CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A two-point conversion pass fell incomplete with 31 seconds left and Charlotte, which trailed by 21 after three quarters, held on to defeat Gardner-Webb 53-51 on Saturday.
Matt Johnson threw five touchdown passes, three in a 29-point fourth quarter, but it was the defense that saved the 49ers (4-2). Lucas Beatty, who had a career-high 389 yards and four touchdowns, drove Gardner-Webb (4-2) 72 yards to set up Juanne Blount's 1-yard score but Beatty's game-tying pass was incomplete.
Down 45-24, the 49ers got a safety on a blocked punt and had two one-play TDs after defensive stops, a 48-yard pass to Trent Bostic and a 56-yard run by Alan Barnwell.
Johnson was 27 of 46 for 342 yards, with Bostic catching nine passes for 107.
Blount ran for 133 yards and two TDs and Kenny Cook had 10 receptions for 136 yards and two scores in the loss.