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Monday, September 27, 2021

Charlotte tops Duke 31-28 for 1st win over Energy 5 workforce

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Charlotte 49ers coach Will Healy propped his son Eli up on his lap at his postgame information convention and tried to carry again tears as he took within the magnitude of the second.

The 49ers soccer program had simply taken an enormous step ahead — and he knew it.

Chris Reynolds threw for 324 yards with three touchdowns, together with an 11-yard scoring strike to Shadrick Byrd with 33 seconds left and Charlotte knocked off Duke 31-28 on Friday night time for the college’s first ever win towards a Energy 5 workforce.

“I get the emotional facet from my dad,” Healy stated. “He cries about all the pieces and I believe I’m changing into like that.”


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There have been occasions Healy puzzled if he and his workers have been headed in the appropriate route, and having 9 video games from their unique schedule in 2020 cancelled or postponed resulting from Covid did not assist issues. The workforce wound up solely enjoying six video games final season — usually scrambling to search out an opponent to play — and gained two of them in what amounted to a misplaced season.

“When that occurs, you are feeling such as you’ve failed and I puzzled, ‘What may I’ve executed higher,’” Healy stated.

However the frustrations and the frowns turned to smiles on Friday night time as Healy watched the coed part storm the sphere after his workforce gained a sport that featured six lead adjustments, together with 4 in a wild fourth quarter.

Victor Tucker had eight catches for 133 yards and Grant DuBose, a switch from Division II Miles Faculty, caught 4 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns for the 49ers, who avenged a 53-19 loss to the Blue Devils final season.

Charlotte was 0-6 towards power-conference faculties all-time — together with 0-3 towards Atlantic Coast Convention faculties — in its first 9 seasons as a program.

“It’s a terrific second for our college,” Healy stated.

The 49ers overcame a Duke school-record 255 yards dashing and three touchdowns from operating again Mataeo Durant.

“Mataeo is a particular participant,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe stated. “His fierceness as a runner. He’s a terrific finisher and he has been a pacesetter for us.”

Durant gave Duke the lead when he raced off proper sort out for a 53-yard landing with 1:44 left, silencing the house crowd.

However that was greater than sufficient time for Reynolds, a redshirt senior, who led the 49ers on a seven-play, 75-yard landing drive. The profitable play got here a swing cross to the left flat to Byrd, who escaped one defender to attain.

The 49ers have been engaged on an eerily comparable hurry-up offense state of affairs within the weeks main as much as the season and Reynolds felt properly ready.

“When occasions are powerful and it is crunch time, you return to your coaching,” stated Reynolds. “Once I appeared into the fellows’ eyes (within the huddle) there was a pointy glare and also you felt that vitality.”

Mentioned Healy: “Each time you wished to rely us out, we discovered a option to come again and reply.”


Gunnar Holmberg was 20 of 29 for 258 yards and a rating in his first profession begin for Duke but additionally had a key fumble contained in the Charlotte 5-yard line on a operating play.

“We flip it over and so they don’t. That’s an age {old} story,” Cutcliffe stated.

Duke had 39 turnovers final season.


DuBose solely had eight receptions for 104 yards whereas at Miles Faculty, however was an enormous star for the 49ers with TD catches of 56 and 9 yards. He made the Charlotte workforce after an open tryout, which is now allowed by the NCAA.

“It doesn’t even really feel actual,” DuBose stated. “I’ve been taking on this complete week and imagining enjoying Duke. It’s truthfully surreal. I’m not used to the lights and cameras in my face.”


Duke: Duke did not get a lot stress on Reynolds, who was allowed to select aside the Blue Devils secondary. Nonetheless, Duke can actually lean on Durant going ahead as he was practically unstoppable at occasions and had scoring runs of 59, 53 and 5 yards. “Baller. Stud. Unbelievable participant,” Healy stated of Duke’s senior operating again.

Charlotte: Reynolds proved that he is a winner, repeatedly main the 49ers again with a refuse-to-lose perspective. He was 9 of 10 for 161 yards and two TD passes on the 49ers’ remaining two drives. He additionally ran for a landing earlier within the sport.


Charlotte: Beginning cornerback Geo Howard left the sport within the third quarter with an ankle harm and didn’t return.


Duke: Host North Carolina A&T subsequent Friday night time.

Charlotte: Host Gardner-Webb on Sept. 11.

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