Saturday, November 25, 2017

Charlotte Falls to Florida Atlantic in Final Game of 2017 Season

CHARLOTTE – The 2017 season has not been good to the Charlotte 49ers. In 2016, the 49ers went 3-5 in Conference USA play and hopes were high that this was the year that Charlotte would turn the corner and possibly secure the program's first-ever bowl bid. One of the teams that Charlotte defeated in 2016 was Florida Atlantic. The Owls, looking for a new direction, hired former Tennessee and USC coach Lane Kiffin and the results were exactly what the FAU fans were hoping for. So, when the 1-10 Forty-Niners and 8-3 Owls met up Saturday at Charlotte's Jerry Richardson Stadium, it was a tale of two teams heading in polar opposite directions and the scoreboard indicated so throughout the afternoon. By the final whistle, Florida Atlantic completed its undefeated conference slate with a 31-12 win over Charlotte and the 49ers were packing up equipment and looking towards the offseason.

Photo Credit: Ed Conway
Florida Atlantic opened the scoring with a first quarter, 6-yard run by Devin Singletary, the first of his two scores of the day. A Greg Joseph field goal and 20-yard pass from Jason Driskel to Kamrin Solomon saw the visitors with a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Charlotte tried to respond with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Hasaan Klugh to Benny LeMay, but a quick 41-yard strike from Driskel to Willie Wright shut down any chance at Charlotte keeping the momentum before the half. After Singletary's second touchdown of the day, Hasaan Klugh led Charlotte on the final scoring drive of the season and scored with a 6-yard run.

Notable North Carolinians

Benny LeMay (So., Butler) – scored the 49ers' first touchdown of the day, finished the season with 732 yards rushing
Hasaan Klugh (RS-Jr., Central Cabarrus) – ran for the 49ers' last touchdown of the 2017 season, finished the season with nine rushing TDs, ten passing TDs, and 1529 passing yards
Jeff Gemmell (RS-So., Heritage) – had thirteen tackles on the day, making it six straight games with double-digit tackles.

What the Coaches are Saying

Charlotte coach Brad Lambert
I told the seniors thank you, they believed when no else did. I really appreciate all they have done, how hard they've worked. This week in practice was a good a week as we've had, getting ready for a good football team that just won our division. We had some opportunities to win some games. We've got to look at what we're doing in the offseason because the one that that really hurt was untimely penalties. Those are drive killers for us. I like where we are. I don't like our record, though. There's 25 guys in the junior class who are coming back. I challenged them this week. This game means a lot for 2018. Every game is meaningful and all wins count.

Worth Noting

Charlotte celebrated senior day at today's game. The 2017 class include the program's all-time leading punter, all-time leading kick returner, a pair of all-time games played record holders and a 1500-yard receiver

Next Week

Florida Atlantic will host North Texas in the Conference USA championship game while Charlotte has completed its 2017 season.