49ers win big
DURHAM — Charlotte downplayed last year’s meeting with North Carolina Central. That day in Charlotte, the Eagles served the 49ers a large slice of humble pie in a 40-13 win. This time, Charlotte was the aggressor as it scored 40 unanswered points and left Durham with a 40-28 victory at N.C. Central.
Quarterback Matt Johnson connected with Austin Duke on the first play from scrimmage for a 65-yard touchdown play.
Kalif Phillips bulldozed his way into the end zone for a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. His second made it a 26-0 game with 8 minutes, 9 seconds left in the first half. Phillips ran the ball 14 times for 104 yards and those two scores.
The 49ers finished the game with 300 yards rushing.
Charlotte (3-0) closed out its monster first half when Branden Dozier returned a fumble 52 yards with 2:08 left in the first half for a 33-0 lead.
Maetron Thomas’ six-yard scoring run at the 3:10 in the third quarter put Charlotte out front 40-0.
Johnson finished the game 11-of-21 passing for 143 yards with no interceptions, and he carried the ball 14 times for a team-high 160 yards. Duke had six catches for 126 yards.
N.C. Central (1-2) tried its best to rally in the fourth quarter. Malcolm Bell’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Wilkins on the board with 14:53 remaining in the game. Wilkins hauled in seven passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Jeremy Thompkins’ 26-yard interception return for a touchdown on the 49ers’ ensuing drive cut it to a 40-14 Charlotte lead. N.C. Central got another touchdown pass by Bell and a four-yard scoring run from Andre Clarke before it was all said and done.
Bell finished the game 25 of 36 for 337 yards and a pair of touchdowns.