It might be too early to tell after one game, and against a team with no scholarships at that, but the Charlotte 49ers look like a very good football team. In a 52-7 rout of the Campbell Camels, they dominated in basically every aspect of the game.
Before the Camels knew it, they were facing a 35-7 first half deficit, led by the accurate passing of Matt Johnson (who completed his first eight passes). But it was a defensive player–Mark Hogan–that picked off Brian Hudson on the second play from scrimmage and returned it 32 yards to the house for the first ever Charlotte touchdown.
From there, it was all Niners. Johnson would hit Bolus with a one-yard TD run (followed by a CJ Crawford two-point conversion) to make it 15-0, followed by a 19-yard reception by Austin Duke to put it to 22-0. Campbell finally hit the scoreboard to make it 32-7 on a 14-play, 85-yard drive with 2:08 left in the half, but Blake Brewer’s short field goal beat the clock to give Charlotte the 35-7 lead. Another Brewer field goal early in the 3rd and a 47-yard reception by Trent Bostick made it 42-7 with just under three and half gone by in the quarter. Corey Nesmith Jr. tacked a Niner touchdown with a 33-yard reverse for the game’s final tally.
Johnson’s day came to an end late in the 3rd, and what a day: 19-29, 282 yards, 3 TDs, no picks and a QB rating of 181.3. Mikel Hunter had five catches for 80 yards to lead Charlotte receivers, while Austin Duke (5 catches, 66 yards, TD) and Trent Bostick (4 catches, 83 yards, TD) had strong showings. On the ground, Kalif Phillips led the way with nine carries, 66 yards and a score; Alan Barnwell went nine for 55 yards.
Offensively, the Niners dominated on offensive yardage, 488-280, including 211-179 on the ground and 277-101 through the air. As for the young offensive line, they looked solid today, allowing Johnson and the Charlotte QBs all kinds of time to throw.
With the first win out of the way, can the Niners start on their first ever winning streak? We’ll find out next Saturday when Chowan comes to town for a noon kickoff.