Monthly Archives: September 2015

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.

SAC wins for Bulldogs, Indians; 49ers, Bulls fall

Rude C-USA Welcome at Middle Tennessee, 73-14

Photo courtesy of Charlotte Sports Information
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Sports Information
Middle Tennessee provided an unfriendly welcome to Charlotte in the 49ers’ first Conference USA game.  The Blue Raiders (2-1) struck quick and often, scoring 42 first-quarter points on their way to a 73-14 victory.

Charlotte (2-1) fell victim to the fast-strike offense it has used to success against opponents.   Four of the Blue Raiders first-quarter scores were of the one or two-play variety and included several big plays.

“We ran into a buzzsaw tonight,” said 49ers head coach Brad Lambert.  “We‘re just turning the ball over too much.  That’s why the score is what it is.  I thought Kalif (Phillips) was running hard.  I thought the offensive line was blocking decent up front.  We’re just making too many silly mistakes and if you don’t take care of the ball you’re going to run into trouble.”

Brent Stockstill hit Terry Pettis for a 76-yard TD pass.  Jordan Parker had a TD run of 62 yards.  Stockstill connected again with Pettis for a 75-yarder and then hit Ed Batties for a 35-yarder to humble the 49ers defense.  The Blue Raiders set opponent records for points scored, margin of victory and total yards (690).

Charlotte scored a first quarter TD on an attempted onside kick that Uriah LeMay returned 48 yards for a TD and Kalif Phillips cashed in on a one-yard run for the 49ers’ second-quarter score to make it 49-14 at the half.

LeMay’s kickoff return was the third in 49ers history for a touchdown.

The Phillips’ TD drive was started when Devon Johnson forced a fumble on a sack for a 14-yard loss.  Matt Johnson hit Trent Bostick for a 31-yard gain and Phillips added a 22–yard run to get the 49ers inside the five.

At the half, Middle Tennessee enjoyed a 459-153 advantage in total offense and they had forced four Charlotte turnovers.  Charlotte forced two turnovers, including Johnson’s big sack/forced fumble.

“I think we got punched in the mouth right away and we didn’t really collect ourselves as we wish we would have,” said linebacker Nick Cook, who had a team-best 13 tackles.  “They were a very good football team.  They came out and executed what they wanted to.  There’s a lot of little things that we messed up, personally.  We’re not going to let this define us as a defense or a unit.”

Charlotte continued to deploy a two-quarterback system.  Johnson finished 5-of-12 for 60 yards with two picks.  Barden was 5-of-16 for 27 yards and one INT.

The Blue Raiders scored 17 third quarter points, including a pick-six of a Johnson pass to push over 60 points, establishing a new record for points allowed by the 49ers. Lee McNeill came in as QB in the fourth quarter and was 3-of-5 for 15 yards.  He threw one INT, which matched the 49ers’ single-game record with 7 turnovers.

“This is definitely the best team we’ve played so far,” Cook added.  “Speed-wise and athleticism-wise, it’s definitely the best team we’ve played this year.  I saw a better effort from the start of the second quarter.  We got after it a little bit.  We tried to play like it was zero-zero.  We have to have a quick memory and come back this week, work hard, learn from this film and get ready for our home opener in conference.”

Phillips pounded his way to a team-high 72 yards on 15 carries, including a 22-yarder that helped set up his second-quarter score.  Backfield mate Andrew Buie was bottled up for 28 yards on 8 carries.

Cook led the 49ers with a career-best 13 tackles, the most by a 49er this year.  He had 12 solo tackles. Red-shirt junior defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi had six tackles to give him 104 in his career – the third player in 49ers history to reach the century mark.

Charlotte did have 8.0 tackles for loss, led by Cook’s 2.0.  Charlotte’s defense forced a pair of turnovers on forced fumbles by Devon Johnson and Desmond Floyd.

Middle Tennessee ended up with 695 yards of total offense, including 316 on the ground and 379 through the air.  Charlotte finished with 219 total yards.   Stockstill threw for 369 yards and five TDs with Pettis pulling in 167 receiving yards.  Parker added 142 rushing yards and three touchdowns.  Batties had three receiving TDs. The Blue Raiders had a pair of 100-yard rushers and a pair of 100-yard receivers.

The loss snaps the 49ers’ program-best four-game win streak (first two games of 2015; last two of 2014).  This is the 49ers first loss to an FBS institution.

The 49ers will host Florida Atlantic Saturday at 7 p.m. at Jerry Richardson Stadium in the 49ers’ first-ever Conference USA home game and the program’s first home night game.

Big road win for Catawba at Carson-Newman

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — Catawba‘s defense held host Carson-Newman to a single score and posted a 14-7 victory on Saturday afternoon at Burke-Tarr Stadium.  The Catawba Indians improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the South Atlantic Conference.  It also marked the second straight win for Catawba at Burke-Tarr Stadium, winning 25-22 in 2013.  The Eagles fall to 2-1 and 0-1.

Catawba limited the Eagles to 315 total yards with 185 on the ground.  Carson-Newman was also forced to punt seven times in the defensive battle. Jonathan Jean (Orange Park, Fla./Fleming Island HS) posted a dozen tackles with two going for losses, including a sack.  Kyle Kitchens (Decatur, Ga./Decatur HS) was in on seven stops, had a big sack in the closing minutes and also blocked a potential Carson-Newman field goal at the end of the first half.

Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) ran for 76 yards on 14 carries in the ball control offense that held a time of possession advantage of nearly 11 minutes.  Mike Sheehan (Wilmington, N.C./Laney HS) completed 19-of-24 passes for 163 yards.  He threw for one score and ran for another.

The Indians got on the scoreboard first when Sheehan ran in from seven yards out with 1:25 to go in the first quarter.  It capped a 12-play, 74-yard drive that featured three third-down conversions.  On those downs, Sheehan completed passes of 15 yards to Bruce Smith (Winston-Salem, N.C./N. Davidson HS), 13 yards to Carlos Tarrats (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines HS) and ran one for 15 yards to the C-N six that set up the score.

Carson-Newman pulled even early in the second quarter.  On a third down, De’Andre Thomas completed a 75-yard pass to TraShaun Ward to the Indian one.  Damian Baker scored on the next play to knot the score at 7-all.

Catawba looked poised to take the lead at the end of the half, but two sacks in the final minute forced a punt from midfield.  The Eagles used to big runs from Baker to set a field goal try from 39 yards.  Kitchens was able to keep the score tied with his block.

With both defenses forcing punts in the third quarter stalemate, the Eagles swung field position following a 65-yard punt from Christian Ramirez and a negative four-yard return that pinned Catawba on its own six.  After holding the Indians, Carson-Newman drove to the 17 and set up for a 34-yard field goal.  Once again, Catawba blocked the attempt to keep the game tied.

Four plays after the block, Sheehan hit on the biggest offensive play of the game with a 57-yard toss to Brandon Brown (Durham, N.C./N. Durham HS) to the Eagle 13.  On third down, Sheehan foundGary Williams (Southport, N.C./S. Brunswick HS) from eight yards out to put Catawba on top 14-7 with 10:35 remaining.

Carson-Newman moved near midfield on the ensuing possession then Jean and Jamal Lackey(Mocksville, N.C./Davie Co. HS) made a big fourth-down stop.  The Eagles had one last chance after Catawba missed a long field goal, but Kitchens had his sack to force a fourth and 29 that C-N couldn’t convert.  Catawba was able to run out the clock to secure the win.

Baker ran for 117 yards in the loss for Carson-Newman.  Thomas threw for 130 yards, but completed only 7-of-16 passes.  Ward had three receptions for 91 yards.

Catawba returns home to host Wingate next Saturday at 6 p.m.

Bulldogs pound  Brevard 37-0

WINGATE, N.C. – After a two-week wait, football season made its long-awaited return to the campus of Wingate University Saturday, as the Bulldogs blanked South Atlantic Conference foe Brevard College 37-0 in Irwin Belk Stadium and John R. Martin Field. On a warm, beautiful fall afternoon, the Dogs put on a great all-around performance in front of a home opener crowd of 2,167 fans.

“I think we played with great intensity,” Wingate head coach Joe Reich says. “There was an intensity today about our team that I really liked from pre-game until the end.” The Bulldogs were on the road for the first two weeks of the season and were eagerly awaiting the return home to play in front of the Irwin Belk Stadium crowd. “We were hoping we would get that (intensity) coming home after being on the road for a couple of weeks,” Reich says. “We wanted to get that extra bump of intensity and we did. It felt that way the whole game.”

The intensity that Coach Reich preached was definitely evident on the field, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Redshirt junior starting quarterback Kyle Johnson (Hickory, N.C.) finished with an impressive line going 18-of-26 passing for 193 yards and three touchdowns. The Hickory High product made all three of those passing touchdowns to his fellow junior wide receiver Jordan Berry (Irmo, S.C.).

“He makes plays,” Reich says when asked about Berry’s performance. “You throw the ball up to him (Berry) and he’s going to make a play. For us, there is a lot of reassurance for when you are a quarterback or a coach that when you throw it up to that guy (Berry), you know he is going to make a play.”

Berry believed the Bulldogs had a good game plan in attacking the Brevard defense. “We knew we had them (the Tornados) outmatched in the front seven,” Berry says. “It was a great team win with great play calling.” The 2014 All-SAC performer finished the game with seven catches for 73 yards with his longest catch being a 25-yard reception from Johnson.

Wingate junior receiver Joe Wallace (Hope Mills, N.C.) and freshman receiver JT Stokes (Juliette, Ga.) combined for nine catches and 138 receiving yards. Sophomore Standout running back Lawrence Pittman (Charlotte, N.C.) encored his two superb rushing performances from the road trip with another splendid game. The Mallard Creek graduate carried the ball 12 times for 99 yards and one TD.

The special teams also contributed to the fireworks with a thrilling 82-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from redshirt junior wide receiver Jody Fuller (Indian Trail, N.C.) on the opening kick-off of the second half. The Bulldogs rolled from this point forward.

One of the bigger stories of the game was the performance on defense by Wingate, as the Bulldogs shut out the Brevard offense. The Bulldogs held the Tornados to 43 yards of total offense. Senior defensive back Nortavius Otis(Gastonia, N.C.) led the team in tackles with eight, followed by senior linebacker Eric Mapoles (Snellville, Ga.) who finished right behind him with seven tackles.

Wingate football is off to its first 3-0 start since 2008 when they began the season 7-0 overall. Coach Reich commented on the overall attitude and vibe of his team after coming out of the gates in a strong way. “I think they know we should be 3-0,” Reich says. “They are a smart team and they figure it out. All the celebrations are very subdued. We are heading into the meat of our schedule now and we are working to get better. This is a very a mature team.”

The Bulldogs will board the bus and hit the road once again next week as they travel to Salisbury, N.C. to take on their SAC rival, the Catawba College Indians. Catawba will head into the game with a record of 2-1 after winning consecutive games entering the matchup with Wingate.

Reich talked about the mindset of his team moving forward into a tough conference road game. “We just need to continue to get better every week,” Reich says. “It’s all about preparation for us. If we can prepare well, then we see the results on Saturdays. We haven’t really played a full game yet, but we are going to have to play a full game next week for sure.” The Bulldogs and Indians will kick off next Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.

Morehouse drops JCSU 37-35

Photo courtesy of JCSU Sports Information
Photo courtesy of JCSU Sports Information

Atlanta, Ga. (Sept. 19, 2015) –  Morehouse rode a big third quarter and held off a furious Johnson C. Smith fourth quarter rally to take a 37-35 nonconference win at B.T. Harvey Stadium on Saturday night.

The Golden Bulls defense set up their first touchdown when Carlo Thomas (East Orange, N.J.) picked off a Monquavious John pass at the 50, returning it 37 yards to the Morehouse 13 yard-line.  Two plays later, JCSU’s Tromecio Summers (Charlotte, N.C.) punched it in from five yards out.  The point-after from Erik Amaya (Kannapolis, N.C.) put the Golden Bulls up 7-0 at the 5:39 mark of the first quarter.

The Golden Bulls went up 14-0 following a seven play, 61 yard drive capped by a 25-yard over-the-shoulder reception by Fred Scott.  Scott beat his defender with a double move and hauled in the floating pass.

Morehouse was able to get on the board late in the first quarter when John connected with Don Cox for a 10 yard strike in the back of the end zone to make it 14-7 with just 1:14 left before halftime.  JCSU could not generate any more points and punted to the Morehouse 28.  Morehouse would rush for five yards and took the 14-7 lead into halftime.
The Maroon Tigers big third quarter started after JCSU missed a 40 yard field goal at the 9:33 mark.  On the first play after the miss, John found Justin Browning for a 77 yard touchdown pass.  The point after was clanked off the left upright as JCSU still held the 14-13 lead.  On the ensuing series, JCSU was forced to punt and Matias Lambrecht‘s (Venice, Fla.) punt was partially blocked, giving Morehouse good field position at the JCSU 22.  One play later, Morehouse went ahead after a 22 yard strike from John to Devon Martin.  The point after gave Morehouse the 20-14 lead with 7:05 remaining in the third.

The Morehouse defense forced an interception that eventually led to Martin’s second touchdown grab of the game, this time from 20 yards out to extend the Maroon Tiger lead to 26-14.
The Golden Bulls answered to make it 26-21 thanks to a six-play, 72 yard drive capped by a 30-yard Steve Reneau (Rialto, Ca.) touchdown reception on a well -executed screen pass .  On the kickoff Morehouse extended the lead to 34-21 following a 100 yard kickoff return from Amyr Smith.  The two-point conversion attempt was good, making it 34-21 Morehouse at the end of the third quarter.

JCSU would then embark on an 11 play, 75 yard drive to start the fourth quarter that ended on a  three-yard bootleg from freshman Harold Herbin (Fayetteville, N.C.) on a fourth and goal play.  Amaya’s extra point drew JCSU closer at 34-28 with 10:30 left.

The JCSU defense then limited Morehouse to a 20 yard field goal by Alexis Gonzales to make it 37-28 with 5:16 left.  On the next JCSU possession, the Golden  Bulls marched 83 yards in 11 plays to cut the lead to 37-35 thanks to a Fred Scott (Stone Mountain, Ga.) three yard scoring grab to pull within 37-35 with 3:12 left.

Morehouse was then forced to punt on a fourth and 13 but JCSU was flagged  on a questionable roughing the kicker penalty, giving Morehouse a fresh set of downs.  The Maroon Tigers were then able to melt the clock, thwarting the JCSU comeback and preserving the 37-35 win.

Offensively, freshman running back Desean Binyard (Winston-Salem, N.C.) carried 14 times for 78 yards while Herbin rushed for 43 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.  Tromecio Summers scored a touchdown and had 16 yards on five carries.

Fred Scott paced the JCSU receivers, hauling in seven catches for 108 yards and two scores while Eugene Holmes had five catches for 67 yards.  Steve Reneau caught one pass, good for 30 yards and his first career  touchdown.

Harold Herbin finished 22-for-40 for 274 yards and three touchdowns, throwing two interceptions on the evening.

Defensively, Austin Jacques (Springdale, Md.) anchored the JCSU defense, collecting 10 tackles on the night, including a sack, two and one-half  tackles-for-loss and one quarterback hurry.  Basir Wright (Douglasville, Ga.), Travon Leake-Anderson (Richmond, Va.) and Keith Darnell (Jonesboro, Ga.) each finished with six tackles each.  Carlo Thomas continued his solid play, by collecting his third interception of the season.  Thomas also had three stops and two pass breakups on the night.

JCSU plays in its third-straight road game next Saturday as it starts CIAA play at Virginia Union.  Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. at Hovey Field in Richmond, Va.

Davidson bye week

The Davidson Wildcats had a bye week and return to action Saturday to open up Pioneer Football League play at Morehead State in Kentucky.

485 teams go 4-1

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

49ers Defense Rock Solid in 34-10 Win

Charlotte held Presbyterian to just 112 yards of total offense and red shirt junior quarterback Matt Johnson threw a pair of touchdowns as the 49ers downed the Blue Hose, 34-10 to improve to 2-0 in their first FBS season in front of a standing-room only home crowd on 16,631 at Jerry Richardson Stadium.

Slot receiver Austin Duke caught nine passes for 166 yards and a touchdown while red-shirt freshman defensive lineman Zach Duncan led a punishing defense with five tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” said 49ers head coach Brad Lambert.  “They came out and played hard.  It took us a little bit to get going on offense then once we got going, I thought it rolled out pretty nice.  Our defense was humming early.”

Presbyterian (0-2) was held without a first down on three-and-out possessions on 11 of their first 12 drives.  Charlotte senior Branden Dozier had an interception on the other drive.   The 49ers ended the game with a school-record for fewest yards allowed (112), a school-record 19 tackles for loss and a school-record for fewest passing yards allowed (9).

“It’s the whole defense that is flying around,” said Dozier, who notched his first interception of the season.  “We were clicking on all cylinders.  Last year is in the past.  This year is a new chapter, new numbers, new league.  Coach (Matt) Wallerstedt has installed attitude and forcing the hand.  That’s what we’ve been doing since day one.”

Charlotte (2-0) scored late in the first quarter on a six-yard pass to Trent Bostick from Johnson, who split QB duties with red-shirt freshman Brooks Barden.  Charlotte broke it open in the second quarter with a touchdown run by Kalif Phillips and Duke’s TD reception.

By the end of the third quarter, the 49ers led 34-0, had allowed just three first downs and held the Blue Hose to 0-of-11 on third down conversions.

“The defense has come in every day ready to work,” said Duke, who notched the eighth 100-yard receiving game of his career and his second straight game with a TD catch.  “They’ have been working really hard to be really good.  That’s the biggest thing the defense has done.  They’ve worked their tails off every single day in the weight room and in practice.”

The 49ers broke the ice late in the first quarter with the six-yard pass from Johnson to Bostick with 00:42 left.

In the second quarter, Johnson completed third down passes to Duke (38 yards) and TL Ford II (13 yards) to set up a 24-yard field goal by Blake Brewer.  After a three-and-out for PC, Johnson hit Bostick for a 31-yard gain and Phillips rushed untouched for a 12-yard score to make it 17-0 with 4:51 left in the half.

“The offensive line gave me a big hole,” said Phillips of his first rushing TD of the season.  “The biggest hole I’ve seen in a long time.”

Another three-and-out that included a nine-yard loss on Duncan’s forced fumble gave the 49ers the ball at PC’s 39-yard line.  Johnson hit Duke over the middle for the 39-yard TD on the first play to put the 49ers ahead 24-0 with 3:23 to play.

It was the 14th one-play touchdown drive in the 49ers short history.  The quick-strike offense had produced two touchdowns less than 90 seconds apart and both came on drives of under 30 seconds.  Charlotte has scored 43 TDs all-time on drives of under 1:30.

Brewer hit a field goal from 35 yards and Barden, who made his first collegiate start, connected with running back Bradan Smith for a nine-yard TD pass to push the 49ers ahead 34-0 heading into the fourth quarter.  It was Barden’s first touchdown pass as a 49er and and the first TD for Smith, a junior college transfer from Hutchinson Community College.

Presbyterian kicked a 21-yard field goal early in the fourth and added a one-yard touchdown run by Darrell Bridges with 4:36 to play to close the scoring.

Charlotte opens Conference USA play, next Saturday, at Middle Tennessee.  It will be the 49ers first league game as a member of Conference USA.  Charlotte will return home to face Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. Sept. 26.

Davidson Drops Home Opener to Catawba, 35-21

DAVIDSON, N.C. – Despite a 125-yard, two-touchdown performance from RB Jeffrey Keil, the Davidson football team fell to the Catawba Indians, 35-21, in their home opener Saturday night at Richardson Stadium.

RB Cary Littlejohn led the Indians with 192 yards rushing and one touchdown on 27 carries.

Senior running back Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) ran for a career-high 192 yards - Catawba Sports Information photo.
Senior running back Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) ran for a career-high 192 yards – Catawba Sports Information photo.

In addition to Keil’s impressive effort, WR William Morris led the ‘Cats in receiving with 76 yards and one touchdown, while QB John Cook completed 13-of-34 passes for 165 yards and one touchdown.

Davidson (0-2) started the game off with an interception by DB William Curran, but Catawba (1-1) was the first to find the end zone when Littlejohn scored on a 64-yard run.

The Wildcats tied the score at the 2:03 mark in the opening quarter when Keil found a hole for 21 yards that capped off an eight-play, 58-yard scoring drive.

The Indians grabbed momentum at the start of the second quarter, scoring two touchdowns, converting a two-point conversion and drilling a 30-yard field goal to go up, 25-7 with 3:46 left in the half.

Following an interception from DB Myles Atkins, Cook found Morris on a 42-yard reception before Keil ran it in from three yards out to make it 25-14 at the half.

A 25-yard field goal and a 49-yard touchdown pass in the third secured the game for Catawba.

Davidson scored its final touchdown with 5:08 left in the contest when Cook found Morris open in the corner of the end zone from 12 yards out.

Defensively, Atkins and DB Ryan Felice led the Wildcats with a career-high 10 tackles each, while LB Ben Rowell picked up his first-career sack for a loss of 11 yards in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats will enjoy a week off before returning to the gridiron Saturday, Sept. 26 at PFL foe Morehead State. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Win over Shaw pushes Wingate to 2-0

Durham, N.C. – Wingate University sophomore running back Lawrence Pittman (Charlotte, N.C.) rushed for a career-high 147 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns, helping the Bulldogs take a 30-16 NCAA Division II football victory over Shaw University Saturday night at Durham County Memorial Stadium .

Wingate improves to 2-0 overall following the first-ever meeting between the Bulldogs and the SU Bears. Shaw is 0-2 overall. Wingate opens the home portion of its 2015 schedule Saturday, hosting Brevard College for a 1:30 p.m. South Atlantic Conference game. Shaw visits UNC Pembroke the same day at 7 p.m.

“We had great execution in the first half,” Wingate head coach Joe Reich says. “We were out of sync in the second half…we never got into an offensive rhythm after halftime. We need to finish better.”

The Bulldogs led 30-0 early in the fourth quarter before the Bears scored a safety and two touchdowns in the final six-plus minutes of the contest. Wingate junior wide receiver Jordan Berry (Irmo, S.C.) registered his fifth 100-yard receiving game, catching eight passes for 113 yards and one score. Bulldog redshirt junior quarterback Kyle Johnson (Hickory, N.C.) completed 17-of-30 passes for 193 yards and one TD.

Wingate’s first possession featured the longest drive for either team Saturday. The Bulldogs moved the ball 98 yards on 12 plays, consuming 4:50 from the game clock. Pittman carried the ball six times on the drive, including his nine-yard, drive-finishing touchdown run. Bulldog junior place kicker Caleb Baird (Kinston, N.C.) nailed the first of his four PATs to make the score 7-0 visitors with 6:33 left in the first quarter.

A 23-yard SU punt gave Wingate great field position (WU 44) late in the opening frame. On the first play of the second quarter, Kyle Johnson did the honors with his second rushing TD in as many weeks. Johnson scored from five yards out, concluding a four-play, 56-yard drive. Baird’s extra point gave the Bulldogs a two-touchdown lead at the 14:53 mark of the second stanza.

Shaw turned the ball over on downs, setting the stage for Pittman’s second TD run. The Mallard Creek High graduate had three rushes on the drive, which covered 57 yards on seven plays. Pittman’s four-yard scoring run gave the visitors a 21-0 lead after Baird’s PAT with exactly eight minutes left in the second quarter.

A Johnson-to-Berry touchdown connection concluded the first half scoring. The Bulldogs had a short field, as freshman wide receiver Malik Bledsoe (Culloden, Ga.) made a big special teams play by recovering a fumble by the Shaw punter. Bledsoe returned the ball 10 yards to the Shaw 10-yard line. Three plays later, Berry found pay dirt after a two-yard scoring strike from Johnson at the 1:48 mark.

The two teams traded fourth quarter safeties before the Bears found their offensive groove late in the contest. Shaw senior quarterback Quenton Rucker (Atlanta, Ga.) connected with sophomore wide receiver Trevante Long(Charlotte, N.C.) on an 82-yard touchdown pass for the Bears’ first offensive TD of the season. Shaw specialist Danny Webster, Jr. (New Bern, N.C.) added the PAT to make the score 30-9 Wingate with 5:08 left in regulation.

Rucker finished a quick six-play drive with a 21-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver Artravius James (College Park, Ga.) at the 1:49 mark. Webster booted the extra point to conclude the night’s scoring.

Wingate senior defensive back and team captain Nortavius Otis (Gastonia, N.C.) had eight tackles with six solo stops to lead the Bulldogs. Wingate redshirt senior defensive end Dillon Tucker (Denver, N.C.) was one of three WU players to record four tackles. Tucker filled out his statistical ledger with a fumble recovery and a shared quarterback sack.

Big defensive effort keys Johnson C. Smith win

Photo courtesy of Johnson C. Smith Sports Information
Photo courtesy of Johnson C. Smith Sports Information

Frankfort, Ky. – The Johnson C. Smith football team withstood an early turnover and limited Kentucky State to only 56 yards rushing while intercepting three Thorobred passes en route to a 38-14 road win at Alumni Stadium in Frankfort, Ky.

On the first JCSU drive, the offense struggled to get going, as Kentucky State recorded a sack on first down and two plays later, Herbin’s pass was picked off by KSU’s Nathan Robinson.  On the first Thorobred drive, KSU also fell victim to the interception, as JCSU’s Dave Mann (Atlanta, Ga.) stepped in front of an Ora Johnson pass, giving JCSU the ball at their own 40 yard line.  On the first play of the new drive, Kentucky State’s Raymond Malone scooped up a JCSU fumble and raced 44 yards for the touchdown.  The point after attempt was good, staking KSU to the early 7-0 lead at the 12:38 mark.

The Golden Bulls would respond quickly.  Following a 45 yard kickoff return by Carlo Thomas (East Orange, N.J.), JCSU’s Tromecio Summers (Charlotte, N.C.) ripped off a 39 yard rush to take it to the KSU 7 yard line.  Playing in his first collegiate game, Harold Herbin (Fayetteville, N.C.) had a bootleg rush to the KSU one yard line, he punched it in for the first touchdown of his career.  Erik Amaya (Kannapolis, N.C.) knocked in the point after attempt was good to tie it at 7-7 at the 10:52 mark in the first quarter.

Amaya would then put JCSU on top 10-7 when he converted a career-long  41 yard field goal at the 6:51 mark following a KSU turnover.

On the first play of the second quarter, JCSU’s Javard Gaines (Newark, N.J.) broke through to block the KSU punt, returning it to the KSU 16.  Five plays later, Herbin found junior receiver Roderick Carter (Miami, Fla.) in the corner for an 11-yard touchdown strike.  Amaya’s PAT boosted the JCSU lead to 17-7.
The Golden Bulls would add another touchdown in the second quarter, this time from freshman running back Desean Binyard (Winston-Salem, N.C.), when he pushed through for a one yard score.  Amaya again added the extra point to push the lead to 24-7.

Neither team was able to get much offense going in the third quarter, but KSU struck at the 6:50 mark.  With JCSU pinned deep in their own territory, KSU’s Malone stepped in front of an errant Herbin pass, scoring from three yards out.  The successful point after attempt cut the JCSU lead to 24-14.

JCSU struck on it’s first drive of the fourth quarter when Herbin found Bryan Chambers for a 12-yard touchdown strike, boosting the lead to 31-14.

Kentucky State would embark on a promising drive, but the JCSU defense stiffened and forced a 49-field goal attempt.  JCSU safety Keith Darnell blasted through the KSU line to block the attempt, then scooped the ball and took it 53 yards for a touchdown, extending the JCSU lead to 38-14.

On the next KSU possession, JCSU’s Alfred Mickle picked off a wobbling Ora Johnson pass to seal the game.  JCSU would go on to melt the clock, taking the 38-14 road win.

Offensively, JCSU rushed for 132 yards, getting 55 from Summers and 42 from Binyard.  On the receiving end, Carter hauled in in four passes for 31 yards and one score.  Fred Scott(Stone Mountain, Ga.) caught one pass for a game-long 28 yards.

Defensively, the Golden Bulls were led by Carlo Thomas‘ five tackles, four of which were unassisted.  Thomas also had one interception and a pass breakup.  Senior LinebackerAustin Jacques (Springdale, Md.) had four tackles with one being for loss.  Defensive lineman Jamaal Tutt (Atlanta, Ga.) recorded four tackles on the day and had one sack for a 16 yard loss.  Travon Leake-Anderson (Richmond, Va.) and Brice Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) also recorded sacks for JCSU in the win.  All told, the JCSU defense had eight tackles for loss and forced four KSU turnovers on the afternoon while limiting the Thorobreds to only 132 yards of total offense on the afternoon.

The Golden Bulls will remain on the road next week,  travelling  to Morehouse on Saturday, Sept. 19 for a 7:00 p.m. tilt against the Maroon Tigers.

The Point After – Charlotte 49ers

Charlotte 34 Presbyterian 10

Jerry Richardson Stadium

Player Honors:

#49: Danny Book

Flag carriers WR Austin Duke; DB  Terrance Winchester; K  Blake Brewer

Captains:   Richard Murphy, Kalif Phillips, Branden Dozier and James Middleton


The 49ers improved their all-time record to 12-12 and their record as an FBS school to 2-0.

The 49ers are 3-0 all-time in their first home game of the year.

The 49ers have led opponents 44-3 in the first half, this year and are 11-0 all-time in games in which they have led at the half.

RS-Freshman QB Brooks Barden made his first career start

Barden and RS-Junior Matt Johnson both saw significant time at quarterback.  Johnson was 8-of-11 for 187 yards and two TDs.  Barden was 11-of-17 for 77 yards and one TD.

The three passing TDs are the most by the 49ers since throwing for four at the Citadel, Oct. 11, 2014.

Austin Duke had 166 receiving yards for his 8th career 100-yard game and fourth career game with 150+ yards.  It was his first 100-yard game of the season.

Austin Duke’s 166 yards is  third on the single-game receiving records. Duke holds the top-eight single-game receiving spots.

When Johnson hit Duke for a 39-yard TD on the first play of their fourth drive of the second quarter, Charlotte had notched its 14th all-time one-play TD drive.

That one-play TD drive took just 00:07 – the shortest TD drive in school history.

The one-play 39-yard TD drive (00:07) from Johnson to Duke and the preceding two-play drive capped by Kalif Phillips’ 12-yard TD run (00:27) gave the 49ers two more TD drives of under 90 seconds.  The 49ers have had three such drives this year and 43 in the school’s three-year history.

The 49ers 13-play, 69-yard drive that resulted in a 24-yard Blake Brewer field goals was the longest scoring drive in school history in regards to time of possession at 5:07.

Trent Bostick had a 6-yard TD reception from Johnson – it was his first TD of the year and 7th of his career.

Kalif Phillips scored the 49ers first rushing touchdown of the season with his second quarter, a 12-yard rush.   Phillips now has 33 career rushing touchdowns.

Brooks Barden threw his first career touchdown pass with a nine-yard TD pass to Bradan Smith in the third quarter. It was also Smith’s first career touchdown reception.

Andrew Buie led the 49ers with 80 yards – his career best in a Charlotte uniform. Previous career best came with 56 yards against Georgia State Sept. 4, 2015.

Buie’s team-high 80 yards rushing snapped a nine-game streak in which Kalif Phillips was the 49ers leading rusher.

Buie’s 29-yard run was the 49ers longest rush of the season.

Through two games, three players have over 20 rushes:  Buie 28, Phillips 27, Johnson 22

Phillips is the 49ers leading rusher after two games — slightly – 143 yds to Buie 136

Charlotte’s defense set records for fewest yard allowed (112), fewest passing yards allowed (9) and most tackles for loss (19).

The 49ers forced three-and-out punts on 11 of 14 drives by Presbyterian, including 11 of the first 12.

One drive by Presbyterian went -15 yards in three plays, thanks to Zach Duncan’s forced fumble.    That is the shortest drive, by yardage, the 49ers have allowed, all-time.

The 49ers held Presbyterian to 1 of 13 on third-down conversions.  In two games, opponents are 4-of-28 on third down (14%).

Charlotte defense held Presbyterian to a program low of 112 yards, breaking the previous record of 197 yards allowed against Johnson C. Smith Sept. 6, 2014.

14 different 49ers had a tackle for loss as Charlotte produced a school record 19 tackles for loss.  Larry Ogunjobi and Zach Duncan led the squad with 3.0 TFL’s each.

Ogunjobi leads the 49ers with 4.0 TFLs this season and now has 25 in his career — the first 49er to reach that milestone.

Tank Norman’s five tackles pushes him to the 100-tackle mark for his career.  He is the second 49er to reach the 100-career tackle plateau.  Norman leads the team with nine tackles, this year.

S Branden Dozier, who had three takeaways last year, pulled down his first interception of 2015.

Week 1 485 College notes

Blake Brewer C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week

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

Junior K Blake Brewer (Concord, N.C./Cannon School) became the first Charlotte 49ers player to earna Conference USA Player of the Week award when he was named C-USA Special Teams Player of the Week after Week 1. Players of the Week are voted on by a panel of the league’s media.

Brewer was 3-of-3 on field goal attempts and added two PAT’s in a perfect kicking perfomance that helped the 49ers defeat Georgia State, 23-20, in their FBS debut. Brewer connected from 45, 35 and 22 yards and kicked what proved to be the game-winner in the three-point win. His 45-yarder was the ninth successful kick from 40 or more yards in his career and he matched his own school record for most field goals made (3) without a miss.

The 49er Point After:

Charlotte 23 at Georgia State 20

Atlanta, Ga.  (Georgia Dome); Sept. 4, 2015

 49: Jamal Covington

Captains: Danny Book; Trent Bostick; Caleb Clayton-Molby; Branden Dozier

Flag carriers:  TL Ford II; Nick Cook; Anthony Covington

Game Ball:  Presented to Haley Ratliff, daughter of Offensive Line coach Phil Ratliff, who died, Aug. 9

 The 49ers first game at the FBS level

The 49ers first game against an FBS opponent

The 49ers first FBS win

 Three players started their 23rd straight game (every game in 49ers history):

 OL Danny Book;  OL Jamal Covington;  DL Larry Ogunjobi

 Key stat of the game:  3rd down conversions – CHA 11 of 21; GSU 3 of 15

TL Ford II caught five passes – each one for a first down, twice on 3rd and long (3rd & 10; 3rd & 9) Matt Johnson was 10-of-12 on third down with 7 completions for first downs.  On three of four scoring drives, Johnson completed a 3rd and long for a first down to keep the drive alive.

  1. 3rd & 10 – 19 to TL Ford II during FG drive, 10-0
  2. 3rd & 9 – 9 to TL Ford II during 74-yd TD drive, 20-3
  3. 3rd & 17  – 30 to Kofa in FG drive, 23-6

CB Terrance Winchester returns fumble 43 yards for TD on 4th play from scrimmage:

Terrance Winchester scored the sixth defensive TD in 49ers history and the second fumble return for a TD in school history. 

Winchester tied the school record with two takeaways in a game (FR; INT) and joins Greg Cunningham (2014) and Micah Bryan (2013) as the only 49ers with both a fumble recovery and interception in the same game.

Charlotte is 5-1 in games in which it scores a defensive TD.

Winchester’s TD came just 1:32 into the game.  It was the fourth fastest TD in school history.

  1. 00:17 – Matt Johnson – Austin Duke 65 yd TD at NCCU, 2014 (1st play)
  2. 00:30 – Matt Johnson 8 yd TD run at JMU, 2013 (2nd play)
  3. 00:46 – Mark Hogan 32 yd INT return vs. Campbell, 2013 (2nd play)
  4. 1:32 – Terrance Winchester, 43 yd fumble return, 2015 (4th play)
  5. 1:43 – Kalif Phillips, 6 yd TD run vs. Johnson C. Smith, 2014 (6th play)

Matt Johnson hits Austin Duke for 63-yard TD reception:

Austin Duke’s 63-yard TD catch is his eighth career TD catch of 60 or more yards.

7 of Duke’s last 8 TD catches have been 60 or more yards.

Matt Johnson threw a TD pass for his eighth straight game (7 games before injury, last year).

Johnson and Duke have connected for 8 career TD passes of 60+ yards.

The 63-yard TD pass was the 10th of Johnson’s career of 50+ yards

The TD drive took 1:21.   The 49ers had 22 TD drives of 1:30 or less, last year. 

Blake Brewer Hits Three Field Goals:

Blake Brewer tied his own school record with three field goals made (45, 35, 22)

His 3-of-3 kicking also ties his record for most FGM without a miss

His 45-yarder is the 9th FGM of 40+ in his career.


LB Nick Cook, who missed all but one game, last year, forced a fumble and had a fumble recovery while leading the 49ers with six tackles (six solo).

S Branden Dozier, last year’s leading tackler, shared the game-high with six tackles (five solo).

Charlotte had 8.0 tackles for loss, led by DL James Middleton (2.0) and LB Caleb Clayton-Molby (1.5)

Defensive linemen James Middleton (2.0), Larry Ogunjobi (1.0) and Devon Johnson (1.0) each had at least one tackle for loss.

Back on Defense: 

The 49ers had several starters who missed some or all of last year but returned as starters in game one to make immediate impacts:

  1. CB Terrance Winchester (missed 4 games with injury): FR for TD; INT, 4 tackles
  2. LB Nick Cook (missed final 10 games with injury): tm-hi 6 tackles; 1 FF; 1 FR
  3. LB Caleb Clayton-Molby (missed final 8 games with injury): 3 tackles, 1.5 TFL
  4. DL Devon Johnson (missed all of 2014 rehabbing injury):  2 tackles, 1.0 TFL
  5. DB Devin Pearson (missed all of 2014 as red-shirt): 3 tackles, 1 FF

Rushing Balance:

Kalif Phillips had 19 carries (90 yards), Matt Johnson had 17 carries (32 yards) and West Virginia transfer Andrew Buie had 16 carries (56 yards).  Last year, Phillips (229 carries) had 52% of the 49ers rushes.


The 49ers lost the turnover battle, 5-3 – the second time in 49ers history that they won the game despite losing the turnover battle.  Charlotte beat Wesley, last year despite losing TO battle, 3-2. 

The 5-3 margin is the largest TO deficit that the 49ers have had, yet still won.

The five turnovers are the second most in school history

 Charlotte improved to 10-0 in program history when it leads at the half.

Dating back to last year, the 49ers have won three straight games.

Charlotte ran 86 offensive plays


The 49ers host Presbyterian (FCS) Saturday, Sept. 12 at 12 noon (ASN/WCCB).

Charlotte is 2-0 in their first home games in its first two years

Charlotte is 1-0 vs. Presbyterian.  The 49ers posted their first FBS road win at Presbyterian, 45-21, in 2013. 

The two teams also faced each other when the CCUNC was a two-year institution playing a combination of varsity, JV and B teams from 1946-48. 

Tough opener for Davidson

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Davidson football team fell to The Citadel Bulldogs, 69-0, in their season opener Saturday evening at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

In addition to 602 yards on the ground and eight rushing touchdowns, The Citadel (1-0) held the Wildcats (0-1) to just 104 total yards.

Running back Evan McField recorded a game-high 132 yards off 20 attempts with one touchdown, while Isiaha Smith ran for 109 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead both teams.

Defensively, the Bulldogs held Davidson (0-1) to just 46 yards rushing, while forcing four interceptions.

Linebacker Zack Popovec led both teams with a career-high nine tackles for the Wildcats, while defensive lineman Chris Woods and defensive back Ben Rowell each tallied a personal-best eight tackles.

Catawba falls to #4 West Georgia

SALISBURY, N.C. — NCAA II fourth-ranked West Georgia scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to claim an opening 44-13 win over host Catawba on Saturday afternoon at Shuford Stadium and Kirkland Field.  The Wolves overcame five turnovers in the win, forcing four and holding the Catawba Indians to just 145 total yards.

Quarterback Dallas Dickey was nearly perfect for West Georgia, completing 15-of-17 passes for 204 yards and a pair of scores.  He also ran for a touchdown.  Aares McCall eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground with 107 yards on 11 carries.

Dickey threw both of his touchdown strikes in the third quarter to help the Wolves break away from a 16-13 lead at the half.  His first strike went for 47 yards to Qa Walker and the second went to Shaq Hall for 29 yards to push the margin to 30-13 midway through the period.  West Georgia tacked on two fourth-quarter scores for the final margin.

Cary Littlejohn (Columbus, N.C./Polk Co. HS) produced the lone Catawba touchdown with a five-yard run late in the second quarter to pull the Indians within 16-13.  He finished with 57 yards on the ground.  Bruce Smith (Winston-Salem, N.C./N. Davidson HS) caught three passes for 22 yards.

Kyle Kitchens (Decatur, Ga./Decatur HS) had a big day on defense for Catawba.  He was in on seven tackles with three going for losses, including a sack.  He would force two fumbles and recover one.

Wingate blanks Johnson C. Smith

Charlotte, N.C.—-Wingate University redshirt junior quarterback Kyle Johnson (Hickory, N.C.) passed for a touchdown and rushed for a score, leading the Bulldogs to a 14-0 victory over Johnson C. Smith University Saturday night at the Irwin Belk Complex and Eddie McGirt Field. The contest was the season opener for both teams.

The shutout is Wingate’s fifth during the school’s senior college football history (1986-present). Four of Wingate’s five shutouts have come at the expense of CIAA members. The Bulldogs blanked Saint Augustine’s 30-0 last season (Sept. 13, 2014) and Fayetteville State 19-0 on August 26, 2006. Wingate opened the 2002 season with a 24-0 decision over the JCSU Golden Bulls (August 31).

“We believe this was a good first game for us,” Wingate head coach Joe Reich says. “We saw good things on both sides of the ball. We had some penalty challenges…but we were able to overcome those with big plays on defense and ball control on offense.”

Johnson completed 15-of-20 passes for 143 yards and one touchdown. He rushed six times for 51 yards. The two-year team captain opened the Bulldogs’ scoring with a nine-yard TD run in the first quarter. Johnson’s scoring scamper concluded a 13-play, 80-yard drive. Wingate junior place kicker Caleb Baird (Kinston, N.C.) added the PAT to make the score 7-0 ‘Dogs with 8:27 left in the first frame.

Wingate took the slim margin to the halftime locker room. Johnson and his offensive teammates struck again in the third quarter, putting together an eight-play, 79-yard march to take a two-touchdown margin. Bulldog redshirt junior wide receiver Jody Fuller (Indian Trail, N.C.) did the honors, hauling in a 38-yard TD pass from Johnson. Baird’s extra point concluded the scoring with 5:52 remaining in the third stanza.

The Bulldogs forced three fumbles to win the turnover margin 3-1. In his first game in the Navy Blue and Vegas Gold, redshirt freshman Robert Wallace (Covington, Ga.) had a team-best eight tackles with three tackles for loss (14 yards), 1.5 quarterback sacks (13 yards) and one fumble recovery. Three Wingate defenders had six tackles each.

Wingate senior defensive back Nortavius Otis (Gastonia, N.C.) forced the fumble which led to the Bulldogs’ second score. The JCSU Golden Bulls had second-and-two on the Wingate 23-yard line when Otis made his big play. Robert Wallace recovered and the Bulldog offense went to work.

Reich improves to 13-2 overall in season openers during his 15 Wingate seasons. He believes the Bulldogs are ready to take the next step. “We have some film now, so we can see where we need to improve,” Reich says. “Everyone always says the most improvement comes from game one to game two. We hope this is true.”

“We didn’t execute all the way through the game,” Reich says. “We give much credit to Johnson C. Smith. They have a young freshman QB with a tremendous upside… and they are very well coached. We were fortunate to pick up the victory.”

Wingate sophomore running back Lawrence Pittman (Charlotte, N.C.) made a triumphant return to his hometown, rushing 19 times for 94 yards (both career-highs). The Mallard Creek High School product also caught one pass Saturday night.

Both Fuller and junior wide receiver Jordan Berry (Irmo, S.C.) caught five passes each. Fuller had five catches for 64 yards and one touchdown. Berry recorded five receptions for 39 yards. Wingate redshirt sophomore tight end Jake Jensen (Fayetteville, N.C.) had two catches for 23 yards.

Wingate hits the road again next week, visiting Durham County Memorial Stadium to face Shaw University (6 p.m. kick-off). The WU Bulldogs and SU Bears will meet for the first time in history. Johnson C. Smith is also on the road next Saturday, visiting Kentucky State University.


3 Days of College Football

Belk College Football Kickoff Game

unc south carolina

The Tar Heels and Gamecocks renew their rivalry on a neutral site at Bank of America Stadium. At last check tickets were still available. It is the first game of the season in the area.

Charlotte 49ers move up to top tier

The Charlotte 49ers, who will play in Conference USA this season, open against Georgia State Friday at 3:30 p.m. in a game at the Georgia Dome that will be televised on ESPN U.

Click on the 49ers fans photo for Game 1 notes - Photo by Charlotte Sports Information
Click on the 49ers fans photo for Game 1 notes – Photo by Charlotte Sports Information

Damione Lewis joins 49ers radio

Charlotte IMG has announced that Damione Lewis has been added as the color commentator for Charlotte 49ers radio broadcasts on the Charlotte IMG Radio Network.

Lewis will step into the role held by Kevin Donnalley for the first two seasons. Donnalley was recently tabbed as the 49ers Offensive Line coach for this season, following the death of assistant coach Phil Ratliff.

The Charlotte IMG Radio Network can be heard locally on the flagship station, WFNZ 610 SportsRadio.

Lewis, who played college ball at Miami, was a NFL first round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams in 2001. His 10-year NFL career included stops with the Rams, Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans.

Lewis stepped into his first action, Monday night, when he co-hosted Charlotte’s Coaches’ Show “49ers Uptown Live” from BlackFinn Ameripub in the EpiCentre. Uptown Live is aired on WFNZ’s sister station, WBCN 1660 am and includes game analysis and team breakdown with 49ers head coach Brad Lambert. Bobby Rosinski, who is the 49ers sideline reporter during game broadcasts, co-hosted the opening Uptown Live broadcast.

The full game-day crew of longtime play-by-play man Matt Swierad, Lewis and Rosinski, will be on the air, Friday, as the 49ers travel to Georgia State for the 2015 season-opener. The 2015 season will be Charlotte’s first at the FBS level as a member of Conference USA.

Davidson opens at The Citadel Saturday

The Davidson Wildcats travel to Charleston, S.C. Saturday to play The Citadel Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

The Wildcats are opening their third season under Coach Paul Nichols. Here are stats and facts about the game and the Wildcats from

The game will be broadcast locally on WHIP-AM 1350 in Mooresville and on the Wildcats website with Mark Plemmons calling the action. The game will also be streamed by ESPN3.

NCAA Division II teams in the 485 Sports area, Wingate, Johnson C. Smith and Catawba, open the season next week.