Charlotte holds off Louisiana Tech, 26-21 – Crescent City Sports

(Photo: Murphy Bavinga)

CHARLOTTE, NC — Louisiana Tech’s late comeback fell through when they suffered a 26-21 loss to the Charlotte 49ers at Jerry Richardson Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

LA Tech (3-8, 2-5 C-USA) trailed by double digits in the fourth quarter and made it a one-possession game on two occasions, the last time after Marquis Crosby hitting his third rushing touchdown of the game with 3:05 to go.

Charlotte (3-9, 2-6 C-USA) made it, however, thanks to a questionable pass interference call and a big 3rd down conversion from Calvin Camp, who put 11 yards in the ground when he needed just five that finish the clock to move the chains.

The 49ers were the first to make it onto the scoreboard. After a scoreless first quarter (including a blocked LA Tech FG attempt), Antonio Zita hit with a 22-yard chip shot after the Bulldog defense had a goal-line stand inside the 10-yard line.

LA Tech took its first and only lead on the next drive, dropping 75 yards in 15 games to go 7-3 with 8:04 to go in the second quarter. The drive included a 39-yard pass and catch by Cyrus Allen and a 3-yard score in the stomach on 4th down by Crosby.

The lead was short-lived as Charlotte rushed for 79 yards in 10 games, topped by a 4-yard rushing TD from Camp to give the home team a 10-7 advantage. They ended the half with another chip shot from Zita, a result achieved through a red-zone interception by Landry Lyddy.

The only goal of the third quarter came from the 49ers camp, who found their way through traffic at center to post a 25-yard scamper for a 19-7.

The ‘Dogs fought back in the fourth quarter, however, reducing the lead to 19-14 thanks to ground play. Crosby and Charvis Thornton combined for 10 carries and finished it off with a 6-yard rushing TD from No. 33.

However, it was only two games before the 49ers stretched their lead back to double figures at 26-14, but the ‘Dogs countered again, thanks to a deep reception from Nate Jones on the touchline and an 11-yard TD from Crosby.

Trailing 26-21 and with all three timeouts, LA Tech was unable to get the ball back to stand a chance of winning it.

LA Tech had 137 yards down (105 of them from Crosby). Six different Bulldogs caught passes from Lyddy, who was 23 of 31 for 213 passing yards. Smoke Harris caught nine of those balls, one play high, for 51 yards.

Head coach Sonny Cumbie

“I think our players continued to play hard. There was a strong sense of belief. But we didn’t play well enough. This has happened to us all year. The margin for error is not very large. The turnovers were fatal and destroyed our momentum. I was happy with how our defense played overall. Charlotte played an inspired game. It’s a credit to her and her coaching staff under all the adversity they’ve faced. We still have a week to improve our football team.”

• Losing 26-21, LA Tech and Charlotte are now tied 1-1 in the all-time series.
• For the fifth straight game, LA Tech rushed for over 100 yards. They had 137 yards on the ground against the 49ers.
• The Bulldogs were a perfect 2-on-2 on 4th down plays. Hadn’t converted a 4th-down since the game against Rice on Oct. 22nd.
• Marquis Crosby had his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season (third in the last four games). He has 846 grounded yards now this season.
• Marquis Crosby rushed to a career-high three touchdowns, the most by a Bulldog since Marcus Williams Jr. scored four quick goals against Charlotte last season (November 13, 2021).
• Smoke Harris extended his passing streak to 31. He made nine catches, marking the third time this season that he has recorded at least nine receptions.
• The LA Tech defense recorded three sacks, their second-most in a single game this season.
• Maki Carabin led the Bulldogs with nine tackles. The linebacker has had at least eight tackles in each of the last three games.

LA Tech wraps up the 2022 season at home against UAB on Saturday, November 26th. Twelve bulldogs will be honored as part of Senior Day at Joe Aillet Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 pm CT on CBS Sports Network.

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