Saturday, November 18, 2023

Gardner-Webb Secures Second Straight Conference Title in Dominant Win

BOILING SPRINGS – In a commanding display of offensive and defensive ability, Gardner-Webb notched an impressive 34-10 victory over Charleston Southern, securing the Runnin’ Bulldogs second straight conference title.

Coach Tre Lamb's Gardner-Webb offensive machinery churned out an impressive 448 total yards, with a remarkable 308 yards coming from their potent rushing attack. The Runnin' Bulldogs contained the Charleston Southern offense, holding them to 248 total yards, with only 92 yards on the ground.

The scoring summary tells a tale of a Gardner-Webb squad overcoming a slow start and exploding on the gridiron in the second half. The first quarter saw Jay Billingsley's precision, nailing field goals from 48 and 22 yards out, setting the tone for the Runnin' Bulldogs. Brendan Jackson's one-yard touchdown run further solidified Gardner-Webb's early lead. Despite a responsive eight-yard touchdown run by Charleston Southern's TJ Ruff in the second quarter, the Runnin' Bulldogs held their ground. The third and fourth quarters featured standout plays, including Jackson's second touchdown run and a spectacular 43-yard pass from Jaylen King to AJ Johnson, sealing Gardner-Webb's dominance and capping a convincing victory.

Gardner-Webb's victory wasn't merely an offensive showcase; it was a testament to disciplined play across all aspects of the game. The Runnin' Bulldogs demonstrated their defensive tenacity by holding Charleston Southern to a mere 10 points. Ty French's stellar performance set a new program record for career sacks at 30.5, surpassing Gabe Wilkins' previous record of 29.0 from 1990-93. The Gardner-Webb defense's formidable display limited Charleston Southern to a mere 81 yards in the second half and held opponents to less than 100 rushing yards for the third consecutive game.

Up Next

Gardner-Webb (7-4, 5-1) awaits its destination for the 2023 FCS Playoffs. The FCS Selection Show airs on ESPNU on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 12:30 PM.