Saturday, September 14, 2019

Charlotte Gets Revenge on UMass, Winning 52-17

CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte 49ers were determined to erase the bad taste of spotting the UMass Minutemen a twenty-eight point lead in last year’s game in Amherst. After a long kickoff return to Micaleous Elder set the 49ers up with good field position, Charlotte wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Chris Reynolds found a streaking Cameron Dollar for a 46-yard touchdown on the third play of the game. This set the tone for the day as the 49ers scored twenty-eight unanswered points to begin the game on the way to a 52-17 win over UMass on Saturday evening.

Charlotte WR Cameron Dollar opened the scoring for the 49ers (Photo Credit: Brian Barnes)

Charlotte had its way with UMass on the ground, totaling 338 rushing yards on the night. Although Benny LeMay was still the feature back, other 49ers stepped and shared in the spoils and spotlight on Saturday night. Early in the first quarter, Ishod Finger capped off a seven play, eighty-four yard drive with a one-yard scoring run, the first of his career.

The defense made its presence known early and often on the evening. When Alex Highsmith put a big on the UMass quarterback, the ball wobbled through the air before redshirt sophomore Henry Segura pulled it down and raced down the left sideline for Charlotte’s first defensive touchdown of the season.

By the end of the first quarter, Charlotte was knocking on the door again and made it a four-score lead early in the second quarter with Reynolds’s second touchdown pass of the day, this one a five yard toss to Tyler Ringwood.

Trying to find any momentum, UMass went into hurry-up mode on offense and it appeared to work. The Minutemen were able to drive all the way down to the seven-yard line, but were forced to settle for a twenty-six yard field goal that bounced through after hitting the left upright.

The Minutemen looked to go into the half with momentum after a long, 87-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown with seventeen seconds left to go in the quarter, but a nice return by Aaron McAllister and run by Benny LeMay set up a 53-yard Jonathan Cruz field goal to close out the first half.

The 49ers came out in the third quarter determined to put any hopes of a UMass comeback to rest, controlling the line of scrimmage and not giving up any third or fourth down conversions. Offensively, Charlotte extended their lead with Finger and Ringwood each scoring their second touchdowns of the night.

A spot of concern on the night for the 49ers was special teams kick coverage. Early in the fourth quarter, Charlotte was forced to punt from deep in its own territory. The punt was short and UMass returner Isaiah Rodgers was able to race down the sideline forty-six yards for the score. Charlotte returned the excitement on the next drive as Aaron McAllister zoomed past three defenders on his way to a sixty-nine yard touchdown.

The fifty-two points scored by the 49ers were the most scored by the team against an FBS opponent and the win was the first win over a non-conference FBS opponent at home.

Notable North Carolinians
Ishod Finger (Metrolina Christian) – The redshirt freshman running back scored the first two rushing touchdowns of his collegiate career. Finger finished with XX yards on X carries.

Chris Reynolds (Davie) – The redshirt sophomore signal caller was 10 of 12 on the night, connecting for two scores and rushing for 34 yards on three carries.

Prince Bemah (Hunter Huss) – The freshman linebacker finished the night with seven tackles, including two for a loss and sack.

Next Week
Charlotte (2-1) takes on the defending national champion Clemson Tigers of the ACC next week while UMass (0-3) hosts Coastal Carolina of the SunBelt.