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