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Reynolds throws for two TDs, catches another

A few weeks ago, Chris Reynolds was hit with injury adversity, with the Charlotte football team announcing that its quarterback was out indefinitely.

Niner Nation felt massively relieved when Reynolds returned without missing a single game. (He would have sat out at North Carolina, but that game was cancelled because of a coronavirus outbreak on the 49ers’ offensive line.)

Charlotte traveled to North Texas last Saturday. Last year Charlotte squeaked past the Mean Green when Reynolds threw an amazing touchdown pass in the final seconds. This time Charlotte won without strain, 49-21.

The 49ers (1-2, 1-1 Conference USA) piled up 599 yards of offense to pick up their first win of the season.

The week before against Florida Atlantic, the 49ers blew a 10-point halftime lead and lost 21-17. Reynolds did all he could in defeat, going 24 of 32 for 314 yards with one TD pass and no interceptions. He was, however, sacked six times.

Charlotte raced to another halftime lead against North Texas, 21-7, and this time they stepped on the opponent’s neck. The 49ers scored on their first possession of the third quarter and kept pouring it on.

Reynolds’ performance drew oohs and aahs. He went 15 of 22 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. He even caught an 18-yard scoring pass from backup QB Dom Shoffner on a first-quarter trick play that opened the scoring.

With Shoffner split left, Reynolds handed off to Tre Harbison, who gave the ball to Shoffner. Then Shoffner threw to a wide-open Reynolds in the right flat.

Reynolds was completing deep balls right and left, including a 71-yarder to running back Aaron McAllister as Charlotte went ahead 14-0 in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, Reynolds set up a 1-yard TD run by Chavon McEachern by hitting Victor Tucker for 36 yards. Reynolds’ second TD pass was a 15-yarder to freshman tight end Taylor Thompson.

Reynolds’ running plays have been cut down significantly since his upper-body injury in the season opener against Appalachian State. He only attempted four runs against the Mean Green.

“He is feeling better and they’re definitely not allowing him to run the ball as much to help protect the injury,” father Dan Reynolds said.

The 49ers’ home opener is Saturday against Florida International. It’s a prime-time game (8 p.m.) that can be seen on ESPNU. Capacity in Richardson Stadium will be limited to 1,072, with tickets available only for UNC Charlotte students, families of 49ers’ and FIU’s team members and some for “university guests.” Tickets will not be available for sale.