Saturday’s Charlotte 49ers spring football game before a crowd of 7,085 at Richardson Stadium went about as expected, with the Green (starters) team beating the White (backups) 31-7.
Redshirt freshman Calvin Camp was the star of the day, rushing for 131 yards (5 for the White team, then 126 for the Green team after switching at halftime) and scoring two touchdowns.
The game wrapped up spring practice for the 49ers, who were 1-11 last season. They open the 2018 season Sept. 1 at home against Fordham, a Football Championship Series team that plays in the Patriot League.
3 who mattered
Calvin Camp: A converted receiver out of Shelby High who got more playing time due to a knee injury to Kameron Duncan, Camp scored for the Green team early in the third quarter on a 59-yard run, then again on a 3-yarder to open the fourth quarter. Camp also lost a fumble in the fourth quarter.
Chris Reynolds: The Green team starter ahead of incumbent Hasaan Klugh, Reynolds looked better as the game progressed, completing 8 of 11 passes for 73 yards.
Denzel Irvin: Picked off a Joe Thompson pass in the second quarter, which led to a Green field goal (with no rush) for John Brosnahan.
▪ Klugh and Reynolds split time for the Green team. Klugh completed 5 of 6 passes (including a 33-yarder to Victor Tucker in the fourth quarter) and rushed once for 12 yards.
▪ Joe Thompson got off to a rough start in the second quarter for the White team. He fumbled the first snap he received, then threw an interception two plays later. Denzel Irvin’s pick led to a Green field goal.
▪ The Green defense was stout for much of the game, allowing the White team minus-2 yards rushing and 77 yards passing. The White’s only touchdown came on a 36-yard pass from Willie Green to Cade Barnhill in the fourth quarter.
▪ Green is the son of former Carolina Panthers receiver Willie Green.
▪ Three punters split time – Jackson Vansickle (three for a 33.3-yard average), Brosnahan (one for 36.0) and Kyle Corbett (one for 46.0).
▪ Linebacker Jeff Gemmell and defensive end Alex Highsmith each had a sack and a tackle-for-loss for the Green team.
▪ Benny LeMay rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns in the first half for the Green team, before turning the running back duties over to Camp in the second half.
▪ The 49ers elected captains for the season – LeMay and Cameron Clark on offense and Gemmell and Tyriq Harris on defense. This is new for the 49ers, who have typically had game captains in the past. It’s a way for the team to have more stable leadership, and it’s probably no coincidence that they’re all juniors.
“Now the guys know the offense and the defense and they’ll be able to lead us through the summer.” – Coach Brad Lambert.
“He gives us a good dimension out of the backfield. He’s got good hands and is an athletic guy.” – Lambert, on Camp.
“I missed a couple reads and had to scramble my way out of them. But I’m learning a lot from (the other quarterbacks) and it’s making me a better person and player.” – Reynolds.
David Scott: @davidscott14