Charlotte 49ers seniors shine in Senior Day win over Louisiana Tech
Press release provided by Charlotte 49ers Athletics
Charlotte, N.C. -- On Senior Day, the seniors shone – carrying Charlotte to a 26-21 victory over Louisiana Tech in the 49ers season finale, Saturday at Jerry Richardson Stadium.
Sixth-year senior running back Calvin Camp ran for 111 yards, the first 100-yard rushing game of the year for the 49ers, scored all three touchdowns and cleared 1,000 career rushing yards.
Sixth-year quarterback Chris Reynolds, the 49ers all-time leading passer, was 20-for-30 for 268 yards – surpassing 10,000 career yards in the process.
And all-time sack leader Markees Watts, a fifth-year senior, had six tackles, 2.5 TFL and his first career interception to lead a 49ers’ defense that surrendered its fewest points all season.
“It’s about these guys. The seniors. In so many ways they persevered,” said interim head coach Pete Rossomando. “They poured everything into it. They played their tails off. I am proud to have been with them the last four weeks.”
“It was very special and it was very big to get the win tonight,” said Camp. “I felt like the guys were really ready to play. Coach Rossomando has been preaching it the whole week, ‘do it for your brother. do it for the seniors.’ Just playing for each other. You really saw that tonight. Guys stepping up and playing. It was a big brotherhood out there.”
Charlotte put up 414 yards of total offense while holding the Bulldogs to 350, the third time in the last four games that Charlotte has held its opponent under 400 yards of total offense.
The game, however, wasn’t decided until the final six minutes. Camp scored his third TD, a 33-yard breakaway run to put Charlotte ahead by 12, 26-14 with 5:58 to play. The Bulldogs answered with a TD drive of its own to get within a score, 26-21, with 3:05 left to play.
On Charlotte’s final possession, however, Reynolds hit Quinton Patten for a 22-yard strike and gained a second first down on a pass interference penalty. LA Tech was forced to use up its timeouts with a couple running plays and Camp collected 11 yards on a third-and-six to set the 49ers up in victory formation. It was that 11-yard run that pushed Camp over the 1,000-yard milestone.
Charlotte took the early lead, 3-0, after a scoreless first quarter. Grant DuBose pulled in a 30-yard diving catch at the 9-yard line to set up a 22-yard field goal by Antonio Zita.
Louisiana Tech scored on a 15-play drive that covered 75 yards in 6:43 to push ahead, 7-3. Marquis Crosby ran in from three yards out on fourth down for the score.
Charlotte answered with a 10-play, 79-yard drive to retake the lead, 10-7 with 3:53 left in the half. Reynolds was 5-of-6 for 68 yards on the drive including an 18-yard completion to Taylor Thompson and 17-yarders to Patten and Elijah Spencer to set up a four-yard TD run by Camp.
A Lacy Williams interception with 1:00 left in the half set-up a 24-yard field goal by Zita as Charlotte took a 13-7 lead into the locker room. Reynolds connected with Thompson for 26 and 37-yard completions to send the 49ers into field goal range on that possession.
Watts’ interception deep in CLT territory on the Bulldogs’ first drive of the second half protected the six-point lead.
Camp’s second TD of the game, a 25-yard run, extended Charlotte’s lead to 19-7, later in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs scored on a 12-play, 75-yard drive to close to within one score, 19-14 with 12:36 left to play.
RISING UP AT THE END
After a Bailey Rice punt pinned the Bulldogs inside the 15, Charlotte came up with a key three-and out thanks to a TFL by Prince Bemah and a third down tackle by Chase Monroe to give Charlotte the ball with 6:50 remaining.
Taking over at their own 42-yard line, Camp made quick work for his third score. He banged to the right for a 25-yard carry to the LT 33-yard line and then broke through the middle and raced 33 yards for what proved to be the decisive score.
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