BUIES CREEK — No.-11 Kennesaw State scored 21 unanswered points around halftime and held on for a 38-35 Big South Conference college football win over Campbell on Saturday at Barker-Lane Stadium.
Campbell (6-3, 3-1 Big South) twice cut the Owls’ advantage to three points in the final period, but could not regain the lead.
Kennesaw backup quarterback Tommy Bryant came off the bench to run for 105 yards on 27 carries and add 91 more in the air on 5-of-7 completions in the Owls’ option attack. Shaquil Terry had all five receptions for Kennesaw (8-2, 3-1), for 91 yards and two scores, while gaining 28 on the ground on six attempts.
The Owls are ranked No. 11 in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Campbell finished with a 386-343 advantage in total offense, and ran 71 plays to 61 for the visitors, but Kennesaw converted a pair of interceptions into 14 points in the second half.
Hajj-Malik Williams ran for 110 yards and threw for 233 for the Camels, who have lost consecutive games for the first time this year. Caleb Snead had 99 receiving yards on six catches.
Justice Galloway-Velazquez had 18 tackles and Dorian Jones 10 stops for Campbell. Le’Vonte Larry led Kennesaw with eighth tackles.
The Camels led 21-10 with 1:57 led in the second quarter after Williams scored on a five-yard run. However KSU drew with seven on Bryant’s 20-yard pass to Terry with just 30 seconds left in the second period.
Markeith Montgomery’s interception gave Kennesaw the ball at its own 20 with 10:53 left in the third, and the Owls drove 80 yards on 12 played to grab the lead on Bryant’s 2-yard run.
On the next possession, Bryson Armstrong intercepted a tipped pass and returned it to the Camel 26. Bryant then hit Terry on a 26-yard scoring pass to extend the margin to 31-21 with 2:33 left in the third.
Chris Cromartie recovered Bryant’s fumble on a hand off to set up the Camels at the KSU 34. Williams connected with Snead on a 21-yard pass to set up Cameron Davis’ 3-yard run and trim the margin to 31-28 with 12:38 remaining.
Antavius Grier returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the Campbell 37 and the Owls ran 5:38 off the clock before Bryant dove across from one yards out to again stretch the margin to 10 (38-28) with 6:51 remaining.
The Camels drove 74 yards to cut the gap to 38-35 on Williams’ 7-yard scoring pass to Snead with 3:01 to play. However, Kennesaw was able to run out the clock to seal the win.
The Camels jumped in front with 5:04 left in the opening quarter on a 2-yard run by Johnathan Hawkins. Williams’ 20-yard run and a 33-yard completion to Jalen Kelsey set up Campbell with a first down on the two.
Nathan Robertson’s 43-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter cut the Campbell lead to 7-3.
Campbell answered with a 7-play, 79-yard drive capped by Williams’ 9-yard run to push the margin to 14-3.
The Owls responded with an 11-play drive to trim the margin to 14-10 on Bryant’s 8-yard rush with 6:27 to play in the half.
The Camels close out their home schedule next Saturday against Monmouth at 1 p.m.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)