Camels topped in CAA opener, 34-24, by W&M

by | Sep 1, 2023 | Campbell, News & Features

This reception by Chaney Fitzgerald set up Campbell’s final touchdown.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/Paul Burgett)

BUIES CREEK — Bronson Yoder ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns to help No. 4 William & Mary fend off Campbell, 34-24, on Thursday night at Barker-Lane Stadium in the 2023 season opener for both teams.

The game marked Campbell’s first football contest as a Coastal Athletic Association member, taking on the preseason conference favorite Tribe, a team that won 11 games and advanced to the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals in 2022.

Yoder scored both of his touchdowns in the second quarter, averaging 6.2 yards on 20 carries. Darius Wilson added 57 yards rushing to go along with 182 yards and two touchdowns through the air, completing 17 of 27 pass attempts.

Malachi Imoh added 61 yards on four receptions, while Martin Lucas added 46 yards and a touchdown. Marcus Barnes tallied 11 tackles for the Tribe, with Nate Lynn posting two sacks.

The Tribe piled up 452 yards of total offense, including 270 on the ground on 5.9 yards per rush, compared to 310 total yards for the Camels, who averaged 5.6 yards per play.

Campbell quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams completed 22 of 26 passes for 226 yards with a touchdown. Lamagea McDowell ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns. Jalen Kelsey had six catches for 85 yards.

Chaney Fitzgerald tacked on seven catches for 53 yards, with V.J. Wilkins adding four receptions for 44 yards and a TD.

C.J. Tillman gathered a career-high 19 tackles, including a stop for loss. D’Marcus Harrington and Monchovia Gaffney added 10 tackles apiece.

Campbell struck first with McDowell punching it in from a yard out, completing a 13-play, 78-yard march before W&M answered with a 13-play scoring drive with Wilson’s 7-yard pass to DreSean Kendrick.

Campbell tied the score at 14 with Williams finding Wilkins for a 14 yard touchdown.

Yoder again barreled in for another Tribe answer, this time completing a 6-play scoring drive. Caden Bonoffski added to the William & Mary lead with a 37-yard field goal to close the half. Bonoffski added a 43 yarder in the third, giving the Tribe a 27-14 lead.

A second McDowell touchdown and a Caleb Dowden 45-yard field goal cut into the Tribe lead in the fourth, but Lucas’ 27-yard TD reception helped hold off the Camels.

The Camels will make their nonconference and road debut next week, heading to The Citadel for a 3 p.m. showdown on September 9. Campbell returns home on September 23, hosting Elon in another CAA contest.

Campbell media services provided the basis for this report.

Campbell takes the field before the 2023 season opener.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/Paul Burgett)

Jalen Kelsey sets up the first score for the Camels on Thursday night.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/Paul Burgett)

CU receiver V.J. Wilkins goes into the end zone against William & Mary.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/Paul Burgett)

Hajj-Malik Williams keeps for a first down for Campbell.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/Paul Burgett)

Alex Santiago of the Camels blocks a punt in a 34-24 loss to the No. 4 Tribe.
(Dunn Area Sports Photo/Paul Burgett)


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