It was a much needed win for the Charlotte 49ers after losing two straight against North Carolina Central at home and JMU on the road. The Niners used 38 unanswered points to top the Presbyterian Blue Hose, 45-21, their first road win in program history to put them at 3-2 on the season.
Leading 28-14 at the half, the Niners struck early in the 3rd quarter. Kaleb Griffin was picked off by Des Cooper on the 2nd play of the half, and Charlotte would turn it into points, ending in a 23-yard pass to Trent Bostick to go ahead 35-14. After both teams traded punts, Tank Norman intercepted Griffin at the Charlotte 45, and again the Niners turned it into points–led by solid running by both Alan Barnwell and Kalif Phillips–to take a 42-14 lead. Blake Brewer added a field goal in the 4th to make it 45-14 and Demarcus Rouse added a touchdown with 6:37 left to draw PC to 42-21 and wrap up the game’s scoring.
One of the big stories was a balanced rushing attack by Barnwell and Phillips. Barnwell took 17 carries for 88 yards and a score while Phillips tacked on 79 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries; as a team Charlotte ran for 236 yards. Apart from Rouse’s TD carry, the Niners kept the PC running back under wraps (18 carries, 79 yards) and conceded just 131 yards on the ground–a week after being gashed for 321 rushing yards by JMU. All told, Charlotte outgained PC 505-352 offensively.
Charlotte heads back to Jerry Richardson Stadium as they welcome #25 Gardner-Webb next week. Kickoff next Saturday is shortly after noon.