How is COVID-19 Impacting Football?

The COVID-19 Pandemic is constantly impacting the fate of the 2020 football season. Keep up to date with the latest news here.

Championship Central

Relive the 2019 North Carolina High School Football Playoffs and look back on how your favorite team did last season.

Check Out The Weekly Top 15 This Season

CarolinaGridiron.com releases Top 15 Rankings every week. Be sure to check back each Thursday duing the season to see where your favorite team is ranked.

College Football in North Carolina

Carolina Gridiron is expanding coverage of all college football teams in the state of North Carolina this season. See how your favorite college team is doing on the gridiron this year.

Carolina Gridiron Media Pick'Em

This season, Carolina Gridiron is launching a new media pick ‘em contest featuring some of the state’s top sports media. Each week, we will select a slate of ten games from across the state of North Carolina with a mix of high school and college games being thrown in.

Scrimmages and Jamborees

With your help, we are able to yearly put together the most comprehensive statewide high school football jamboree/scrimmage list in North Carolina. Thank you to all who helped put together the 2019 list.

2019 Preseason All-Gridiron Team Announced

Congratulations to all of the players who were selected to the 2019 preseason All-Gridiron team.

Charlotte Wins Home Opener, 38-28, Over UTEP

 


CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte 49ers waited patiently for the beginning of their home slate of games for the 2020 season. With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to postponements across the nation, with two of the postponements being Charlotte home games, the 49ers were finally able to play a game at Jerry Richardson Stadium on Saturday afternoon against the visiting UTEP Miners and came away with a 38-28 victory.

 

After deferring the opening kickoff, Charlotte started on defense and made it count. Six plays into the drive, Tyler Murray stepped in front of a pass near midfield and returned it to the UTEP seven-yard line. Two plays later, Aaron McAllister bulled his way into the end zone at the 49ers held a 7-0 lead early in the game.

 

For as good as the first drive was for the Charlotte defense, the second drive was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Aided by two defensive pass interference calls, the Miners marched sixty-four yards down the field over fifteen plays, culminating in a two-yard scoring run by Deion Hankins. The scoring drive took nearly nine minutes off of the clock and left the two teams tied at 7 at the end of the first quarter.

 

Charlotte’s special teams tried to pin the UTEP offense with a punt that forced the visitors to start at their own two-yard line. But, the Miners wouldn’t be denied and paraded methodically down the field, tallying all of the ninety-eight yards needed to hit pay dirt for the second time in the half. The Charlotte offense found itself in a position where it needed to mount a response and it did when Chris Reynolds found Victor Tucker in the corner of the end zone to knot the game at 14 going into the half.

 

The Forty-Niner defense found their way in the third quarter, keeping UTEP in check and forcing two turnovers. Although the Charlotte offense was unable to covert a Lance McMillan interception, his fumble recovery contributed to field position that eventually resulted in a touchdown pass from Reynolds to Cam Dollar.

 

When it looked like Charlotte was putting it out of reach with a thirteen-yard jet sweep touchdown run by Micaleous Elder, UTEP responded with a touchdown drive to bring it within ten points, but a personal foul penalty on the ensuing onside kickoff gave the 49ers possession in UTEP territory. Aaron McAllister delivered the finishing blow, a thirty-seven yard scoring run, his second of the day to make it a three possession game with just a few minutes left in the game.

 

After having to wait until the seventh week of the season to finally host a home game, the limited fans who were allowed to be in attendance left happily as clock hit triple zeroes and the 49ers won their second straight game, 38-28.

 

 

Notable North Carolinians

Lance McMillan – the redshirt sophomore defensive back had an interception and a fumble recovery in the third quarter

Chris Reynolds – the redshirt junior quarterback passed for two touchdowns

 

 

Up Next

Charlotte (2-2, 2-1) travels to take on Duke (1-5) in nonconference action while UTEP (3-3, 0-2) hosts North Texas (2-3, 1-2) in another Conference USA tilt.

 

App State Falls at Marshall, 17-7


HUNTINGTON, WV — App State’s impressive winning streak against Group of Five programs from outside the league ended Saturday, as Marshall pulled out a 17-7 home win in front of 12,050 fans.

After a highlight-reel touchdown grab by Jalen Virgil helped tie the game to conclude App State’s first drive of the day, Marshall (2-0) kept the high-powered and 23rd-ranked Mountaineers (1-1) from scoring again, even though they advanced inside the Thundering Herd’s 10-yard line on their first two fourth-quarter possessions.

App State had won its last seven games against Conference USA opponents since falling to Southern Miss in the Mountaineers’ third-ever FBS game in 2014.

The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak against Group of Five conference teams from outside the Sun Belt. UMass, an FBS independent, defeated the Mountaineers in 2017.

App State returns to action next Saturday with a noon home game against Campbell.

Marshall, moving forward from an 8-5 season in 2019, took the lead for good on Shane Ciucci’s 29-yard field goal with 2:28 left in the first half and extended its advantage on quarterback Grant Wells’ 12-yard keeper for a touchdown with 4:44 remaining in the third quarter.

A lost fumble on a fourth-and-1 pass for 41 yards to the Marshall 5 early in the fourth quarter and a missed 26-yard field goal with 2:54 left allowed the Thundering Herd to maintain a 10-point advantage.

App State quarterback Zac Thomas completed 22 of 38 passes for 268 yards, including the early connection with Virgil for an acrobatic, 11-yard score. Camerun Peoples rushed for a team-high 57 yards on 12 carries, and Malik Williams had five catches for 54 yards.

Defensively, linebacker Trey Cobb recorded a career-high 14 tackles, safety Kaiden Smith added 10 and Cobb’s first-half deflection of a pass led to safety Ryan Huff’s first career interception in a game televised nationally by CBS.

Marshall opened the game with a 51-yard touchdown drive, scoring on a 2-yard run from Brenden Knox, and App State responded with an 11-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that lasted more than five minutes.

Backed up to the 11 for a first-and-goal snap, Thomas lofted a pass toward the left side of the end zone, and the ball descended beyond the defender’s reach, into the hands of Virgil. He secured possession and managed to drag his feet inbounds as he fell to the turf.

Ciucci’s short field goal late in the first half, forced by Shemar Jean-Charles’ end-zone breakup of a third-down pass, was the only other scoring in the first half. Daetrich Harrington had a 76-yard touchdown run overturned by a replay that determined his knee touched the ground near the line of scrimmage, and Huff intercepted a pass at the App State 24 following Cobb’s sideline deflection.

The Mountaineers moved into position for a tying or go-ahead score late in the half thanks to two pass interference penalties drawn by receiver Thomas Hennigan, who had made a diving, left-handed-only catch for 36 yards earlier in heavy traffic earlier in the half, but a third-down interception at the Marshall 14 ended that scoring threat.

Marshall moved ahead 17-7 with 4:44 left in the third quarter on Wells’ touchdown run, which followed a 67-yard completion to tight end Xavier Gaines. App State attempted to rally but came up short. 

Campbell Drops Contest at Coastal Carolina

CONWAY, SC – Grayson McCall completed 11-of-16 passes for 273 yards and two scores to lead Coastal Carolina to a 43-21 win over Campbell Friday night at Brooks Stadium.

Playing a second-consecutive FBS opponent on the road and on national TV, the Camels (0-2) drew within two scores early in the fourth quarter, but could not pull off the upset in front of an ESPN audience.

Coastal Carolina (2-0), which won its opener 38-23 at Kansas, scored on its first three possessions and sacked Campbell quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams five times.

The Chanticleers outgained the Camels 468-342 and both teams finished 4-of-4 in red zone opportunities.

Coastal scored twice in the first quarter, capitalizing on good field position after a turnover; then stopping the Camels on downs.

CJ Marable capped a 5-play, 56-yard march with a two-yard run, set up by Alex Spillum’s interception and 39-yard return.  

Shermari Jones’ three-yard run plus Massimo Biscardi’s PAT pushed the Coastal lead to 14-0 with 0:34 remaining in the opening quarter.

The Camels drove inside the Coastal 40 on each of their first four possessions and converted 12-of-19 third downs, but could not contain the Chanticleer option attack.

Marable finished with 54 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns, while Isaiah Likely had three receptions for 96 yards and a score for Coastal.

Williams completed 12-of-25 passes for 137 yards, while adding 62 yards and a score on the ground on 18 carries.  C.J. Freeman rumbled for 81 yards on 14 rushes and one TD, while Bryant Barr carried 12 times for 45 yards and a touchdown.  Barr (36 yards) and Jalen Kelsey (32 yards) both finished with three receptions for the Camels.

Campbell RB Bryant Barr
Photo Credit: Campbell Sports Media

Robert Brown’s 45-yard field goal that trimmed the deficit to 14-3 with 11:18 to play in the second quarter.  Freeman’s 28-yard run, plus a targeting penalty gave the Camels a first down at the Coastal 14. However, an incompletion and sack pushed the Camels back to set up Brown’s field goal.

McCall found Jaivon Heiligh down the right side for a 21-yard touchdown catch that ended an 11-play, 86-yard march and extended the lead to 21-3 with 6:23 left in the opening half.

Campbell answered with an 11-play, 85-yard march finished by Freeman’s nine-yard run.  A bobbled hold on the point after left the deficit at 21-9 with 0:59 to play in the half.  The Camels converted two long third down situations – on Julian Hill’s 20-yard reception and Barr’s 23-yard catch and run – to extend the drive.

Coastal out-gained the Camels 222-193 in the opening half and sacked Williams three times.  McCall completed 8-of-11 passes for 139 yards before the break, while Williams was 7-of-15 for 95 yards. Freeman rambled for 53 first-half yards on nine carries.

Reese White’s three-yard TD run ended a 60-yard scoring drive where the Chanticleers kept the ball on the ground for all eight plays.  Biscardi’s point after pushed the lead to 28-9 with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter.

The Camels marched 75 yards in 13 plays and pulled within 28-15 on Barr’s 7-yard run on 4th and two.  The two-point conversion failed, however, but the Camels were within two scores with 14:57 to play.

Coastal responded just three players later when McCall connected with Kameron Brown on a 65-yard completion to set up Marable’s nine-yard scoring run.  McCall hit Heiligh on a two-point conversion to stretch the gap to 36-15 with 13:55 remaining.

McCall found Likely on a 57-yard scoring pass to push the margin to 43-15 with 11:42 remaining.

Williams ran in from four yards out to trim the margin to 43-21 with 3:02 remaining after engineering a 14-play, 72-yard drive. 

The Camels return to action next Saturday (Sept. 26) at No. 23 Appalachian State in the third of its four-game schedule this fall, all against FBS opponents.  




Story courtesy of Campbell Sports Media

Charlotte at UNC Canceled Due to COVID-19 Concerns

Charlotte announced today the football game scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, against North Carolina has been canceled. The decision was made due to the impact that contact tracing quarantine has had on a key position group. Several members of the offensive line were placed into quarantine following the University’s COVID-19 contact tracing protocols, effectively depleting that unit.

Over the past two weeks, there have been three positive cases of coronavirus in football student-athletes found through regular testing required by Conference USA. The individuals are in isolation receiving proper medical care, and all other affected individuals were notified to quarantine for 14 days by University contact tracers.

"We're extremely disappointed to have to cancel our game at North Carolina. While I know our team is heartbroken, due to the number of players in quarantine, we could not safely play,” said Athletic Director Mike Hill. “We very much appreciate the University of North Carolina having scheduled this game with us. Unfortunately, we do not currently share any common open dates to reschedule."

As of Monday, Sept. 14, a total of 3,150 tests have been administered for our student-athletes, coaches and staff since June 10.  A total of 20 positive cases have been reported. On Monday, 200 tests were administered with one positive.

This announcement does not impact the status of the home opener versus Georgia State scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26.