|Charlotte 49ers open football campaign with romp vs. Fordham|
|Freshmen shine with big offensive contributions|
|Published Sunday, September 2, 2018 12:12 am|
Charlotte’s 34-10 season-opening win against Fordham had a little bit of everything.
There were three weather delays, a partial power outage among the lights at Jerry Richardson Stadium and, ultimately, a big debut for freshmen Chris Reynolds and Victor Tucker.
The 49ers rolled up 493 yards of offense, with Reynolds passing for 267 yards on 13 completions in 20 attempts. Tucker caught seven passes for 127 yards, the second-best receiving game for a freshman in school history. After leading 13-10 in the third quarter, Charlotte reeled off the next 21 points to bury the Rams (0-1) under a blizzard of big plays.
“I’m really pleased with the way the game went through a lot of adversity before the game and after the half,” Charlotte coach Brad Lambert said. “I thought the guys did a really good job of focusing on what they needed to take care of. That’s always a difficult situation to be in. It’s always tough when the guys are just sitting in a locker room.”
Charlotte didn’t show any ill effects, especially after a weather delay extended halftime. Benny LeMay, who rushed for 135 yards and a pair of scores on 25 carries, pushed Charlotte ahead 20-10 with a 4-yard run in his first career multiple-touchdown game. Tucker and Reynolds connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass for their first career scoring play. Linebacker Juwan Foggie capped the assault with a 26-yard interception return.
“We kind of started off slow,” LeMay said. “We wanted to come out [after halftime] and put them out.”
“They were really crowding the line,” Lambert said. “They were bringing their safeties up tight and we wanted to take a shot when they loaded the box that heavily and make them cover these guys.”
Charlotte’s defense did its part as well, holding Fordham to 287 yards, including minus-9 rushing. The 49ers limited the Rams to three third-down conversions in 15 tries and 0-of-5 on fourth-down tries and forced four quarterback sacks.
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