Saturday, September 15, 2018

Tyrie Adams Leads Western Carolina to 28-10 Victory Over Gardner-Webb

BOILING SPRINGS – Friday nights are usually reserved for high school football in North Carolina. Hurricane Florence, however, has thrown that idea into the wind. News of game postponements or cancellations filled news feeds throughout the week. For Gardner-Webb and Western Carolina, two FCS programs separated by only 116 miles, getting an intrastate game in this week before the storms rolled in was a high priority. While the upcoming weather forecast was uncertain, the Western Carolina offense was not, totaling 475 yards in a 28-10 win over Gardner-Webb Friday night at Ernest Spangler Stadium.

Gardner-Webb's game against Western Carolina was moved up to Friday night due to Hurricane Florence, which was approaching the area on Friday evening. The edge of the storm could be seen in the distance from the stadium.
Shaking off an injury that required stitches in the first half, dual-threat QB Tyrie Adams paced the WCU offense, leading the Catamounts with his arm and his feet. The redshirt junior was 13 of 24 for 108 yards and two scores through the air. He also ran twelve times for 106 yards. Running back Connell Young churned out the yards as well, giving coach Mark Speir two 100-yard rushers for the night. "That was something we worked on all week in anticipation of this weather. We had to make sure we had a rain plan, and more importantly, a wind plan ready and I think our guys did a good job. We knew we were going to have to come in here and run the football. We've got a veteran o-line and they did a good job tonight," Coach Speir mentioned after the game.

When it seemed like the Gardner-Webb offense was trying to gain momentum, Western Carolina's JerMichael White and the Catamount defense stepped in and shut the Runnin' Bulldogs down. The senior from Tennessee picked off Gardner-Webb twice on the evening, which helped Western hold Gardner-Webb to only 73 yards in the second half.

Notable North Carolinians
Connell Young (Dudley) – ran for 105 yards and a touchdown; also caught six passes for 66 yards and a score
Donnavan Spencer (Vance) – ran nine times for 69 yards, including a big 46-yard run to get WCU out of the shadow of their own end zone in the third quarter
Jayln Cagle (Brown) – ran twenty-five times for 83 yards and a touchdown

Other notes and observations
Even with the game being moved up to Friday night, there were still a decent number of fans attending the game.
Neither team took advantage of the new fair catch rule and only totaled 64 kick return yards on the night.
When Tyrie Adams went out with an injury for part of the first half, freshman QB Will Jones (Page) stepped in and connected on three of his four passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.
With the win tonight, Western Carolina is 2-0 for the first time since 2006.

Up next
Western Carolina (2-0) opens its Southern Conference schedule with a game against VMI next week at E.J. Whitmire Stadium while Gardner-Webb (1-2) travels to Boone's Kidd Brewer Stadium to take on FBS Appalachian State (1-1).

Total Yds
Pass Yds
Rush Yds
1st Downs
3rd Downs
4th Downs
Total Plays
Red Zone
Time of Poss
0 (0)
Turnovers Pts Off)
2 (7)
5 (31)
Sacks (Def Yds)
1 (6)
11 (49)
TFL (Def Yds)
3 (13)