TU falls 26-33 in overtime at Homecoming game

Sports editor Jaralynn Tammi Morellano says TU could not keep its lead against Charlotte.
The Golden Hurricane met with a tragic loss Saturday night when they came up short 26-33 at their Homecoming game against the University of North Carolina Charlotte, this game being the first meeting between the two teams.
“I am, again, disappointed with our loss. I thought we came out and played hard, and we even had the lead in the fourth quarter,” said TU head coach Kevin Wilson. “Turnovers at the end of the first half at mid-field when it’s at 17-3. An undisciplined team, and that’s our team, my team, and I got to take responsibility for that. We’re just not playing very good ball.”
TU was the first to get on the board during the first quarter. With its second possession, the team took the ball down 82 yards in eight plays. Quarterback Cardell Williams was able to run the final nine yards on his own to secure the touchdown. In its next possession, Williams committed to another five-yard run to give The Golden Hurricane a 14-0 lead at the end of the quarter.
The second half would see TU on the scoreboard again as Chase Meyer completed a 27-yard field attempt to bring them to a 17-0 lead at the 11-minute mark. Charlotte, not down for the count, would put themselves on the board with a successful 22-yard field goal by Kyle Cunanan during the last five minutes. It would continue to bring itself to trail behind TU 17-10 when their redshirt freshman running back Terron Kellman would complete a 1-yard rush into the endzone and Cunanan secured another point to his name.
The third quarter was a fierce battle between the two offenses, both combining for only 107 yards total. The 49ers blocked TU’s punt out of the end zone for two points. TU would not find itself in its end zone for the rest of the half, but Charlotte would gain another three points to its name after a successful 23-yard field goal in the last 20 seconds. With the 49ers adding five points and TU adding none, the gap lessened as the score was brought to 17-15.
The 49ers would continue their scoring streak as they added three more points with a 49-yard field goal attempt, thus putting them in the lead 17-18. TU responded with a 68-yard drive that took 14 plays. TU running back Anthony Watkins gained another touchdown for TU with a 1-yard rush past the goal line. This play put TU back in the lead 23-18.
Tulsa tried to further the lead with a two-point conversion but found its attempt unsuccessful. It took Charlotte only 40 seconds to retake the lead on a TD toss and a two-point conversion. However, with less than a minute left in the game, the Golden Hurricane was able to advance 66 yards in eight plays, the drive being led by true freshman quarterback Kirk Francis. This set up their kicker, Meyer, for a successful 27-yard field goal. The fourth quarter ended 26-26 and the game moved into overtime play.
TU won the toss and chose to play defense. This decision proved to be detrimental to the team as the 49ers only took three plays to cross the goal line, bringing the score to 26-33. With the Golden Hurricane failing to convert on their possession, the game ended in Charlotte’s favor.
This is TU’s fourth loss in its current losing streak and puts it at a 3-6 overall record and a 1-4 conference record, putting TU just above the last-place placeholder in our conference. Charlotte, who sat below TU before this game, now sits above them with an overall record of 3-6 and a conference record of 2-3. The Golden Hurricane will now go on the road for their next game against the team at the top of the AAC, Tulane University, on Nov. 11. The Green Wave has an overall record of 8-1, their only loss being against SMU, who TU fell 10-69. Charlotte will continue to host Memphis at their next game on Nov. 11.