The Charlotte 49ers bounced back from their tough loss last weekend and got their second win of the season against the Massachusetts Minutemen with a score of 52-17 to improve to 2-1.
“I thought the key to the game was getting started early,” said 49ers Head Coach Will Healy. “We were able to offensively help our defense by keeping their offense off the field and then we were able to get some three-and-outs on defense. It spiraled for them early. As we continue to improve this program, we should be the favorite in some games.”
In the first quarter, Charlotte got off to a hot start. Redshirt sophomore Cameron Dollar scored the first touchdown of the night, catching a 46-yard pass from another redshirt sophomore Chris Reynolds in the first two minutes of the first quarter. The Niners would continue the scoring run by scoring two touchdowns in a span of 14 seconds. Ishod Finger scored the first touchdown with a one-yard rush. On the first play of the Minuteman’s drive, redshirt sophomore Henry Segura picked off quarterback Andrew Brito and returned it for a pick-six to put the Niners up 21-0.
The second quarter started off with another 49er touchdown with redshirt junior Tyler Ringwood catching a five-yard pass by Reynolds to put the Niners up 28-0. UMass would finally get on the board with a field goal and touchdown by Minuteman Jermaine Johnson. A field goal by kicker Jonathan Cruz would end the half with Charlotte up 31-10.
Charlotte would keep the scoring run going in the third quarter with another touchdown with Finger scoring his second of the night. Ringwood would also get his second touchdown of the night, catching a pass from quarterback Brett Kean, putting Charlotte up 45-10 at the end of the third quarter. Although UMass tacked on seven points with a punt return to start the fourth quarter, Charlotte immediately came back with one of their own with a 69-yard run by running back Aaron Mcallister to seal the victory for the Niners.
This is the first time Charlotte has scored 40 or more points in three consecutive games. The 52 points scored tonight are the most against an FBS opponent.
Reynolds completed 10-of-12 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns for the night. Running back Benny LeMay did not score a touchdown but still ran for 100 yards in his third straight game. The defense matched their school record for total sacks in a game with five tonight.
The 49ers travel next Saturday to take on the defending national champions and No. 1 Clemson Tigers. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. and the game will also air on the ACC Network.