|49ers Explode in Inaugural Season Finale|
Call it Big Play Saturday. Or Quick Strike Saturday.
The 49ers 61-17 win at Morehead State (3-9) in the final game of the inaugural season had highlight upon highlight for the first-year program.
The 49ers (5-6) scored on runs of 70 yards, 68 yards, 50 yards and 51 yards, connected on a TD pass of 33 yards and had a 70 yard interception return on their way to the season-ending victory. Two touchdown drives were one-play strikes. Two others were two plays. Those four touchdowns came in a combined 81 seconds.
Kalif Phillips ran for a school-record three touchdowns as the 49ers amassed a record 61 points.
"We felt like we could run the ball and we hit the big plays," head coach Brad Lambert said. "We were committed to run the ball and it worked out well, today."
Charlotte scored 34 straight points in building a 34-7 lead midway through the second quarter. After an Eagles field goal, Charlotte scored on a one-play 12-yard burst from Phillips after a 64-yard kickoff return from Justin Bridges-Thompson.
That gave Charlotte a 41-10 halftime lead -- the most points the 49ers have scored in a half, this year.
After spotting the Eagles a 7-0 lead on Morehead State's first possession, Charlotte answered with 33-yard TD pass from Matt Johnson to CJ Crawford, one of six seniors playing in his final game for the 49ers.
After an Ardy Holmes interception gave the 49ers the ball near midfield on the next possession, Phillips broke off a 50-yard TD run to give the 49ers a 13-7 lead. Charlotte held MSU on fourth down on the next possession.
On the second play of that drive, and the first of the second quarter, deep in MSU territory, red-shirt freshman Alan Barnwell broke into the open for a 70-yard run -- the longest in 49ers history.
With Morehead State driving, LB Caleb Clayton-Molby intercepted a pass at the Charlotte 30 and raced down the sideline 70 yards for another big play score and a 27-7 lead.
Phillips added two more touchdowns before the half ended, including the one set up by Bridges-Thompson's 64-yard kickoff return in the closing minute of the half.
Johnson raced for 68 yards on a keeper in the third quarter and after an Eagle TD in the fourth, Blake Brewer answered with a pair of 40+ field goals to push Charlotte over the 50-point mark for the third time this season. Brewer, whose longest field goal is 43 yards connected from 41 and 40.
Demarrell Alexander closed the scoring with a 51-yard touchdown run, another one-play TD drive.
Charlotte rushed for a record 439 yards, led by Johnson with 105 and Alexander with 101, marking only the second and third 100-yard rushing games for a 49er this year.