CHARLOTTE, NC (KMSS/KTAL) – Louisiana Tech’s late comeback effort fell short as they suffered a 26-21 loss to the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday afternoon at Jerry Richardson Stadium.

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

However, Charlotte (3-9, 2-6 C-USA) managed to run the clock out thanks to a questionable pass interference call and a big 3rd-down conversion by Calvin Camp who got 11 yards in the ground when he needed just five to move the chains.

The 49ers were the first to get on the scoreboard. After a scoreless first quarter (included a blocked FG attempt by LA Tech), Antonio Zita connected on 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, going 75 yards in 15 plays to go up 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 up the gut on 4th-down by Crosby.

The lead was short-lived as Charlotte went 79 yards on 10 plays, capped off by a 4-yard rushing TD by Camp to give the home team a 10-7 edge. They closed out the half with another chip shot by Zita, a score that was setup by an interception in the red zone from Landry Lyddy.

The lone score in the third quarter came from the 49ers Camp who found his way through traffic up the middle for a 25-yard scamper to make it 19-7.

The ‘Dogs fought back in the fourth quarter though, slicing the deficit down to 19-14 thanks to the ground game. Crosby and Charvis Thornton combined for 10 carries, ending it with a 6-yard rushing TD by No. 33.

It took only two plays though for the 49ers to push their lead back to double-digits at 26-14, but the ‘Dogs countered again thanks to a deep reception by Nate Jones up the sideline and an 11-yard TD by Crosby.

Down 26-21 and with all three timeouts, LA Tech was not able to get the ball back to have a chance to win it.

LA Tech had 137 yards on the ground (105 of those by Crosby). Six different Bulldogs caught passes from Lyddy who was 23-of-31 for 213 passing yards. Smoke Harris caught nine of those balls, a game high, for 51 yards.

QUOTABLES
Head coach Sonny Cumbie

“I think our players continued to play hard. There was a strong sense of belief. We did not execute well enough though. That has been the same thing that has happened to us throughout the year. The margin for error is not very big. The turnovers were fatal, killing our momentum. I was pleased with how our defense played overall. Charlotte played an inspired game. It is a credit to them and their coaching staff under all of the adversity they have been facing. We have one more week to improve our football team.”

NOTABLES With the 26-21 loss, LA Tech and Charlotte are now tied in the all-time series, 1-1. For the fifth straight game, LA Tech rushed for 100+ yards.They had 137 yards on the ground versus the 49ers. The Bulldogs were a perfect 2-for-2 on 4th-down plays.Had not converted a 4th-down since the game against Rice on Oct. 22. Marquis Crosby had his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season (third in the last four games).He now has 846 yards on the ground this season. Marquis Crosby rushed for a career-high three touchdowns, the most by a Bulldog since Marcus Williams, Jr. had four rushing scores against Charlotte last season (Nov. 13, 2021). Smoke Harris extended his streak of catching a pass to 31.He reeled in nine catches, marking the third time this season he has recorded at least nine receptions. The LA Tech defense recorded three sacks, the second most in a single game this season. Maki Carabin led the Bulldogs in tackles with nine.The linebacker has had at least eight tackles in each of the last three games. UP NEXT
LA Tech closes out the 2022 season on Saturday, Nov. 26 at home against UAB. Twelve Bulldogs will be honored as part of Senior Day at Joe Aillet Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network.

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