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November 17, 2012The Charlotte 49ers brought their fall action to a close, on a sunny Saturday afternoon in McColl-Richardson Field. Charlotte fans scattered throughout the home side of the stadium to watch the 49ers final intra-squad scrimmage before wrapping up until spring preparation begins.
This was the culmination of all the work that 49ers Head Coach Brad Lambert and the rest of the coaching staff have put in to getting this young team ready for the fall of 2013. "I really liked our offense, we've got some big play guys and I feel like we have some playmakers on the edge," Coach Lambert said afterwards.
Alan Barnwell had 116 yards on 16 attempts and finished the day with 2 touchdowns. Most of the offense ran from the shotgun formation, and the running game focused on setting up blocks on the outside, allowing Barnwell in particular to find space near the sidelines. "He has great vision when he runs; he's a very physical runner." Coach Lambert said about Barnwell's performance, "He's been doing that all fall, and he's really been an ironman for us."
The defensive line was a force all day, especially Larry Ogunjobi, who worked mainly at the nose guard position. He finished with 6 tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. The defense as a whole induced a slew of fumbles at the beginning of the scrimmage; Duke Mosby also had 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble while moving around the defensive front.
The receiving core was impressive as well; offensive schemes varied from short shovel passes, to working the slot receiver; sprinkled in were a few reverses, and deep throws to the sidelines. Jaquil Capel led all receivers with 5 catches for 98 yards, and a touchdown. Austin Duke and Jamel Ross were also integral members in offensive production through the air.
Versatility in size always proves important for a team's wide outs, and that seems to be something the 49ers are focusing on. Duke and Capel, both under 6-feet, worked primarily in the slot; with constant motioning, they found space on the sidelines and with short hitch routes. Ross, on the other hand, has a physical advantage over many in the secondary; at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, most of his catches came from jump balls where he shielded off defenders.
The real worth Ross provided on the field Saturday was blocking on the outside. Multiple times, he and tight end, Elijah Roberson sealed off defenders, allowing the run game to turn the corner. Coach Lambert elaborated on the outside's effort, "Our offensive mentality is that we want big plays, and big plays happen when guys are down field blocking."
The 49ers now take a break for the holidays, and look forward to the fast-approaching spring preparations. In that time, new faces will join the team via recruiting, 49er athletics will join Conference USA, and the already new stadium will expand to meet C-USA's standards. Before you know it, a chaotic scene will be set at McColl-Richardson Field; when the 49ers host their inaugural game in front of Niner Nation on Aug. 31, 2013.
Karsten Miller: 6-8, 105yards, 2TDs
Matt Johnson: 9-10, 83 yards
Lee McNeil: 9-10, 63 yards
TOTALS 24-28, 251 yards 2TD
Alan Barnwell: 16 att 116 yards, 2TD'S.
TOTALS:41 attempts, 180 yards, 3TD'S
Jaquil Capel: 5 rec 98 yards 1TD
Austin Duke: 5 rec 26 yards
Jamel Ross: 3 rec 33 yards
Darius Smalls: 1TD
Larry Ogunjobi 6 tackles (3 solo, 3 assists 1 for loss,) 1 sack, 1 forced fumble
Alex Petzke: 5 tackles (3 solo, 2 ast)
Desmond Cooper: 5 tackles (3 solo, 2 ast)
Kariym Gent: 4 solo tackles
Duke Mosby: 1 sack, 1 forced fumble