It seems like a long time ago when the Charlotte 49ers last held a halftime lead. Today, they’re up 41-10 over the Morehead State Eagles and look well on their way to a season-ending victory.
Charlotte overcame an early offensive miscue to light up the scoreboard against the so-far overmatched Eagles. Matt Johnson fumbled on the first drive of the game, and Morehead would get into the end zone nine plays later to go up 7-0.
Then the Niners took over. Johnson would hit Crawford with a 33-yard shot to tie the game with 5:21 left in the 1st, followed by a 50-yard TD scamper by Kalif Phillips on the very next Charlotte drive to make it 13-7. Alan Barnwell would upstage the true freshman by opening the 2nd quarter with a 70-yard run to the house to get it to 20-7. A pick-six by Caleb Clayton-Molby for 70 yards on a Morehead 4th and 4 made it 27-7. Phillips would strike for his second score of the game following a solid drive led by Johnson to make it 34-7; a 64-yard return by Justin Bridges-Thompson following an Eagles field goal set up the Kannapolis, NC native’s third rushing TD of the game to hand the Niners a 41-10 lead at the break.
The rushing game was part of the story for the Niners in the first half. They recorded 187 yards on the ground on just 20 carries, led by Barnwell’s 84 yards on eight carries and Phillips’ 70 on six carries (and three scores). Matt Johnson has recorded five rushes for 40 yards to go along with his 9 for 16, 122-yard passing game. Crawford is the game’s leading receiver thus far (three catches for 58 yards).
Defense has been a huge factor as well; the Niners have held the Eagles to 179 yards of total offense. Clayton-Molby leads the way with eight tackles. Morehead quarterback Austin Gahafer has been sacked three times and picked off twice.
It’s the first time the Niners have led at the break since being up 28-14 at Presbyterian on September 28, a 45-21 victory. The 41 points is the most scored in a half this season for Charlotte.