Agenet 49 note: I’d like to welcome Joey Ellsworth to the blog, he’ll be helping out as a contributor, much like Cameron Williams has. Go give Joey a follow on Twitter!
The 49ers football team was coming off a historic night, taking down Duke in a nail biter. They kept rolling the next week when they faced off against Gardner-Webb. This was Charlotte’s fourth time facing off against Gardner-Webb, only losing to them once. With the win on Saturday, the Niners improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2015.
This 38-10 win over Gardner-Webb was a historic night for a specific Niner. Charlotte QB Chris Reynolds passed for 103 yards on the night which was far from his normal level of play but it was enough to break the Forty-Niner career passing yard record. He currently holds the record with 5469 passing yards and lots more games to be played.
“It’s a special moment,” Reynolds said, “It’s a credit to everybody I’ve been here with. Cool moment. It’s good to celebrate with the guys that have been here forever and the new guys – to see the smiles on their faces and hugging me. I really appreciate it.”
As big as this record was, it wasn’t Reynolds’ passing against Gardner-Webb that caught the attention of fans and helped bring the Niners to victory. Charlotte’s killer play came on the ground. 306 yards and four touchdowns rushing between eight people, the Niners run game could not be stopped. This is the most rushing yards for the team in nearly two years. The last time they topped 300 yards rushing was September 14th, 2019 when the Niners faced U-Mass and they ran for a total of 338 yards in their 52-17 victory.
“I thought our backs ran really well and I thought we did a great job up front,” Healy noted. “I’ve said from the get go that I feel really good about our offensive line. We’ve got eight guys that can play at a really high level and are just getting better each week.”
It didn’t take long for Charlotte to get on the board against Gardner-Webb, scoring on the first drive of the game thanks to a 37 yard QB scramble by Chris Reynolds. Towards the end of the 1st quarter it was Shadrick Byrd who ran it into the endzone for the touchdown to put the Niners up 14-3. A couple drives later, Calvin Camp punched it into the endzone for Charlotte. On the next drive Gardner-Webb answered back with a TD of their own to narrow the deficit down to 21-10. Any confidence they got back with that TD was instantly shut back down thanks to a Reynolds passing TD on the following drive. Charlotte scored a rushing touchdown on their first drive of the second half, picking up where they left off. The only score in the fourth came from a Charlotte field goal. The Niner defense locked down Gardner-Webb, not allowing any points following that touchdown in the 2nd. This Charlotte defense didn’t manage to get any interceptions but had two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, nine tackles for loss, two sacks and allowed just 14 first downs. Niner kicker Jonathan Cruz was 1-1 from field goal range, and he was a perfect 5 for 5 on extra points to extend his streak to 46 consecutive made extra points. These 46 consecutive extra points ties the 49er franchise record held by Blake Brewer.
Charlotte will hit the road for the first time this season and head for Atlanta, Georgia to play Georgia State on Saturday. Georgia State is 0-2 and has been outscored 17-102 in those two games. Georgia State and Charlotte have played each other just twice ever, the last coming in 2017 when Georgia blew out the Niners 28-0. A win over Georgia State will make Charlotte 3-0 for the first time since 2014.
Charlotte defeated Georgia State 23-20 their first FBS win back in 2015 in the Georgia Dome