By Carey Phillips


Western Carolina’s football team will take a break from Southern Conference play Saturday when Gardner-Webb visits E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field for a 3:30 p.m. game.

The Bulldogs (1-3) play in the Big South Conference. This will be the second straight week they have met a Southern Conference team after losing 49-10 to Wofford last Saturday.

Jayln Cagle, who is averaging 77 yards, is the leading rusher for Coach Carroll McCray’s team. Jordan Smith and Kalen Whitlow have both seen time at quarterback directing the spread option offense. Iziah Gathings and Chuma Awanna are the top receivers.

G-W uses a 3-4 defense.

Western has a 6-3 advantage in the series, including a 28-10 win last year. Cagle had 83 yards in that game.

The Catamounts were led in that contest by quarterback Tyrie Adams, who threw for 214 yards, and running back Connell Young, who had 171 all-purpose yards.

WCU fell to 1-3 with Saturday’s 60-36 loss at UT-Chattanooga. Young had a big day by rushing for 217 yards. Adams returned from a two-game suspension but was held to 115 yards of total offense.