Observations from the Charlotte 49ers’ football scrimmage Saturday morning at Richardson Stadium:
▪ The scrimmage marked the end of Charlotte’s preseason “camp.” The 49ers will reconvene next week for normal practices and begin preparing Friday for their season opener Aug. 29 against Gardner-Webb.
▪ Although coach Will Healy continues to say the quarterback competition between sophomore Chris Reynolds and grad transfer Brett Kean is too close to call, the offense ran more smoothly and was more productive behind Reynolds on Saturday.
Unofficially, Reynolds completed 7-of-9 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and Kean was 3 of 8 for for 14 yards and one interception.
▪ Sophomore receiver Victor Tucker looked sharp, catching two passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. The catch of the day, however, belonged to sophomore Cam Dollar, who pulled in a pass from Reynolds with one hand, broke a tackle and motored to the 4 before being finally brought down for a 56-yard gain.
▪ Healy only had seven healthy offensive linemen to work with. All-Conference USA tackle Cam Clark was in uniform but in a walking boot. Healy said none of the injuries will keep any player out of the Gardner-Webb game.
▪ It’s been a good weekend for (former) walk-ons. Senior defensive back Christian Haynes was surprised on the Bank of America Stadium video screen Friday night when it was announced over the PA system he’d been awarded a scholarship (the 49ers were there to watch the Panthers play the Buffalo Bills).
Then, after Saturday’s scrimmage, Healy told senior walk-on punter-kicker Jackson Vansickle that if he could make a 35-yard field goal with the entire team and spectators watching, he would also earn a scholarship. Van Sickle made it.
▪ Running back Benny LeMay didn’t play in the scrimmage, as was the case in last week’s scrimmage. Healy said it’s just a matter of making sure LeMay stays healthy for a season in which he will be counted on as the 49ers’ workhorse. Backup Aaron McAllister also saw limited action, leaving most of the running back snaps for Ishod Finger and Terrick Smalls.
▪ Punter Connor Bowler, a grad transfer from Temple who arrived during camp, boomed a few impressive-looking balls. Healy said he expects Bowler to compete with incumbent Kyle Corbett for the job.