The Charlotte 49ers snapped a two-game losing streak, playing an explosive game against WKU, as the program itself put up historical statistics and individual players climbed rankings in a number of categories.
The 49ers in their 40 point homecoming game made program history with the most points scored in a C-USA game and the largest win margin.
Running back Benny LeMay scored two touchdowns and rushed for a total of 121 yards marking his fourth career game of 100+ yards.
The opening drive ended abruptly as Charlotte’s senior linebacker Juwan Foggie picked off quarterback Davis Shanley, and returned for 27 yards. This interception set Benny LeMay up for a 35-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter, despite the failed 2-point conversion attempt.
“It’s definitely a great advantage to start off inside the 50,” said LeMay.
Foggie set the tempo for the Niner offense as he tied the record for single-game (two) and single-season picks, totaling four.
After two consecutive three-and-outs by both teams, Western Kentucky quarterback Shanley responded by completing a 42-yard pass to Jacquez Sloan, which lead to a rushing touchdown by Kevaris Thomas late in the quarter.
The 49ers reassembled in the second half after a relatively slow start, scoring 21 points in just the third quarter, setting another program record, as they maintained possession for 12 minutes.
“The third quarter was extremely energetic and clean,” said Head Coach Brad Lambert.
Quarterback Evan Shirreffs, who filled in for starter Chris Reynolds, completed four of his five passing attempts for a total of 90 yards in the third quarter.
Shirreffs scored in the opening drive with a one-yard scramble, along with running backs LeMay and Aaron McAllister.
Reynolds was ruled as “questionable to return” after a reported ankle injury. The severity of the injury is not yet known.
Shirreffs proved to be efficient in his playing time, passing for a total of 118 yards and completing a touchdown pass to Rico Arnold for 28 yards in the fourth quarter.
“It’s just your job to be ready at any time and I was really staying loose on the sideline, waiting on my shot,” said Shirreffs.
Lambert was satisfied with the quarterback’s performance.
“He came in and he handled the situation well,” said Lambert
The high caliber level of play from multiple players in today’s game, for Lambert, demonstrated the flexibility of the 49er roster.
“We try to have competition and depth at every position and I feel like we have that,” said Lambert.
The Niners look to bring a little of this competition to Middle Tennessee as they face the Blue Raiders next Saturday, Oct. 20 at 3 p.m.