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The Charlotte 49ers are hosting the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs in football action today at McColl-Richardson Field at Jerry Richardson Stadium in Charlotte.
The 49ers are coming off of 45-21 victory on the road this past Saturday against Presbyterian, while the Bulldogs defeated Point at home last week, 55-7.
Catawba County and other close connections
Several members of the Bulldogs have ties to the area, including Jonathan Sherrill (Lincolnton High), Dominique Young (Bandys High), Michael Cunningham (Lincolnton High) and Seth Cranfill (Bandys High).
Gardner-Webb wins toss and defers until second half. UNC-Charlotte receives the ball to start going left to right.
49ers go three and out on first possession. Bulldogs take punt at their own 28.
The Bulldogs methodically marching down the field. Gardner-Webb at the 5-yard line with 8:45 left in the first quarter.
Gardner-Webb quarterback Lucas Beatty's pass on 3rd and 5 to Seth Cranfill is broken up. Bulldogs settle for a 22-yard field goal by Jordan Day. Total drive is 14 plays, 68 yards in 5:08.
Johnson throws a pass, which is batted down to himself. It's ironically his first catch as a 49er â€” to himself. Niners go three and out. Bulldogs take over on their own 21.
Gardner-Webb gets a touchdown when Beatty's 3-yard pass is complete to Kenny Cook. Bulldogs lead 10-0 after the extra point.
49ers start at their own 27 and march down the field for a touchdown. Kalif Philllips caps the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. Niners trail 10-7 with 2:50 left in first quarter.
A roughing the passer penalty keeps the Gardner-Webb drive going. Bulldogs now in the red zone at the UNCC 20.
Beatty finds Cook again for a touchdown â€” this time from 20 yards out. Gardner-Webb extends lead to 17-7 with 0:16 left in first quarter. The drive lasts six plays and goes 71 yards in 2:34.
End of first quarter: Gardner-Webb 17, UNC-Charlotte 7
Niners start their drive at own 33 just before the end of the last quarter. Matt Johnson caps drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Crawford. UNC-Charlotte trails 17-14 with 13:32 left until halftime.
Kenny Cook leading the Bulldogs down to the red zone again on their next drive. Cook now with seven catches, 105 yards and two TDs.
Bulldogs score on a Beatty 3-yard pass to Earnest Harmon. Drives goes eigh plays, 65 yards in 3:37. GW leads 24-14.
Charlotte starts its next drive at its own 27. Niners come up short, go three and out and are forced to punt.
Beatty fumbles on 2nd down, which is recovered by the Niners' Caleb Clayton-Molby. It's the 11th fumble recovery for Charlotte â€” most in FCS.
Niners capitalize on turnver, scoring on a Blake Brewer 33-yard field goal with 7:28 left in first half. Gardner-Webb leads UNC-Charlotte, 24-17.
Bulldogs convert their sixth 3rd down in seven attempts with a 6-yard pass to King, who now has a game-high eights catches for 111 yards to go along with his two scores.
Gardner-Webb tries to get on the scoreboard again, but Jordan Day misses a 39-yard field goal. Niners take over at their own 22 with 2:07 left until halftime.
49ers tie the game on a 26-yard pass from Matt Johnson to Austin Duke - Charlotte 49ers 24, Gardner-Webb 24 with 14 seconds left in 1st half. Drive goes 13 plays, 78 yards in 1:53.
HALFTIME: Charlotte 49ers 24, Gardner-Webb Bulldogs 24
Bulldogs starts second half with the ball at their own 25.
INJURY UPDATE: Thomas La Bianca, who was originally ruled questionable to return with knee sprain, is out for the rest of today's game.
Bulldogs score to open second half, marking 75 yards in 12 plays in 4:47. Gardner-Webb leads UNC-Charlotte, 31-24, with 10:13 left in third quarter. Beatty throws a 1-yard touchdown pass to Harmon.
Charlotte takes over at its 26 and drives into Gardner-Webb territory. Niners set for a 48-yard field goal, which is blocked by the Bulldogs and returned by Drew White to the 1-yard line.
Bulldogs capitalize with a Juanne Blount 1-yard run. Gardner-Webb leads 38-24 with 8:31 left in the third quarter.
UNC-Charlotte starts at its own 23-yard line on its next drive. Niners go for it on 4th down in GW territory, but Johnson's pass is incomplete. Midway through the third quarter. Bulldogs lead, 38-24.
Bulldogs use a little trickery with a flea-flicker - Richard Jules to Mike Estes for a 27-yard TD pass. Bulldogs extend lead to 45-24. Drives goes four plays, 63 yards in 57 seconds.
INJURY UPDATE: The 49ers' Justin Bridges-Thompson is questionable to return with a hip injury.
49ers with their longest drive of the day so far. They are down to the GW 27 facing 4th and 3.
A 5-yard false start penalty causes UNCC to not go for it. Brewer misses a 39-yard field goal. Bulldogs take over at their own 22.
End of third quarter: Gardner-Webb 45, UNC-Charlotte 24
Today's game attendance is announced as 12,222. That's about right. One entire corner of the stadium is baron.
Martay Mattox intercepts Beatty to start the final quarter. Niners are now in the red zone with a chance to score and get back in this game.
After exiting the field on a hard hit, Johnson returns one play later to complete a 5-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Crawford. Drive goes eight plays, 25 yards in 2:19. Niners trail 45-31 with 12:30 left in the game.
INJURY UPDATE: Niners DT Devon Johnson will not return with an injured achilles.
Bulldogs are forced to punt on their next possession. Charlotte takes over with just over 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter down two TDs. Niners take over at their own 10. There is 10:26 left in the game.
Niners go for it on 4th and 7, but can't convert. Gardner-Webb takes over on its own 29. UNCC is 2-for-4 on 4th downs today.
Bulldogs get the ball back, but go three and out. The snap on the punt goes over the head of Jordan Day, who falls on the ball in the end zone. Charlotte trails, 45-33.
Niners capitalize on short field. Matt Johnson 21-yard touchdown pass to Austin Duke - Gardner-Webb 45, Charlotte 49ers 40 with 4:27 left in game.
49ers with two big stops on first and second down. Bulldogs at their own 13 facing 3rd and 10 with 3:36 left. Niners call timeout.
Mark Hogan with a big break up of a pass intended for Seth Cranfill. Gardner-Webb now 0-for-4 on last four third downs.
Niners take over at the GW 48-yard line. Matt Johnson throws a 48-yard touchdown pass to Trent Bostick to give UNC-Charlotte a 46-45 lead with 3:15 left. Niners miss the two-point conversion.
49ers will be kicking off from the 10-yard line because of two unsportsmanlike penalities on UNCC. Gardner-Webb takes over at its own 41-yard line with 3:10 left and three timeouts. Gut check time for the 49er defense.
Gardner-Webb's Blount fumbles, which is recovered by Mark Hogan. Niners take over at their own 44 with just under 2:30 to go.
Alan Barnwell takes the first handoff from scrimmage and goes 56 yards for the touchdown. 49ers lead 53-45. Injury TO. After giving up 21 unanswered, Charlotte has scored the final 28 points on this contest.
Six of the seven scoring drives for UNC-Charlotte have been under two minutes. The only one that wasn't lasted 2:19.
Bulldogs take over at their own 28 with 2:19 left in the game. Gardner-Webb marches into the red zone and gets its drive extended with a roughing the passer penalty.
Gardner-Webb facing 3rd down and goal. GW gets its drive extended with a roughing the passer penalty. Gardner-Webb facing 3rd down and goal at the 1. Timeout by Bulldogs. Juanne Blount 2-yard touchdown run - Bulldogs need a two-point conversion to tie.
Conversion is no good. Mikel Hunter recovers the onside kick. A few kneel downs and the 49ers will complete a HUGE 53-51 victory.
FINAL SCORE: Charlotte 49ers 53, Gardner-Webb Bulldogs 51