12 while r-Sr. Larry Ogunjobi added a season-high 8 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.

With his 12 tackles, Cook surpassed 100 takedowns in his 14-game career to become the fastest 49er to reach the milestone.

“That’s not something I even think about,” Cook said.  “Whatever my stats were, I made plenty of mistakes tonight, too.  It takes all 11 guys on the field.”

As for mistakes, those were chief on Lambert’s mind as the game concluded.

“We have a lot of things we need to correct,” he said.

Charlotte closes out its non-conference season next week at Temple in a 12 noon game that will be televised by ASN, locally on WCCB Charlotte.

Other scores

Catawba 40 Carson-Newman 20

Wingate 56 Shaw 7

Wofford 59 Johnson C. Smith 0

College football openers

Davidson at Georgetown Saturday, Sept. 3, 1 p.m.

Davidson opens the season Saturday, Sept. 3, at Georgetown. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on WHIP-AM 1350 in Mooresville, on the Tunein Radio App, and at www.DavidsonWildcats.com

Saturday’s game will mark the 12th meeting between the ‘Cats and Hoyas. Davidson trails the all-time series 3-8 dating back to the first meeting in 1999.

The Wildcats open the season against the Hoyas of Georgetown University for the fifth time in program history when Davidson visits Cooper Field in Washington, D.C. for a 1 p.m. contest on Saturday. The Wildcats are 55-57-5 (.491) in season openers, including 16-39-2 on the road.

The Wildcats’ home opener is Sept. 17 against Livingstone.

Davidson closed the 2015 season with a win over Stetson.

Charlotte 49ers at Louisville Thursday Sept. 1

The Charlotte 49ers open their fourth season of football and second at the FBS level as a member of Conference USA, Thursday, Sept. 1 at nationally-ranked Louisville (ACC RSN; Charlotte IMG Radio Network).

Charlotte returns 15 starters (9 off; 6 def) and 10 players that have started at least 20 games over the 49ers three-year history.  The 49ers went 2-10, last year, and won their first game against an FBS opponent: at bowl-bound Georgia State.  This is the 49ers first game against an FBS Top 25 foe.

The 49ers roster includes 19 redshirt seniors that were part of the program’s First Class in 2012.

More information about the 49ers is available at www.charlotte49ers.com

The 49ers open at Jerry Richardson Stadium Sept. 10 against Elon. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.

Other area games this week

Johnson C. Smith opens Saturday at Wingate. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.

Livingstone travels to Columbia, South Carolina for a 5 p.m. kickoff Saturday Benedict.

Catawba opens at West Georgia at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Lenoir Rhyne hosts Virginia State at 2 p.m. Saturday.

davidson schedule

 

Shaked Bar-Tal’s High School Football Preview

 

Sportscaster Shaked Bar-Tal
Sportscaster Shaked Bar-Tal

49ers future schedule building

Charlotte 49ers Football Adds Pair of Big Ten Series

CHARLOTTE, N.C.  — The Charlotte 49ers, who will play in their second season in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) this fall as a member of Conference USA, have announced the scheduling of a pair of series against Big Ten opponents and the completion of their 2019 non-conference slate.

Charlotte will play a home-and-home series with Maryland in 2022 and 2023.  The 49ers will also play road games at Indiana in those same seasons.  The contests against those Big Ten schools give the 49ers at least one power five conference opponent in each of the next 10 seasons with three such games scheduled at home.

Charlotte will host Maryland, Sept. 10, 2022 at Jerry Richardson Stadium and travel to College Park, Md., Sept. 9, 2023.  The home game will be the 49ers second against a power five foe.  Charlotte hosts Duke, of the ACC, Sept. 11, 2021.  The 49ers will also host the ACC’s North Carolina, Sept. 6, 2025.
The road games at Indiana will be played Oct. 1, 2022 and Sept. 23, 2023.
In addition, the 49ers have completed the 2019 non-conference slate. Charlotte will open the season at home, Aug. 31, against Gardner-Webb.  Each of the next four non-conference seasons are now complete.
The full 2016 schedule has been released and includes non-conference home games against Elon and Eastern Michigan and non-conference road games at Louisville and Temple.  The Conference USA slate includes four home games and four road games.
Season tickets for the 2016 campaign are currently available.  Visit charlotte49ers.com or call 704/687-4949 for more information.
Upcoming Non-Conference Slates:
(dates subject to change)
2016:
Sept. 1 at Louisville
Sept. 10 Elon
Sept. 17 Eastern Michigan
Sept. 24 at Temple
2017:
Sept. 2 at Eastern Michigan
Sept. 9 Georgia State
Sept. 16 North Carolina A&T
Sept. 23 at Kansas State
2018:
Sept. 1 Fordham
Sept. 8 Appalachian State
Sept. 22 at Massachusetts
Nov. 3 at Tennessee
2019:
Aug. 31 Gardner-Webb
Sept. 7 at Appalachian State
Sept. 14 Massachusetts
Sept. 21 at Clemson
2020:
Sept. 19 at Duke

Sept. 26   Georgia State

Blake Brewer kicking a field goal against Georgia State - Charlotte Sports Information photo
Blake Brewer kicking a field goal against Georgia State – Charlotte Sports Information photo
2021:
Sept. 11 Duke
Sept. 18   at Georgia State
Oct. 2 at Illinois
2022:
Sept. 10 Maryland
Sept. 17   at Georgia State
Oct. 1 at Indiana
2023:
Sept. 9 at Maryland
Sept. 16   Georgia State
Sept. 23 at Indiana
2024:
Sept. 7 at North Carolina
2025:
Sept. 6 North Carolina

Charlotte 49ers sign 12 players

 2016 NATIONAL SIGNING DAY INFO

Charlotte, N.C. –   Charlotte 49ers head football coach Brad Lambert has announced the program’s fifth recruiting class.  The  49ers announced the signing of 12 players, today, who join three mid-December signees.  Now in the program’s fourth year, the 49ers will be competing for the second time at the FBS level as a member of Conference USA in 2016. The 49ers competed as an FCS Independent in 2013 and 2014 before joining C-USA, last year.
The full 15-member signee class has four in-state players from North Carolina and nine from the North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia region.  The other six signees come from Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey and Denmark. Three signees: Butler High’s RB Ben LeMay; Vance High’s LB Anthony Butler and East Gaston High’s RB Robert Washington hail from the Charlotte region.
The class includes the first four-star recruit that the 49ers have signed out of high school: East Gaston’s Robert Washington as well as three-star prospects Ben LeMay and DL Johnny Ray.  December transfer QB Kevin Olsen was a four-star recruit out of high school.

More on the signees

Theis Bagnkop
6-4; 300; OL
Frederikshavn, Denmark
Frederikshavn Business College/Louisburg College
Two-year star at Louisburg College … Hurricanes enjoyed a 7-1 season in 2015 and were ranked 15th the NJCAA national poll … converted defensive lineman … on OL, Bagnkop helped Louisburg put up 43.6 points and 452.6 yards per game … team’s 336.0 rushing yards per game led NJCAA … 2688 total rushing yards ranked 5th … Hurricanes ranked 4th with 35 rushing TDs … Bagnkop did not give up a single sack … former hockey player in Denmark … father played hockey professionally in Denmark … Named a Hurricane Scholar-Athlete in March, 2015 and was on the Hurricanes Honors List for posting a GPA between 3.0-3.49 in Spring, 2015 …  chosen as a Louisburg College Student Ambassador for 2015-16.
Ryan Carriere
6-4; 230; TE/H
Loganville, Ga.
Grayson
A three-year varsity player for the Rams … a two-start recruit by Rivals.com and 247Sports … named first team all-Metro by the Atlanta Journal Constitution … 3rd-team all-Gwinnett by the Gwinnett Daily Post… participated in all-Gwinnett County All-Star Game … averaged 17.5 yards per catch (192 yards; 11 receptions) … led the Rams to the AAAAAA Region 8 Championship … ranked 4th in Georgia and reached the AAAAAA state semifnals … went 13-1  with a perfect 8-0 mark in Region 8 for coach Mickey Conn … Rams were 10-2 in 2014 with a 7-1 record in Region 8 … advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.
Ben DeLuca
6-2; 185; DB
Orlando, Fla.
Bishop Moore Catholic
Second-Team all-State Class 5A performer (Florida Times-Union) for 2015 5A FHSAA State Champions … Hornets went 14-1 and claimed the 5A District 13 title with a 4-0 mark and just 7 points allowed for coach Matt Hedrick … had 127 tackles (36 solo) with 2 TFL and 4 INT … team’s defensive captain … three-year starter … #50 on Orlando Sentinel’s 2016 Central Florida Super60 … had over 100 tackles and 4 INT as a junior as the FHSAA Regional champion Hornets reached the 5A state semifinals with another 14-1 mark and perfect 4-0 record in 5A District 11 …  three-time district champs were 8-3 in 2013 (4-0 in 5A District 11) … led Hornets to a 35-5 record as a varsity player.
Jacione Fugate
5-11; 175; RB
Hampton, Va.
Kecoughtan
A 2015 Daily Press All-Star … second team all-5A South by recruit757.com … ran for 1158 yards and 15 TDs as a senior … averaged 7.3 yards per carry for head coach Alonzo Coley … three-year varsity player … named to the 2014 all-757 Camp team where he posted the top 40 yard dash and a top five vertical jump …  Warriors reached the second round of the 2014 6A State Playoffs … named second-team all-South 6A as a junior … first team all-conference in 2014 … second team all-conference in 2013 …track athlete.
Timothy Horne
6-5; 280; DL
Wadesboro, N.C.
Anson
A 2015 Shrine Bowl participant for head coach Ralph Jackson … on the roster for the 2015 Blue-Grey Regional Combine in North Carolina … a three-year varsity player for the Bearcats … had 22 tackles as a junior with 2 sacks … 17 tackles, 1.5 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries as a sophomore … also plays basketball.
Ben LeMay
5-9; 210; RB
Matthews, N.C.
Butler
A three-start recruit by ESPN.com and 247Sports.com … two-star recruit by Rival.scom … four-year varsity letterwinner played on Bulldogs 2012 NC 4AA state championship team … a part of three Southwestern 4A Conference titles … two-time all-Southwestern 4A Conference selection for coach Brian Hales … rushed for 4059 career yards and 74 career TDs … added 896 receiving yards … Bulldogs went 10-3 in 2015 and earned a share of the Southwestern 4A Conference title with a 5-1 record … named SW4A all-conference … reached the second round of the 4AA state playoffs … Southwestern 4A all-Conference pick as a junior as Bulldogs went 11-4 and finished as SW 4A runner-up with a 5-1 mark …  again reached the 4AA second round … rushed for 1565 yards and 24 TDs as a junior (7.4 yds/carry; 124 yds/game) … three-year starter helped Butler to the 4AA state semifinals as a sophomore … rushed for 1038 yards and 18 TDs as a sophomore and added 650 receiving yards and 7 TDs … four-year varsity member enjoyed an unbeaten 15-0 record and a 4AA state title as a freshman … was second on team with 404 yards rushing and had 8 TDs … younger brother of current 49ers WR Uriah LeMay.
Nick Martin 
6-3; 260; DL
Lexington, Ky.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
AP Second-Team all-State defensive lineman in 2015 for coach Paul Rains … 3rd team all-state by Louiville Courier-Jornal … named first team all-City by the Lexington Herald … led team with 76 tackles including 31 TFL and 16 sacks … caused 6 fumbles … had 1 sack and was the leading tackler with 9 tackles in 2015 Border Bowl … was named Kentucky’s Lineman MVP … also played in Battle of the Bluegrass All-Star Game … missed his junior season with a broken foot … was first team all-City as a sophomore, as well … four-year starter helped Bulldogs to a 6-6 record and the second round of the 6A state playoffs in 2013.
Aaron McAllister
6-0; 200; DB
Live Oak, Fla.
Suwanee
One of the area’s top athletes … earned 2015 all-Area first team selection on offense (UTIL) … produced 757 rushing yards with 15 TDs and 440 receiving yards and 9 TDs … also had two punt return TDs … as a defensive back pulled in four interceptions … named to FACA All-Star Game  … led Bulldogs to a 10-3 mark, including a 4-0 record as 5A District 3 Champs … lost in the 5A FHSAA Regional finals … 2014 Regional Champs reached the 5A state semifinals … after going 13-3 and claiming the 5A District 5 title with a 6-0 mark … three-year varsity player helped Bulldogs to a 7-3 record and a 5A District 5 co-champsionhsip with a 5-1 mark.
Austin Paraison
6-6; 270; DL
Lehigh Acres, Fla.
Lehigh
Four-year varsity player for the Lightning … two-star recruit by 247Sports … named honorable mention Fort Myers News-Press all-Area for first-year head coach James Chaney… 55 tackles in 2015 with 10 sacks and 20 TFLs … added a forced fumble … had 31 tackles and 2.0 sacks as a junior … played both offensive and defensive line … loves the “physical aspect of the game”.
Johnny Ray
6-5; 252; DL
Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Wando
First team USA Today all-state performer …. three-star recruit by ESPN.com and 247Sports … two-star recruit by Rivals.com … named honorable mention all-Low Country by the Charleston Post & Courier … three-year varsity standout for the Warriors … had 33.5 tackles as a senior with 9 TFL and 4 sacks for coach Jimmy Noonan … added 8 QB hurries and two fumble recoveries … finished career with 60.5 tackles and 16 TFL, 6 sacks and 14 QB hurries … Named to South Carolina’s 2015 North-South All-Star … team’s defensive line MVP … named first team all-East Cooper.
Joe Thompson
6-1; 200; QB
Ashburn, Va.
Stone Bridge
Two-star recruit by Rivals.com … named honorable mention all-Met by the Washington Post … led Bulldogs to a VHSL 5A State Runner-Up finish in 2015 …  led an offense that scored 35 or more points in the four wins leading up to the state championship game … threw for 1377 yards as a senior (88-142) with 15 TDs and 6 INTs … dual-threat QB added 812 rushing yards … led Stone Bridge to a 10-5 record … placed second in 5A Conference 14 with a 3-1 mark … had 2101 passing yards as a junior with 12 TD’s … added 387 rushing yards and 9 receiving TDs … Bulldogs went 10-3 and reached the state quarterfinals … three-year varsity player for coach Mickey Thompson … helped Bulldogs to a 9-3 record as a sophomore.
Robert Washington
5-10; 201; RB
Huntersville, N.C.
East Gaston
Four-star recruit by ESPN.com … first four-start recruit to sign with the 49ers directly out of high school … had over 40 offers from top programs throughout the country and committed to Syracuse  before opting out over the summer … ESPN.com ranked him as high as #4 overall player in North Carolina and as the #13 running back prospect, nationally … played with the US National Team at every age level, beginning with the 2011 u-15 squad through the 2015 u-18 team … 3-start recruit by 247sports … Rivals.com ranked him 15th among RB prospects ….  Ran for 2512 yards as a sophomore … 2233 yards as a junior — two of the Top 10 single-season rushing perfomances in Mecklenburg County history … Rushed for 5762 yards in first three seasons to rank 4th all-time in county history … added 834 yards as a senior (playing in only 7 games) to finish career with 6596 career yards … attended two-time NCISAA state champ SouthLake Christian Academy before transferring to East Gaston for his senior season … helped East Gaston to a 7-5 record and a trip to the state playoffs … East Gaston hadn’t had a winning season since 2006 … rushed for 131 yards and 1 TD in state playoff game … East Gaston was 5-2 with Washington in the lineup … in an UpClose interview with Rivals.com he listed his biggest rival as himself.

DECEMBER, 2015 Signees:

Anthony Butler
6-2; 190; LB
Charlotte, N.C.
Vance
Three-year varsity standout … Cougars went 11-4 in his junior year and reached the 4A State semifinals … posted a 5-2 mark in MECKA 4A Conference to finish third … lost to Charlotte Catholic in the 2014 4A state semifinals … was 4th in conference 122 tackles as a junior, averaging 8.1 per game … added 3.0 sacks, 17.0 tackles for loss and one interception … 6-6 in his senior season and earned a spot in the 4A state playoffs … two-time team MVP … two-time all-MECKA 4A conference player … 2014 all-Charlotte Observer third team defensive back.
Kevin Olsen
6-3; 220; QB
Wayne, N.J.
Wayne Hills/Riverside (Ca.) City College
Younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen … originally a signee with Miami (Fla.) as a four-star recruit …  final college choices were Miami, Auburn and Wisconsin … helped Riverside Tigers to an 8-3 record in 2015 and a #4 seed in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regionals … RCC shared a National Central League title with a 5-1 mark … was ranked as high as first in the state after a 4-0 start … Olsen played in nine games, making five starts … was 98-of-174 for 1080 yards and 13 touchdowns … served a red-shirt season at Miami in 2013 and transferred after the 2014 season … considered one of the nation’s top pro-style quarterbacks out of high school … an Elite 11 Finalist … rated as a four-star recruit by ESPNU, 247sports.com, Rivals.com, scout.com and MaxPreps.com … Scout.com listed him as the fourth-best quarterback in the nation, ESPNU had him fifth and MaxPreps.com listed him sixth. … ranked as the #3 player in New Jersey by ESPN.com … 2013 Under Armour all-American … started in Under Armour all-America Game … was coached by his father, Chris Olsen, at Wayne Hills H.S.
Jamar Winston
6-8; 265; DL
Irmo, S.C.
Dutch Fork H.S./Hutchinson (Kan.) C.C.
Winston comes to the 49ers from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College … originally signed with the 49ers in 2013 out of Dutch Fork High School before enrolling in junior college … starred on Dutch Fork’s Lower State Championship team that finished as the 2012 state runner-up …  had 81 tackles (52 solo) in 2012 with 18 TFL, 8 sacks and one forced fumble … Silver Foxes went 11-4 record on their way to a Region Championship … earned all-state honors … named the Best Lower State AAAA Lineman … all-region choice … participated in the Shrine Bowl … named Dutch Fork Most Valuable Lineman and the Palmetto Champions Lineman of the Year for coach Tom Knotts .. played in 7 games in 2011 with 10 tackles, 2 TFL and 1 sack … also returned an interception for a TD.

Shrine Bowl selections, college football

Watch the announcement live

North Carolina Coach John Kirby and South Carolina Coach Wayne Green will announce this year’s players for the the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. The official announcement will be made at noon Monday, Oct. 5, in Charlotte.
Kirby is the head coach of Eastern Alamance High School. Green is the head coach of Berea High School.
shrine bowl 2015

 

Davidson drops tough one to Valpo 42-35

DAVIDSON, N.C. – Despite 114 yards receiving and two touchdowns from William Morris, Davidson suffered a 42-35 setback to Valparaiso in Pioneer Football League action Saturday at Richardson Stadium.

With the score tied 35-35, the Crusaders Griffin Norberg scored the game-winning touchdown on a 12-yard reception from Ryan Clarke with 1:55 remaining. Clarke finished the day 18-of-32 with five touchdown passes and two interceptions, both by William Curran.

Shortly after Davidson took a 35-28 lead on Morris’ second touchdown reception, a 29-yard grab, Valpo’s Jarrett Morgan scampered 89 yards on the ensuing kickoff to tie the score.

Derek Jones, also had a pair of touchdown receptions for the Wildcats, both coming in the second half, to tie the game on separate occasions.

In addition to Morris, Taylor Mitchell finished the day completing 19-of-35 passes for 196 yards with three touchdowns. Austin Wells picked up 57 yards off 17 carries. Defensively, Chris Woods led the ‘Cats with 10 tackles.

Frank Catrine led the Crusaders with 135 yards receiving off nine catches with a long of 50 yards. Running back Brandon Hall tallied 98 yards on 28 carries.

After a Valparaiso touchdown on its first series, Davidson took its first lead of the season as it scored back-to-back touchdowns to go up 14-7.

With 6:28 left in the opening quarter, Davidson made the most of a Valpo fumble as David Rogers scored from three yards out.

The Wildcats carried a 14-7 lead into the half thanks to a 37-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell to Morris, which capped a 12-play 93-yard scoring drive.

Davidson will return to Richardson Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 10 to host Kentucky Wesleyan at 1 p.m.

Temple downs 49ers with big second half

THE POINT AFTER:

Temple 37   at Charlotte 3

49:  Zach Duncan

Captains:  Richard Murphy, Kalif Phillips, Caleb Clayton-Molby, Larry Ogunjobi

Flag Carriers:  Jarred Barr, Terrance Winchester, Keaston Sinicki

Temple is the 49ers first FBS opponent that was receiving votes in the national polls.

RB Kalif Phillips (125 yds) is the first 100-yard rusher allowed by Temple this year and the first since Penn State’s Akeel Lynch, Nov. 15, 2014 to rush for 125 yards against the Owls.

Kalif Phillips has rushed for 100 yards in the last two games.  His school-record is five straight game with 100+ yard, set during the final five games of 2014 (The Citadel; JMU; Coastal Carolina; Wesley College; Morehead State)

Charlotte had a season-high 223 yards rushing, the most allowed by Temple, this year.  The 49ers averaged a season-best 5.1 yards per carry.

Charlotte had its top two running plays of the season against Temple: 

Phillips for 39 yards; Andrew Buie for 31 yards.

Charlotte had more yards of total offense (354-322) than Temple.  Charlotte has had more yards of total offense in four of five games this season.

Charlotte had 7 plays of 15 or more yards vs. Temple.  In the previous two games (Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic) combined, Charlotte had five such plays.

Lee McNeill had three passes of 15 or more yards vs. Temple.  Charlotte had one such play in the previous two games.

Charlotte had four rushing plays of 15 or more yards vs. Temple.  They had four combined in the previous two games.

DaQuavius Reid tied a school-record with fumble recoveries in two consecutive games.  Reid recovered a fumble in the last 2 games: v. FAU; v. Temple.    Branden Dozier tied the record in 2014 and Terry Caldwell and Devon Johnson both established the mark in 2013.

S Branden Dozier led the 49ers with a career-high 13 tackles, matching the 49ers season-high set by Nick Cook at Middle Tennessee.

Three different players are within striking distance of the career record for tackles (Nico Alcalde, 120).  Larry Ogunjobi (118), Tank Norman (117) and Branden Dozier (113) have all cleared 100 career tackles this year and are bearing on the career mark.

Ogunjobi has 8.5 TFL this year, just 3.0 shy of his single season mark of 11.5 set in 2014.

Ogunjobi blocked a PAT – which as the second blocked PAT in school history. (Nico Alcalde, 2013)

Chris Montgomery made his first collegiate start, stepping in at slot receiver in place of Austin Duke, who has been battling back pain.  Duke had two catches for 16 yards and Montgomery had one catch for eight (and two rushes for 18 yards).

With 131 passing yards, Lee McNeill surpassed his total from the previous four game combined (116). 

After 5 games, ILB Nick Cook leads the 49ers with 30 tackles, followed by Ogunjobi and Dozier with 28 each and Norman with 26. 

With 44 tackles for loss, the 49ers are averaging 8.8 TFL per game.

The 49ers are 0-3 in night games this year and 1-5 all-time in games starting at 6 pm or later.

The 49ers are 1-6 all-time in October.

The 3 points scored by the 49ers is the fewest in program history and this is the first game that Charlotte has been held without a touchdown.

Charlotte has been held without a passing TD for three straight games and have not scored an offensive TD in the last two games.

Temple’s Jahad Thomas (109 yds) becomes the first opponent to rush for 100 yards at Jerry Richardson Stadium since Christian Reyes (159 yds) of Charleston Southern, Sept. 27, 2014.
Charlotte enters its bye week and will travel to Old Dominion, Oct. 17.

Pittman leads Bulldogs to win

Wingate, N.C.—-Wingate University sophomore running back Lawrence Pittman (Charlotte, N.C.) had 34 carries for 149 yards and one touchdown, boosting the Bulldogs to a 17-12 NCAA Division II victory over Limestone College Saturday. The Bulldog defense held the Saints to one third-quarter touchdown in the victory.

Hurricane Joaquin has made its presence felt in the Carolinas all week long and it was no different in Saturday’s game at Irwin Belk Stadium. On a very chilly, windy and wet fall afternoon, the Bulldogs overcame multiple mistakes in the first quarter in order to finish strong and come out victorious in a tight contest.

The Bulldogs offense committed three turnovers in the first quarter alone, with two fumbles and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. Head coach Joe Reich was very impressed with the poise and composure of his team to still come out with the win, despite the early mistakes.

“That’s a sign of a mature team,” Reich says. “…a team that can make some mistakes early, but still have enough to overcome it. The team knows we didn’t play our best, but anytime you can come out with the win in a college football game against a well-coached team is a big thing. I was happy that we were resilient enough to overcome some adversity and get it done.”

The early adversity was uncharacteristic for the Wingate offense as Pittman coughed up two fumbles on back-to-back drives. The Mallard Creek High School product still finished the game with a career-high in carries at 34. Pittman has been a productive, consistently good back all season and Coach Reich was pleased with the composure he kept throughout the game to still make an impact.

“I was very impressed,” Reich says. “He (Pittman) came out and had a couple of early fumbles, but he was very resilient.” Reich also mentioned the focused attitude that Pittman possesses every game. “One thing about Lawrence is he always looks the same.” Reich says. “Whether he is happy or sad, he’s got that ‘stone face’ and that’s the way he looks. He was able to stay in that mode all game and ended up having a good performance.”

The Wingate offense collected solid games from some notable players. Redshirt senior running back Mycah Gaylord(High Point, N.C.) grinded out some tough, key yards for the Bulldog offense with 11 carries for 29 yards. Junior wide receiver Jordan Berry (Irmo, S.C.) had three receptions for 32 yards, along with some crucial first down catches. The Bulldogs finished with 253 yards of total offense, with 213 yards from the ground game.

For both teams, it was evident though pre-game until the end of the fourth quarter that the running game was going to make the difference in the outcome based on the brutal weather conditions. Wingate defensive coordinator Rashaan Jordan knew his defense was going to need to make significant adjustments to their game. “The biggest thing was we wanted to get them to understand about the footing,” Jordan says. “That’s the biggest thing when you get into really bad weather. You have to plant your feet differently and make sure every step you take is really secure. Other than that, we knew this was going to be more of a running game than passing game for them (Limestone). We knew they were going to run the ball a lot with redshirt sophomore quarterback Bo Whitney (Union, S.C.).” The Saints signal-caller rushed 16 times for 127 yards

The Wingate defense has been stellar in its first five games of the season. Coming into this afternoon’s game, the defense posted a shutout in three straight games and again today had another impressive performance. Coach Jordan mentioned how vital the performance on defense was going to be in order to keep the whole team in the game and earn the victory.

“We really like to try to tell them that it’s about mental, physical and emotional toughness,” Jordan says. “On defense, there is no limit to the number of points that can be put on the board. We really preached to them that this is your opportunity to play. When you came to college to play football, the only way to play is to be on the field. You need to be excited about that, so that if you do get into these tight games, it’s not all about what happens on the other side of the ball. You realize our (defense) gives us the chance to help the team be successful.”

Redshirt junior defensive end Andre Foulks (York, S.C.) had a huge performance this afternoon with a career-high 10 total tackles. Redshirt freshman linebacker Robert Wallace (Covington, Ga.) and redshirt freshman defensive back Kameron Johnson (Durham, N.C.) collected eight tackles each.

The Wingate Bulldogs are now the only remaining undefeated college football team in the state of North Carolina; FBS, FCS, D2, D3 and NAIA combined. Reich says that the attitude of his team is still mature and they treat this game as just another win. “It’s still business as usual,” Reich says. “Certainly we have some confidence coming out of the Catawba game. This team is mature enough to know that we didn’t play our best today and we need to improve. This team understands that and we’ll get back to work at practice this week.”

Pittman spoke after his big game and discussed the overall vibe of the locker room after extending their undefeated streak. “We all have a positive attitude,” Pittman says. “We know that if we keep putting in the work, keep doing a great job in practice and continue to get better every day, then we will have a lot of success.”

Pittman also spoke about his two fumbles after the game and how his team needed to keep grinding in order to come out with the win. “We knew that we were going to have to run the ball a lot this game,” Pittman says. “We put the ball on the ground, but we just kept pushing it and got better as the game went on.”

Wingate football will hit the road next Saturday and travel west to Greeneville, Tenn. to take on the Tusculum College Pioneers. The undefeated Bulldogs will seek to continue their success in a key South Atlantic Conference game. Kick-off will commence at 2:30 p.m. Limestone returns home to entertain Catawba for homecoming the same day. Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.

Catawba rallies past Newberry

SALISBURY, N.C. — Catawba rallied past visiting Newberry to grab 17-13 win in South Atlantic Conference football action on Saturday afternoon at a soggy Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The Catawba Indians up their record to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the SAC, while the Wolves fall to 3-2 and 1-1.

The Indians trailed late in the third quarter when quarterback Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) kept for a 60-yard run to the Newberry 17.  The run came on the first offensive play after the Wolves had went up 13-3.  Three plays later, Sheehan completed a third-down pass to Keyon West (N. Augusta, S.C./N. Augusta HS) for 16 yards to cut the deficit to 13-10 with 55 seconds left in the quarter.

After holding Newberry three-and-out, Carlos Tarrats (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS) returned a punt 21 yards to set Catawba up at their own 44.  On a third-and-11 from his own 43, Sheehan completed a short pass to Gary Williams (Southport, N.C./S. Brunswick HS), who turned it into a 44-yard gain to the Newberry 13.  Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) finished off the drive with two runs, scoring from two yards out with 11:15 remaining.

Newberry could muster only one first down on its final three possessions after Catawba took the fourth-quarter lead.  Michael Peppers (Clemson, S.C./Daniel HS) stopped Zach Blair on a fourth-down scramble to snuff out the final chance for the Wolves.

The teams finished dead even with 297 total yards.  The Wolves ran for 236 yards with Romelo Doctor and Braxton Ivery going over 100 yards.  Doctor carried 27 times for 143 yards, while Ivery picked up 108 yards on 16 carries.

Sheehan led Catawba thanks to his long run, finishing with 88 yards on eight carries.  He also completed 7-of-12 passes for 95 yards and a score.  Littlejohn ran for 70 yards on 16 carries.

Neither team could reach the end zone in the first half, settling for a pair of field goals.  Chad Hollandsworth (Kernersville, N.C./E. Forsyth HS) put Catawba on top from 19 yards out, capping an opening drive that covered 71 yards over 17 plays and ate up 7:40 of the clock.  Newberry pulled even on a 20-yard field goal from Ryan Janssen with just 1:01 left in the half.

The Wolves took the lead midway through the third quarter on a 25-yard kick from Janssen.  Newberry went up 13-3 on Doctor’s 3-yard run with 2:31 to go in the quarter.  He totaled 31 yards on seven carries in the nine-play drive.  Catawba then got the big run from Sheehan and rallied for the win.

Williams led the Catawba receiving corps with 66 yards on three catches.  Cole Watson made four catches for 36 yards to lead Newberry.  Ivery completed 5-of-7 passes for 38 yards, while Blair went 2-for-7 for 23 yards.

Catawba heads to Limestone next Saturday for a first-ever meeting with the Saints at 7 pm.

Turnovers hurt as Golden Bulls fall to Bowie State

Charlotte, N.C. —  Plagued by six turnovers, including  three fumbles and three interceptions, the JCSU football team fell to Bowie State 34-21 on  a dreary and drenched Saturday afternoon at the Irwin Belk Complex in Charlotte, N.C.

Bowie State gained the early 7-0 lead after Jordan Garrison hauled in a 15 yard pass from Matthew Goggans.  The scoring play capped a 10-play 61 yard drive for the Bulldogs.  The BSU lead would swell to 14-0 after Goggans threw another touchdown pass, this one a 23 yarder to Nyme Manns with 11:57 remaining in the second quarter.

JCSU would respond immediately on the ensuing kickoff when Carlo Thomas (East Orange, N.J.) found a crease and raced 77 yards on the kickoff before being forced out at the Bulldog 10-yard line.  Three plays later Tromecio Summers (Charlotte, N.C.) punched it in from one-yard out for the score.  Erik Amaya (Kannapolis, N.C.) was true on the point after attempt to trim the BSU lead to 14-7 with 10:23 to play in the first half.

The JCSU defense would come up big on the next Bowie State drive, when
JeJuan McCalston (Covington, Ga.) picked off the Goggans pass at the BSU 47 to thwart the drive.  JCSU however could not capitalize on the turnover and had to punt.  BSU jumped ahead 20-7 on their next drive, going 52 yards in five plays capped by a nine yard reception by Kerrick Pollock.  The subsequent point after attempt was no good.

After a JCSU punt, the Golden Bulls defense forced a Goggans fumble on the first BSU play.  JCSU’s James Hardman-Santiago (Flint, Mich.) pounced on the loose ball, giving JCSU the ball with 1:50 remaining before the half.  JCSU wasted no time as quarterback Jordan Lane (Charlotte, N.C.) tossed his first collegiate touchdown pass, a 24-yarder to a divingRoderick Carter (Miami, Fla.) in the back corner of the end zone.  Amaya’s kick was good, drawing JCSU to within 20-14.

The Golden Bulls defense would come through big again.  On the first play of the BSU drive, Goggans was flushed out of the pocket by Daron Wright (Atlanta, Ga.).  Wright then jarred the ball loose and teammate Javard Gaines (Hackensack, N.J.) scooped it up and raced 40-yards for the touchdown.  The point after gave JCSU the 21-20 lead with 39 seconds left before halftime.  The Bulldogs then ran the clock out in the first half, with JCSU carrying the one-point advantage into the break.

Neither team was able to scratch across any points through most of the third quarter, but the Bulldogs finally found pay dirt, reclaiming the lead at 27-21 when Heleaince Gates scooped up a JCSU fumble and raced 42 yards for the score.

In the fourth quarter, JCSU held Bowie State in check and had a chance for a game-winning drive late in the game, but Lane’s pass was picked off by BSU’s Anthony McDaniel at the JCSU 14-yard line.  Two plays later, BSU was in the end zone, this time on a 10-yard run from Stephen Willis.  The successful point-after attempt made it 34-21 with 1:44 to play.

Bowie State would seal the game after Quinton Jordan stepped in front of a Jordan Lane pass, ending the Golden Bulls hopes of a late comeback.

Individually, JCSU’s Desean Binyard (Winston-Salem, N.C.) finished with 44 yards on seven carries.  Teammates Jamal Francois and Tromecio Summers each finished with 37 and 35 yards rushing, respectively.

Receiver Roderick Carter finished with five receptions for 64 yards, including a touchdown grab. Quarterback Jordan Lane went 8-for-21 for 65 yards and one touchdown toss.  Lane threw three interceptions on the afternoon.

BSU quarterback Matthew Goggans was limited to 177 yards, the first time this season he has been held under the 300-yard mark.  He finished 17-for26 while tossing three touchdowns, being intercepted once.

The loss drops JCSU to 1-4 overall, 0-2 in CIAA play while Bowie State improves to 4-1, 2-0 in league action.

JCSU hits the road on Oct. 10, traveling to Winston-Salem State.  Kickoff from Bowman Gray Stadium is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Wingate lone winner among 485 teams

Wingate 17 Catawba 0

Florida Atlantic 17 Charlotte 7

Morehead State 34 Davidson 0

Virginia Union 33 Johnson C. Smith 3

It was a tough day for 485 area teams with only Wingate winning. Charlotte, Davidson, Catawba and Johnson C. Smith all fell.

49ers come up short in turnover-filled game

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Sports Information
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Sports Information

On a historic night that saw a record 17,444 rain-soaked fans ignore the elements to take in the Charlotte 49ers first-ever Conference USA home game, Charlotte dropped a close 17-7 decision to visiting Florida Atlantic.

It was Charlotte’s first home night game and FAU was the first FBS opponent to visit Jerry Richardson Stadium.

“It was a great environment tonight,” said 49ers head coach Brad Lambert.  “It was a lot of fun for our guys.  They got to wear the black uniforms and the great crowd, the band.  We’ve got a lot of things moving in the right direction.  We need to finish that game tonight and win it.”

FAU (1-3; 1-0) took a 10-0 lead into the fourth quarter but Tank Norman’s 28-yard interception return sparked the 49ers effort at a comeback with 10:58 left to play.

After trading possessions, the 49ers (2-2; 0-2) found themselves driving for the go-ahead score in the final four minutes.    Lee McNeill narrowly missed connecting with Austin Duke behind the Owl defense.  Later in the drive, the 49ers moved into FAU territory on a 10-yard run by Kalif Phillips to the FAU 48.  Another short run by Phillips left the 49ers at the 46 and a three-yard completion to Justin Bolus moved it to the 43.  After an incomplete pass, however, McNeill’s fourth-down pass was intercepted by Ocie Rose and returned 60 yards for the back-breaking touchdown.

Phillips rushed for a season-high 165 yards, his ninth career 100-yard game and the 49ers defense held an FAU team that came in averaging 480.7 yards per game to just 184 yards.   Charlotte committed seven turnovers, however, including the one that was returned for the final touchdown, and the 49ers had a mishandled snap on a punt attempt that set up the Owls first TD.

“Our defense was really humming,” said Lambert.  “I was really proud of those guys.  They played extremely hard and got five turnovers.  There were some good things out there.  But you can’t survive with seven turnovers and a muffed punt.  You have to value the ball.  The weather had part to do with that.  FAU had a lot to do with that. It’s amazing we had a shot to win the game at the end.”

FAU scored 10 points in the first half while holding Charlotte scoreless at the break for just the second time in the program’s short history.    The Owls took a 7-0 lead following the muffed punt that set the Owls up at the Charlotte 30.   Quarterback Jaquez Johnson ran in from 14 yards for that score.

A Jalen Young interception in the second quarter gave the Owls another opportunity deep in 49ers territory at Charlotte’s 20.  Charlotte’s defense forced a 45-yard field goal by Greg Joseph, thanks in part to Larry Ogunjobi’s nine-yard sack on third down.

Ogunjobi finished with a career-high 11 tackles and matched his own school-record with 4.0 tackles for loss.

“We just worked really hard this week in practice,” said Ogunjobi, a red-shirt junior nosetackle.  “A lot of guys helped me set up plays.  It’s the entire defense – a lot of guys got to the ball.”

Charlotte finished with 10 tackles for loss and three sacks and the defense forced five turnovers with two interceptions and three fumble recoveries.  Charlotte allowed just 40 yards rushing and 184 total yards of offense.

That effort kept the 49ers within striking distance but Charlotte was unable to strike through for their first conference victory.

McNeill (11-of-31; 89 yards, 4 INT) and Matt Johnson (0-3; 0 yards; 2 INT) combined for 89 passing yards and while Phillips put up 165 rushing yards, the 49ers rushed for a total of 117 given FAU’s 10 tackles for loss and the yardage lost on the muffed punt.  The Owls also had five sacks to keep pressuring the 49ers offense.

It was the second straight game that the 49ers turned the ball over seven times, matching a school record.

Charlotte remains at home in the coming week to face another Owl team.  Temple plays at Charlotte, Friday night, at 7 p.m. in non-conference action.

Davidson stumbles in PFL opener

MOREHEAD, Ky.The Davidson football team fell to the Morehead State Eagles, 34-0, in both teams’ PFL opener Saturday at Jayne Stadium.

QB Austin Gahafer led both teams with completing 19-of-35 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns, while QB John Cook led the Wildcats with 72 yards rushing on 13 attempts.

Morehead State (2-2, 1-0 PFL) got off to a hot start and scored back-to-back touchdowns in the first 16 minutes of the game, including a 73-yard touchdown pass to start the second quarter.

In the first half, the Eagles capitalized off three Davidson (0-3, 0-1 PFL) turnovers to take a 27-0 lead into the break.

A 42-yard touchdown pass from Morehead State at the end of the third quarter solidified the ballgame.

Defensively, DB Ryan Felice led Davidson with eight tackles, all solo, with two for a loss and one breakup.

The Wildcats will be back in action when they return home next Saturday, Oct. 3 to host Valparaiso at 1 p.m.

Wingate shutouts Catawba 17-0

SALISBURY, N.C. — Wingate claimed a 17-0 win over host Catawba in a defensive struggle on a rainy Saturday night at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The Bulldogs improve to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the South Atlantic Conference.  The Catawba Indians fall to 2-2 and 1-1.

Lawrence Pittman ran for 193 yards to lead the Bulldogs and scored a pair of second-half touchdowns.

Pittman’s carries and rushing yards are career highs, while his two touchdowns equals a career-best total. Wingate improves to 4-0 overall with its 10th shutout in the school’s senior college history (and third this season). The Bulldogs are 2-0 in the SAC, giving WU head coach Joe Reich his 50th league victory. Catawba is 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the SAC.

“For us, this was a solid game overall…a great team win,” Reich says. “Our defense played phenomenal tonight. The offense hit a rough patch…but (offensive coordinator) Mike Longand his group stuck with the run…and eventually we wore them down.”

Wingate scored 10 points in the third quarter after a scoreless first half. The Bulldogs added an insurance score in the fourth period. Wingate out-gained the Catawba Indians 318-266 with a season-high 241 yards on the ground. The contest featured 20 punts (10 for each team) with the Bulldogs holding a slight seven-yard edge in the field position battle.

Lawrence Pittman, a former Mallard Creek player, courtesy Wingate Sports Information
Lawrence Pittman, a former Mallard Creek player, courtesy Wingate Sports Information

Wingate had 318 total yards on the night with 241 coming on the ground.  Jordan Berry caught five passes for 42 yards.  Eric Mapoles made 10 stops on defense.

Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) accounted for 96 of Catawba’s 168 yards on the ground as the Indians were limited to just 266 total yards.  Bruce Smith (Winston-Salem, N.C./N. Davidson HS) had four catches for 29 yards.  Jamal Lackey (Mocksville, N.C./Davie Co. HS) collected 11 stops on defense, while Michael Peppers (Clemson, S.C./Daniel HS) recorded two sacks.

Neither team was able to get on the scoreboard in the opening half.  Only Catawba was able to penetrate inside the opponents 40-yard-line which came late in the half.  The Indians advanced to the Wingate 28, but mishandled a snap on a potential field goal try that left the game scoreless at the break.

Wingate would break the deadlock on its second possession of the third quarter.  Driving from its own 30, the Bulldogs capped a 12-playu, 47-yard with a 40-yard field goal from Caleb Baird at the 8:13 mark of the quarter.  On its next drive, Wingate went 54 yards in 10 plays to go up 10-0 after a one-yard run from Pittman.  Pittman added a second one-yard run with just under three minutes to play to cap the scoring.

Weather limited quarterback play as Wingate’s Kyle Johnson completed just 12-of-26 passes for 77 yards.  Catawba’s Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) went 14-of-37 for 98 yards.

Catawba will host Newberry next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Wingate returns home next Saturday, hosting Limestone for a 1:30 p.m. contest. The second-year LC Saints are led by former Bulldog defensive coordinator Bobby James.

Golden Bulls fall at Virginia Union

Richmond, Va. – The Johnson C. Smith University football team was held to only 58 total yards of offense by Virginia Union as the Panthers took a 33-3 CIAA win at a soggy Hovey Field on Saturday afternoon.

The JCSU defense started well by holding the VUU offense in check on the first drive, forcing a punt on the first drive, but on the second play of the ensuing JCSU drive, freshman quarterback Harold Herbin (Fayetteville, N.C.) had his pass picked off by VUU’s Stephan Robinson.
Virginia Union capitalized on the turnover six plays later, driving 40 yards in 2:13 capped by a one-yard touchdown run from Lamar Webster.  The point-after was good, giving VUU the 7-0 lead at the 11:04 mark of the first quarter.

Virginia Union then limited the JCSU offense to only 19 first half plays, forcing seven straight Golden Bull punts and took a 20-0 lead into the halftime intermission.

After another JCSU punt on their first possession of the second half, the Golden Bulls defense stiffened, forcing a Virginia Union punt.   After the 13-yard punt from Russell Balance, JCSU took over at their own 48-yard line.  The Golden Bulls put together an 11-play 23 yard drive that was aided by two pass interference calls on VUU.  JCSU got down to the Panther 29 yard line and was forced to try a long field goal attempt.  Erik Amaya (Kannapolis, N.C.) made good on that attempt, knocking it in from 46 yards out to cut the deficit to 20-3 with 5:28 remaining in the third quarter.  The kick was a career-long for Amaya.

Virginia Union then piled on two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the first being a 36 yard touchdown strike from quarterback Shawheem Dowdy to Devin Anderson with 13:51 remaining.  VUU ended the scoring at the 5:41 mark when Rashaun Smith plunged in from one yard out to provide the 33-3 final.

Offensively, JCSU wide receiver Roderick Carter (Miami, Fla.) caught four passes for 37 yards.  Sophomore Bedrick Yobo (Charlotte, N.C.) had two catches for a career-high 33 yards.

Jordan Lane (Charlotte, N.C.) returned to the lineup for JCSU, throwing for 67 yards on a 7-for-19 effort while only playing in the second half.

VUU quarterback Shawheem Rowdy had a banner day, connecting for 263 yards and two touchdowns on a 17-of-25 performance.  Panther receiver Devin Anderson had five catches for 95 yards and one score and Olu Izegwire hauled in four passes for 64 yards.  Running back Hakeem Holland had 58 yards on 18 carries for VUU.

The loss drops JCSU to 1-3 overall, 0-1 in CIAA play while Virginia Union improves to 3-1, 1-0 in league action.

JCSU returns home to take on Bowie State on Saturday, Oct. 3 in the Eddie McGirt Classic at the Irwin Belk Complex.  Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.