The Charlotte 49ers’ defense limited Presbyterian to one first down and 11 yards total offense in the first half, and the offense overcame a sluggish start to post a 34-10 victory Saturday afternoon in the 49ers’ home opener at Jerry Richardson Stadium.
The victory, achieved before a record 16,631 fans, lifted Charlotte to a 2-0 record, with the 49ers traveling to Middle Tennessee next Saturday night for their first Conference USA game. Presbyterian fell to 0-2.
The Charlotte defense shut down Presbyterian, keeping the Blue Hose off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. Presbyterian’s total offense of 112 yards was a record for the 49ers’ defense.
Presbyterian, which held the Miami (Ohio) offense in check for three quarters before losing 26-7 last week, kept the 49ers off the scoreboard for most of the opening period.
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Charlotte, which alternated between starting quarterback Matt Johnson and reserve Brooks Barden for much of the first quarter, broke through with 42 seconds left on a 6-yard pass from Johnson to Trent Bostick.
With the defense repeatedly forcing Presbyterian into 3-and-out possessions, the offense came alive in the second quarter.
Kalif Phillips ran 12 yards for a touchdown, and Johnson passed 39 yards to Austin Duke for another score. Blake Brewer added a 24-yard field goal for the 49ers’ 24-0 halftime lead.
Duke, an Independence High graduate, caught seven passes for 160 yards in the first half. It was his eighth career 100-yard receiving game.
Charlotte continued to pour it on after halftime, scoring 10 third-quarter points on a Brewer field goal and a 6-yard pass from Barden to Bradan Smith. Former Butler High standout Uriah LeMay made a leaping 23-yard catch to set up the score.
Presbyterian finally got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter, on a 21-yard field goal by Brett Norton. And the Blue Hose put together a scoring drive late in the game, scoring against the Charlotte reserves on a 1-yard run by Darrell Bridges with 4:36 left.