CLINTON — After an early back-and-forth slugfest between the Presbyterian College Blue Hose football team and Charlotte, the visiting 49ers pulled away for a 45-21 win at PC’s Bailey Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
PC moves to 1-3 on the year and will next travel to Wofford for a Saturday afternoon matchup on October 5. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. Charlote improves to 3-2 and will next host Gardner-Webb on Saturday, October 5 at noon.
Charlotte used 35 straight points in the second and third quarters en route to the victory.
PC wide receiver Tobi Antigha (Tampa, Fla.) racked up 100 yards in the effort on six receptions, both career-highs for the junior and team-bests for the season.
Blue Hose quarterback Kaleb Griffin (Florence, S.C.) went 24-for-34 through the air for a season-high 217 yards — plus a rushing touchdown — while Demarcus Rouse (North Augusta, S.C.) picked up 79 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Blue Hose offense produced 352 yards, just 24 yards shy of the previous season-high set against Brevard.
Defensively, Isaiah Lynn (Fort Lawn, S.C.) led the team with eight tackles. Breyon Williams (Lancaster, S.C.) tied a career-high with six tackles and DaRon Dickey (Greenville, S.C.) picked off a Charlotte pass for an interception.
The Blue Hose came out swinging, holding the Charlotte offense to negative yards on a three-and-out to start the game. PC marched down the field on its first offensive drive all the way to a touchdown on its opening series. The 13-play, 55-yard drive ended in a goal line push on fourth down where Griffin punched it across for a 7-0 PC lead.
Charlotte answered on its next drive. The 49ers took the ball 75 yards down the field and Matt Johnson found Austin Duke in the end zone on a three-yard pass to tie the game late in the first quarter, 7-7.
The Blue Hose took the lead back soon after. A clever 24-yard pass to Arthur Williams (Baxley, Ga.) alone on the sideline set up a one-yard Rouse run to put PC back ahead right before the second quarter.
Charlotte tied the game five offensive plays later. A 44-yard strike to Justin Bolus eventually led to a one-yard Kalif Phillips scamper into the end zone. With 14:14 left in the second quarter, the game stood tied at 14-14.
Penalties hurt the Blue Hose deep in their own end but the home side recovered the ball after a punt thanks to a Dickey interception, the first of the redshirt sophomore’s career.
The game settled down a bit before Charlotte took its first lead of the game late in the second quarter, 21-14. The 49ers issued the first instant replay challenge in Big South Conference history (the call on the field of a runner down at the one stood) on the way to a one-yard touchdown rush by Alan Barnwell.
The 49ers struck once more before the halftime break. Mikel Hunter hauled in a pass from Johnson and ran most of the 53 yards to paydirt as Charlotte took a 28-14 lead with 1:04 left in the first half.
A PC interception on the second play of the quarter helped Charlotte score its fourth straight touchdown. The 49ers converted a 23-yard pass from Johnson to Trent Bostick to go up 35-14 with 2:03 gone in the third quarter.
Later in the quarter, another interception gave Charlotte the ball on its own 43-yard line. The 49ers put together an eight-play drive, capped by Phillips rumbling seven yards for his second score of the day to give the 49ers a 42-14 lead with 2:47 left in the third.
A short field goal extended Charlotte’s lead to 45-14 but the Blue Hose would answer. PC manufactured a 10-play, 67-yard drive that ended with a two-yard Rouse touchdown run. Antigha hauled in a pair of passes for 43 yards on the series to push him to the century mark on the day. The touchdown set the score to its eventual final tally, 45-21.
Charlotte quarterback Matt Johnson completed 15 of 24 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns. Barnwell (88 yards on 17 carries) and Phillips (79 yards on 12 attempts) provided the ground game and Martay Mattox’s eight tackles paced the 49er defense.