DURHAM — Campbell battled No. 15 North Carolina Central to overtime on the road Saturday at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium before falling, 49-48.
The Eagles moved to 4-1 on the season, while Campbell suffered its first road defeat, falling to 2-3 on the season.
Campbell led 35-14 with 6:17 on the clock in the second quarter, scoring touchdowns on its first four possessions, adding a TD on a blocked punt from Trevon Booker, returned by Tai Goode. Threatening again before the half, Hajj-Malik Williams’ pass was intercepted, setting up a four play drive for the Eagles that ended with a Davius Richard punch in.
Richard added another touchdown in the third, and led two more scoring drives, giving the Eagles their first lead with 5:37 to go in regulation on a Latrell Collier TD, NCCU’s fourth unanswered score, to go ahead 42-35.
Campbell followed with a 10 play drive, knotting the game at 42-all with a NaQuari Rogers four yard touchdown at the 1:59 mark.
NCCU then drove into Campbell territory with a 13 play march, but Adrian Olivo’s 34 yard field goal try missed as time expired.
In overtime, Campbell reached the endzone in just four plays, with Ezeriah Anderson bringing down Williams’ 13 yard pass for the touchdown.
After the ensuing point after was blocked, Collier took the Eagles’s first play from scrimmage to the endzone, with Olivo tacking on the go-ahead extra point for the win.
Campbell compiled 269 yards of total offense in the first half, including 201 yards in the first quarter alone, before being limited to 116 in the second half, with just 27 third quarter yards.
Richard led NCCU with 265 yards passing and a TD on 21-of-34 attempts, adding 86 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Devin Smith recorded five catches for 90 yards, while Collier rushed for two scores on 17 carries for 77 yards.
Jayden Flaker paced the defense with a game-high 15 tackles, while Khalil Baker added seven stops.
Williams threw for 302 yards for the Camels, completing 20-of-26 passes with five touchdowns, connecting seven times with Jalen Kelsey, who finished the night with a career-high 172 yards receiving, including scoring grabs of 70 and 65 yards. Rogers also added 57 yards rushing on 14 carries.
D’Marcus Harrington also gathered 10 tackles, while CJ Tillman tallied nine. Monchovia Gaffney also made five tackles to go with 2.0 stops, including a sack. Tre Moore tacked on a tackle for loss and forced a fumble.
Campbell heads to new CAA foe Hampton on Saturday for a 2 p.m. kickoff.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)