GAME NOTES: Gardner-Webb Opens 2022 Season Thursday Evening vs. Limestone

September 1, 2022

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*   Gardner-Webb head coach Tre Lamb (32, September 16, 1989) is the second youngest head coach within the FCS ranks 
    presently, with solely new Austin Peay skipper Scotty Walden (32, November 15, 1989) barely youthful.

*   Gardner-Webb is 26-24-2 in its season openers since starting senior faculty soccer play in 1970.

*   Gardner-Webb’s common margin of defeat in 4 of its losses final season was simply 5.8 ppg. That included slim

    highway losses at FBS Georgia Southern, #10 Kennesaw State and Hampton (double OT).

*   Narii Gaither is one in all solely two backs returning for the 2022 season within the FCS who led their staff in receptions and 

    speeding yards final season, together with Tennessee State’s Devon Starling. Gaither performed in simply eight full video games.

*   Limestone’s Mike Furrey is one in all 4 head coaches on Gardner-Webb’s 2022 schedule who performed within the NFL, 

    becoming a member of Campbell’s Mike Minter, North Carolina A&T’s Sam Washington and Robert Morris’ Bernard Clark.

*   Gardner-Webb is 44-12 when limiting opponents to lower than 100 yards speeding. The ‘Canines have achieved the 

    feat 4 instances in its final seven dwelling video games underneath present defensive coordinator Josh Reardon.

*   Gardner-Webb has 24 males on its 2022 numerical roster who performed highschool soccer inside an hour of the

    Boiling Springs, N.C., campus. 

*   Gardner-Webb has two preseason All-America picks on its roster – Narii Gaither and Ty French – for the primary

    time since 2014. GWU is the lone Huge South squad with a number of preseason All-America picks in 2022.

*   Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern are the 2 remaining unique soccer members of the Huge South 

    Convention. The 2 colleges started play in 2002, with GWU claiming that first league trophy. The primary

    convention season featured GWU, CSU, Liberty and Elon.

THE GAME

Gardner-Webb opens its 2022 season at dwelling on Thursday, September 1, internet hosting close by NCAA Division II foe Limestone College at 7:00 pm in Ernest W. Spangler Stadium. The sport will stream dwell on ESPN+ with Phil Constantino and Mark Covert on the decision. Dave Friedman and Reginald Walker, Jr., will name the sport on the radio dwell on WGNC 1450 AM / 101.1 FM. The radio stream can be obtainable through the TuneIn Radio app.

SERIES NOTES

Regardless of their proximity – simply 15.2 miles – Gardner-Webb and Limestone have met solely as soon as within the sport of soccer … Gardner-Webb received that assembly by a 52-17 rating to open the 2018 season, additionally on September 1 … Defensive finish Shai Thomas scored twice within the sport, on a fumble restoration ultimately zone and on a 41-yard interception return simply earlier than the half to place GWU up 35-10 on the break … Gardner-Webb ran for 242 yards in that sport and completed with 406 yards of complete offense.  

BALANCE

Gardner-Webb was fairly balanced offensively in 2021, scoring 20 touchdowns by means of the air and on the bottom. The Runnin’ Bulldogs had been simpler yardage sensible by means of the air, gaining 238.3 yards per sport, however nonetheless managed 157.3 yards per sport with its operating assault.

THE HEAD COACHES

Gardner-Webb head coach Tre Lamb is the second-youngest skipper in Division I soccer at age 32, and can rejoice his birthday on September 16. Lamb is 6-9 in his temporary tenure, with two of these losses coming to 85-scholarship FBS applications. Mike Furrey is in his seocnd stint as Limestone’s head coach and has gone 9-12 over his first two seasons (2016-2017). Furrey returning to Gaffney this previous offseason after a quick stint with the Chicago Bears.

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THE MAYOR OF ROCK HILL

Gardner-Webb welcomes again one of the gifted offensive gamers within the nation in Narii Gaither (5-10, 181, Sr.). The Rock HIll, S.C., native is a preseason FCS All-America selection as an all-purpose again and is one in all solely two males within the nation returning  after main his staff in each speeding yards and receptions. Gaither, who almost reached the 1,000-yard speeding mark final season regardless of enjoying in simply eight full video games, was additionally not too long ago named to the Walter Payton Award Watch Listing – given yearly to the highest offensive participant within the Soccer Championship Subdivision.

 

FRENCH COOKING

One other star returning for Gardner-Webb performs protection and does so at a really excessive stage. Defensive finish Ty French (6-3, 234, Jr.) can be a preseason FCS All-America selection, in addition to one of many nation’s most feared move rushers. A disruptive drive on the sting, the Moultrie, Ga., native had 14.5 tackles for loss final season and recorded 7.0 sacks over his remaining 4 begins of the season. A two-time, first-team All-Huge South choice, French was not too long ago named to the Buck Buchanan Award Watch Listing. The Buchanan Award is given every season to the highest defender within the Soccer Championship Subdivision.

HOME COOKING

Gardner-Webb will open a season at dwelling for the primary time since 2018, which was additionally in opposition to Limestone. The Runnin’ Bulldogs have received 4 dwelling openers in a row and have received seven instances in dwelling openers for the reason that 2010 season. Gardner-Webb has performed the primary sport of its season at dwelling 11 instances since transferring to NCAA Division I in 2000, forging a 9-2 mark. The one losses got here to No. 10 Wofford (2012) and No. 25 North Carolina A&T (2017). Gardner-Webb is 16-6 in its 22 Division I dwelling openers total.

TIGHT SQUEEZE

5 of Gardner-Webb’s seven losses final season got here right down to the ultimate moments. The Runnin’ Bulldogs stuffed Georgia Southern’s remaining offensive likelihood and drove nicely into the FBS Eagles’ territory within the season opener – however dropped a 30-25 resolution on the highway. In opposition to Campbell within the 2021 N.C. East/West BBQ Bowl on October 9, the ‘Canines  made one other key defensive cease with lower than 4 minutes to play in a tie sport. A muffed punt on the 10-yard line set the Camels up properly for a fast go-ahead rating. Campbell added one other late rating for a 42-28 win in Boiling Springs. On October 30, Gardner-Webb stormed again with two touchdowns within the remaining three minutes to take a 30-27 lead with 43 seconds left at No. 10 Kennesaw State. The Owls used a well timed kickoff return out close to midfield and tossed the game-winning landing with simply 11 seconds to go. On November 6, Gardner-Webb was stopped on fourth down within the first additional time interval at Hampton and the Pirates scored on first down to finish the sport, 26-21. GWU dropped its dwelling finale final season in double additional time to Charleston Southern in November.

DIALING LONG DISTANCE

Gardner-Webb has 4 returning ball carriers who had not less than one landing run of 40 yards or extra final season. Narii Gaither (43 yards, TD), Donovan Jones (79 yards, TD), Jalin Graham (73 yards, TD) and Bailey Fisher (68 yards, TD

COMFORT IN THE TRENCHES

Preseason All-Huge South linemen Clayton Frady (6-5, 295, Jr.) and Gabriel Thompson (6-3, 304, Jr) have mixed for 30 profession begins on offense over the previous two seasons, and anchor a veteran group up entrance. Offensive line coach Joe Scelfo welcomes again six linemen who’ve beginning expertise on offense. Switch middle Reed Davis (6-3, 275, Gr.) earned beginning expertise as nicely throughout his time at UT-Martin. On protection, Janathian Turner (6-3, 306, R-Sr.) has made 31 profession begins at deal with and returns to the beginning lineup together with All-America finish Ty French (6-3, 234, Jr.) and gifted nostril guard Charlie Jackson (6-4, 322, Jr.). Defensive coach Jamere Hogue additionally welcomes again six linemen with beginning expertise for the 2022 season. Switch deal with Salik McRae (6-3, 301, Gr.) earned important beginning expertise throughout his time on a robust Savannah State protection.

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NEW STARTERS

With maybe its most settled preseason depth chart in current reminiscence, Gardner-Webb could have solely 4 new starters on offense and protection mixed on Thursday evening vs. Limestone. Deal with Travis Burke (6-8, 285, R-Fr.) and switch Cutrell Haywood (6-0, 217, Gr.) will begin on offense for the ‘Canines. Linebacker Brendan Jackson (6-2, 210, So.) and cornerback Raequan Ousley (5-11, 170, So.) will make begins on protection. Each Haywood (Idaho) and Jackson (Savannah State) began at their earlier establishments.

THE BIG MAN

Beginning deal with Travis Burke (6-8, 285, R-Fr.) is the tallest man to start out a sport for Gardner-Webb since junior faculty switch Alex Vega (6-8, 385) began for the Runnin’ Bulldogs in the course of the 1995 season. Different current starters close to that peak – defensive finish Shaquille Riddick (6-7, 245) in 2013 and deal with Corey O’Daniel (6-7, 345) in 2010 each earned All-Huge South honors, with Riddick named FCS Nationwide Defensive Lineman of the 12 months.

THE LINEBACKER

All-Huge South linebacker William McRainey (6-0, 219, Jr.) has began every sport of his two-year profession thus far and returns after main the league and rating No. 15 nationally with 109 complete tackles final season. The Shallotte, N.C., native earned 2021 CoSIDA Educational All-District honors and shall be an Educational All-America candidate once more in 2022.

AGAINST LOWER DIVISIONS

Gardner-Webb has posted a 23-2 file in opposition to non-Division I colleges since leaving Division II itself after the 1999 season. Every of these two losses got here throughout GWU’s transition seasons, with the final approaching the highway at Virginia Union on October 13, 2001. The Runnin’ Bulldogs have received 20 consecutive video games in opposition to non-Division I staff

SEASON OPENERS

Since its transfer to Division I, Gardner-Webb has gone 13-8 in season openers – dwelling and away. Seven of these losses have come to both FBS foes (4) or nationally-ranked FCS opponents (3

VETERAN IN THE POCKET

Quarterback Bailey Fisher (5-11, 207, R-Sr.) will make his thirty seventh profession begin total on Thursday evening and is approaching 7,000 yards passing and eight,000 yards of complete offense throughout stints at Tennessee Tech and Gardner-Webb. Fisher was excellent final season for the ‘Canines, passing for 18 touchdowns and simply 5 interceptions. His greatest sport got here on the highway in a slim loss at No. 10 Kennesaw State, when he handed for 354 yards and the go-ahead rating with simply 43 seconds remaining. Fisher has a profession move effectivity score of 125.90 heading into the 2022 season and has handed for six,982 yards and 52 touchdowns.

THE GARDNER-WEBB FOOTBALL SHOW

The Gardner-Webb Soccer Present with Head Coach Tre Lamb will start on Thursday, September 1 at excessive Midday within the Tucker Pupil Heart on campus. Hosted by veteran radio man Dave Friedman, the present will air dwell on WGNC 1450 AM / 101.1 FM and the TuneIn Radio App. Followers are invited to drop by and pay attention in forward of the 2022 season opener later that evening.

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FUTURE SCHEDULE NOTES

Gardner-Webb has its slate of FBS opponents nearly full for the following few seasons, with dates at Appalachian State (2023), East Carolina (2023), Charlotte (2024) and Georgia Tech (2025) and Liberty (2026) on faucet.

BEST IN STATE

Three present gamers on Gardner-Webb’s roster had been State Gamers of the 12 months as seniors. Quarterback Bailey Fisher (Rabun County HS, Ga.) earned Class 2A Offensive State Participant of the 12 months honors in 2017. Defensive again Jamari Brown (Eastside HS, Ga.) was named Class 4A Defensive State Participant of the 12 months in 2018. Operating again Donovan Jones (Champagnat Catholic, Fla.) was the Class 2A Offensive State Participant of the 12 months in 2020

WELL PREPPED

Regardless of Gardner-Webb’s veteran roster, a number of true freshmen made notable impressions throughout fall camp and may make a push for important enjoying time early in 2022. On offense, receiver Karim Web page (6-0, 180, Fr.) was among the many greatest at his place in August drills and may see snaps on Thursday after a standout profession at Dalton (Ga.) Excessive. On protection, linebacker Ty Anderson (6-0, 210, Fr.) lived as much as his advance billing. A former three-star recruit at Thomasville (Ga.) Excessive, Anderson had 493 profession stops on the prep stage and can see loads of motion for Gardner-Webb this season after a powerful fall cam

HELLO OLD FRIENDS

GWU will face three former Huge South Convention foes in 2022, touring to Coastal Carolina (9/10), Elon (9/17) and Liberty (10/15). Elon is now a member of the CAA, whereas Coastal Carolina (Solar Belt) and Liberty (C-USA)  compete within the FBS.

PRESEASON HONOR

Narii Gaither (5-10, 181, Sr.) was named Huge South Preseason Offensive Participant of the 12 months in July, and is simply the second Gardner-Webb man to earn that honor in league historical past. Quarterback Tyrell Maxwell was additionally named previous to the 2017 season after incomes the postseason award in 2016. Gardner-Webb has seen seven males earn Huge South Preseason Defensive Participant of the 12 months honors, together with 4 consecutive between 2007 and 2010.

ELITE COMPANY

Gaither is one in all solely three backs to tempo the Huge South Convention in complete speeding yards for 2 consecutive seasons, becoming a member of Liberty’s Dre Barnes (2002-2003), Stony Brook’s Miguel Maysonet (2010-2012) and Coastal Carolina’s De’Angelo “Hop” Henderson (2014-2015) additionally undertaking the feat. Maysonet is the one man to steer the league for 3 consecutive seasons.

SECOND (ARY) TO NO ONE

Gardner-Webb welcomes again an skilled secondary, paced by preseason All-Huge South security Jamari Brown (5-11, 198, R-Jr.). Six of the eight gamers on the 2 deep have began video games throughout their time with the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Brown returns after totaling 59 tackles (38 solo) in 10 begins. He’s the Huge South’s prime returner amongst secondary gamers in complete hits.

A CUT ABOVE

Switch Cutrell Haywood (6-0, 217, Gr.) joined this system in January from the College of Idaho and made a rapid, sturdy impression. The Stockton, Calif., native totaled 145 receptions throughout his time with the Vandals, together with a pair of 50-catch campaigns. He was an All-State selection at Stagg Excessive, main all the state of California in yardage after catching 100 balls for 1,644 yrads and 22 scores.

UP NEXT

Gardner-Webb will hit the highway subsequent week for its first FBS take a look at, touring to face former Huge South foe Coastal Carolina on September 10 in Conway. The 2 groups final met in 2016 in Spangler Stadium. The Runnin’ Bulldogs have received twice in opposition to the Chanticleers in Brooks Stadium, successful in 2003 and 2011. The sport is ready for a 6:00 pm kickoff on ESPN+ and WGNC 1450 AM / 101.1 FM.