Saturday, September 3, 2022

49ers Fall to FCS William and Mary

CHARLOTTE – After backup quarterback Xavier Williams’s 67-yard rush gave the 49ers a 24-20 lead, William and Mary scored the final 21 points to overtake Charlotte, 41-24, in non-conference action, Friday night.

“Obviously disappointed in the result, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” said head coach Will Healy. “Credit to William & Mary, I thought they played really well and made big plays down the stretch. We made life hard on ourselves. When we were up 24-20 we looked like we were in good shape. It didn’t seem like we were able to put drives together. You have to create a little bit of separation in that football game and we were never able to do it.” 

Charlotte rallied from a 17-3 deficit to tie the game on Williams’ two-yard rush with 00:13 seconds left in the half and then grabbed its first outright lead, 24-20, on Williams’ burst through the middle.  That 67-yard run was the longest play for the 49ers this year.

William and Mary, however, scored three times in the fourth quarter to pull away for the victory.

Williams, who began the season third on the 49ers’ depth chart, moved up when all-time record-holder Chris Reynolds was injured in the season-opener at FAU.  He came on in relief of James Foster, who was making his second start for the 49ers.

William and Mary rushed for 303 yards on their way to 559 yards of total offense while Charlotte totaled 379.

“I know it’s frustrating. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get better, but a short time to get there because no one is going to feel sorry for us,” Healy added. “I know we have a group of fighters, whether it be players or staff and we will respond. I know the type of character and leadership that’s on this football team. A response from this team, a bunch of fighters, and a team that’s going to get better.” 

Notable Notes

Sophomore Elijah Spencer, the 2021 C-USA Freshman of the Year, posted his first career 100-yard outing with 107 receiving yards. Running mates Grant DuBose (67 yards) and Victor Tucker (58) both pulled in over 50 receiving yards as the trio accounted for 232 of the 49ers' 248 receiving yards.

S Wayne Jones had a team-high 11 tackles for the 49ers.

With 67 receiving yards, DuBose became the sixth 49er to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in his career.  He now has 1048 receiving yards in just over one year of action.

Next Week

Charlotte's (0-2) path only gets more difficult as the 49ers host Maryland (1-0) from the Big Ten while William and Mary (1-0) plays Campbell (1-0) in a preview of a future CAA matchup.