A focused 49ers team has emerged two Saturdays in a row, and they look to continue that trend.
The Charlotte 49ers (2-0) got off to a fast start inside Jerry Richardson Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 when the Chowan Hawks (0-1) were handed a 47-7 loss – their first of the season. The 49ers have now scored a touchdown in every quarter they’ve played in.
Charlotte quarterback Matt Johnson completed 23 of his 30 passes, five touchdowns and threw for 256 yards. Johnson wasted no time finding Austin Duke. Just 2:40 into the game, Johnson threw a 10-yard pass to Duke for the first Charlotte touchdown of the game giving the 49ers a 7-0 lead.
“It was a really good day,” said Johnson. “We never faulted. What Coach [Lambert] preaches to us is staying even and I feel like today was a great representation of that. We finally hit some adversity today.”
Micah Bryan earned his first sack of the year on Chowan’s quarterback Cameron Stover early in the first quarter to force the Hawks to punt.
After a fair catch on the 2-yard line by Chowan, Charlotte’s Terry Caldwell, who had eight tackles, helped Charlotte take a 9-0 lead over the Hawks with a safety. Caldwell’s safety marks the first safety in Charlotte history.
“Our big word for the game was adversity,” said Caldwell. “It’s about who’s going to respond to it. If you’re in that corner, who’s going to come out swinging.”
Blake Brewer kicked a 27-yard field goal with 2:37 left in the first quarter to give the 49ers a 12-point lead over the Hawks.
With 2:18 to play in the first, linebacker Micah Bryan picked up his first-ever interception. Johnson connected with Kalif Phillips on the very next play with a 40-yard pass to end the first quarter with a 19-0 lead.
Stover connected with Antjuan Randall with 9:13 remaining in the first half for a 35-yard touchdown pass to give the Hawks their first and only score of the day.
With 8:58 left on the clock in the first half, Mikel Hunter ran back a 96-yard touchdown return – the first-ever for the 49ers – to give Charlotte a 26-7 lead over the Hawks.
The Hawks held onto possession of the ball for majority of the third quarter. With 9:43 left to play in the third quarter, Chowan fumbled going for a fourth down conversion. Micah Bryan recovered the fumble, but then fumbled the ball himself before the Hawks recovered it. The double fumble gave Chowan possession and kept the tired Charlotte defense on the field for another drive.
“Yeah, it was a real chaotic drive. This and that,” said Coach Lambert. “Our problem became that the drive was so long that they needed to get some guys in and out. We had to get some guys off the field. The guys just kept going on defense. They just kind of hung in there.”
It was Trent Bostick’s 30-yard one-handed touchdown grab that finally gave the 49ers their first score of the second half. A 7-yard pass from Johnson to Austin Duke helped the 49ers solidify their 40-7 lead.
Johnson connected with Corey Nesmith Jr. on a 10-yard pass with 13:49 to play in the game to give the 49ers their final touchdown of the day.
“I expected them to play well,” said Lambert. “We made some mistakes. We had way too many penalties. We had a few turnovers in the first half. Overall, it was just a really good performance, and I’m just really proud of our coaching staff and our players, and the way they prepared and handled the situation.”