Saturday, September 11, 2021

Charlotte Defeats Gardner-Webb, 38-10

CHARLOTTE – Fresh off its first-ever win over a Power 5 program, no one would have blamed the Charlotte 49ers if they had looked past this week's matchup against Gardner-Webb, an FCS school an hour away from campus. The Niners were focused, though, and powered their way to a 38-10 win Saturday night at Richardson Stadium.

When Gardner-Webb won the opening toss and deferred, Charlotte sought to set the tone immediately and an opening kickoff return to midfield by Keith Pearson got the Niners into a great position. Six plays later, Chris Reynolds eluded three Gardner-Webb defenders on his way to a 37-yard score to open the game. After being forced to punt on their first drive of the game, Gardner-Webb was able to take possession on an interception of a tipped pass hauled in by Dameon Williams. The Runnin' Bulldogs turned it into three points on a 45-yard Austin McKay field goal.

Charlotte responded strongly on its next three drives, finding the end zone in all three. A five-yard rush by Shadrick Byrd was accompanied by Calvin Camp one-yarder and 11-yard pass and catch from Reynolds to Jairus Mack. Gardner-Webb was able to find some bright spots in the second quarter as well, with Narii Gaither hitting paydirt from fourteen yards out and Honus Wagner intercepting a pass to get the Runnin' Bulldogs into position to attempt a field goal which ultimately went wide.

Charlotte took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half, moving some of the second team onto the field to get game action. Fayetteville's ChaVon McEachern earned his first touchdown of the season, a thirteen-yard run early in the second half. Jonathan Cruz was five for five on PATs on the evening, giving him 46 straight successful PATs, tying a school record. Cruz added a field goal early in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.

Next Week

Gardner-Webb (0-2) hosts Lincoln (Pa.) in the Runnin' Bulldogs' first home game of the season at Spangler Stadium while Charlotte (2-0) is on the road at Georgia State.

Notable North Carolinians

ChaVon McEachern (Trinity Christian) – the redshirt freshman running back led the Niners with seventy-four yards and a score.

Chris Reynolds (Davie) – the senior quarterback rushed for a score to open the game and also threw a touchdown pass.

Marcus Robitaille (Marvin Ridge) – the redshirt sophomore defensive back had five tackles, including four solo and one tackle for loss.

William McRainey (West Brunswick) – the sophomore linebacker had seven tackles for Gardner-Webb.