Sunday, September 10, 2023

Charlotte Football's Fast Start Not Enough to Take Down Terrapins

College Park, MD -- Charlotte's fast start was not enough to knock off Maryland in the 49ers first road game of the year.  Charlotte (1-1) took a 14-0 lead in the opening minutes before Maryland (2-0) scored 38 straight points, including 21 in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 38-20 victory.

Charlotte struck early to build a 14-0 lead in the opening minutes before yielding three second-quarter field goals to take a 14-9 lead into the locker room.

"The first three quarters were lights out," Biff Poggi said of the 49ers defense. "We're playing a Big 10 East team. They're a very good football team. We have a two touchdown lead early, and then we make them earn nine points like they're climbing Mt. Everest.  Our defense just had to play too much."

Jalon Jones hit Jairus Mack for a 48-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive. On the next play from scrimmage, LB Demetrius Knight picked of Taulia Tagovailoa and returned it 16 yards for the second score.  Charlotte led 14-0, just 3:20 into the game.

Maryland, which managed just 15 yards in the first quarter thanks to Charlotte's three TFLs and one interception in the opening seven plays, put up 189 yards in the second quarter on its way to three field goals.

Maryland scored a TD on its first possession of the second half, driving 75 yards on nine plays in 5:42.  It was the first TD that Charlotte has yielded this season. The Terrapins added the two-point conversion to take a 17-14 lead.

A Kameron Howard INT in the endzone thwarted the Terrapins next drive, but Maryland drove 83 yards on 10 plays to take a 24-14 lead on a 23-yard run by Colby McDonald with 11:55 left to play. 

The Terrapins added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter before Charlotte responded with a late score in the final minutes.  Back-up quarterback Trexler Ivey was 5-of-5 for 73 yards on the drive, and connected on a 37-yarder to Mack to set up a one-yard run from Joachim Bangda.

Charlotte hosts Georgia State Saturday at 6 p.m. at Jerry Richardson Stadium. Charlotte will honor its 2022 and 2023 Hall of Fame classes at halftime.