FLORENCE, AL – Campbell overcame an early deficit with 41 straight points, downing North Alabama 48-24 Saturday in the Big South Conference opener for both teams at Braly Stadium.
The Camels (2-2, 1-0 Big South) won their second straight outing and snapped a seven game road losing streak (dating back to November 2, 2019), handing the Lions (0-5, 0-1 Big South) a loss in their first official Big South contest.
The CU defense recovered three fumbles, added an interception and scored a pair of touchdowns in the win.
Campbell trailed 24-7 in the second quarter after 24 consecutive points from UNA, aided by a pair of CU turnovers, including Cortez Hall’s 12 yard TD catch from Rett Files with 5:58 to go before the break.
Two possessions later and with time ticking down, Grayson Easterling’s 50 yard field goal try was blocked by Joe Johnson, giving Campbell the ball with 26 seconds to go in the frame. RJ Jackson’s 37 yard grab from Wiley Hartley set up Bryant Barr’s punch in TD as time expired.
Campbell took the second half kickoff and scored touchdowns on all three of its third quarter possessions and added a Darion Slade fumble recovery for a score, while UNA fumbled three times and turned the ball over on downs once, outscoring the Lions 20-0 in the stanza.
The Camels tacked on two more touchdowns early in the fourth on Caleb Snead’s second of the night and defensive lineman DJ Jackson’s fumble return, extending the lead to 48-24.
Snead hauled in eight catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns for the Camels, collecting his second multi-score game already this season, while RJ Jackson made five catches for 74 yards, scoring his first career TD. Jalen Kelsey also grabbed a 50 yard touchdown, one of two catches on the night for the redshirt junior, and Julian Hill made six catches for 72 yards, including 61 yards after catches.
Hartley completed 18-of-31 passes for 302 yards and three touchdowns, tossing two interceptions, while Barr and Michael Jamerson combined for 108 yards rushing, leading the Camels to 517 yards of total offense.
Darion Slade tallied 11 tackles with 1.0 stop for loss to go along with his fumble recovery TD, while Josh Johnson picked up 3.0 tackles for loss, including a sack, with seven total tackles. Levi Wiggins and Tywun Rivens also registered seven stops.
Brevin Allen also posted 2.5 tackles for loss with 1.5 sacks. Gabe Holmes and Prince Ngwenah also notched sacks in the win.
Files led the Lions with 379 yards through the air on 31-of-46 passing with three touchdowns and an interception, while Dexter Boykin grabbed seven catches for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Delaweence Butler paced the UNA defense with 10 tackles.
The game marked Campbell’s first Big South contest in 679 days (November 23, 2019 at Charleston Southern). CU has now won four of its last five and five conference openers, dating back to 2016.
Campbell also won its third straight game coming off an open date.
Campbell will remain on the road for a second straight week on October 9, traveling to Gardner-Webb for another Big South test.
The Camels return to Buies Creek for their Big South home opener on October 16, hosting league preseason favorite Monmouth.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)