Gardner-Webb heats up late, tops W. Carolina 52-34

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. (AP) — Bailey Fisher led two crisp, third-quarter touchdown drives and Gardner-Webb added an interception returned for another score, posting 21 unanswered points to gain the upper hand on Western Carolina 52-34 Saturday night.

Fisher passed for 261 yards with two touchdowns. Gardner-Webb (2-2) gained 291 yards on the ground with Narii Gaither carrying 22 times for 151 and two TDs and T.J. Jones gaining 102 with a touchdown.

The teams erupted for a combined 42 points in the third quarter with Western Carolina (0-4) staking out a 34-24 lead on a Rogan Wells six-yard TD pass to Raphae Williams.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs answered with Fisher’s five-yard scoring pass to Deland Thomas. The Catamounts pinned Gardner-Webb at the 10 after a punt, but Fisher led a four-play, 90-yard scoring drive, including consecutive completions of 25 and 53 yards to T.J. Luther and Justin Franklin, respectively.

Donovan Jones capped the drive from the 6, and Gardner-Webb scored again 44 seconds later when Jamari Brown intercepted Wells and returned it 36 yards down the sideline for the Runnin’ Bulldogs biggest lead, 45-34.

Wells accounted for three touchdowns and 540 yards of offense for Western Carolina, passing for a season-high 427 yards and rushing for 113 more. Wells’ 82-yard touchdown run is the longest play from scrimmage for WCU this season.

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