WINSTON-SALEM — Wake Forest used a balanced attack to defeat Campbell, 66-14, Friday night at Truist Field.
The Demon Deacons (1-2) rolled up 574 yards, 299 on the ground and 275 through the air and never trailed. One of only 17 Football Championship Subdivision members playing this fall, Campbell (0-4) completed its season against a fourth-straight Football Bowl Subdivision opponent in a 21-day span.
Christian Beal Smith rushed for 130 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns for Wake Forest, which converted four Campbell turnovers into 21 points. Kenneth Walker III gained 105 yards on 11 carries and one score. Sam Hartman completed 12 of 16 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown. A.T. Perry finished with five catches for 81 yards.
Hajj-Malik Williams of the Camels threw for one score in the second quarter and added another on a 26-yard catch in the third quarter. The sophomore quarterback completed 17 of 29 passes for 187 yards. Bryant Barr led the Camels with 42 rushing yards on 14 attempts, while Jalen Kelsey had six catches for 62 yards.
Campbell ran eight more plays (74-66) than the hosts and finished with 362 yards of offense.
Senior rover Darion Slade, a native of Winston-Salem, finished his career with 12 total tackles, including nine solo stops.
The Camels took the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards to the Wake Forest 2-yard line before the drive stalled. Williams hit Barr on a 36-yard completion to set up a first-and-goal before the Deacon defense stalled the series. Robert Brown pulled a 27-yard field goal attempt wide left.
Wake marched 80 yards — 40 on a Hartman to Perry completion — and Beal-Smith put the Deacons ahead 7-0 on a 2-yard run with 4:51 remaining in the opening quarter.
On the next play from scrimmage, Traveon Redd intercepted Williams’ pass to give the Deacons the ball at the Campbell 21. The Camels’ defense held Wake to a 28-yard field goal attempt that Nick Sciba missed.
Redd forced a Barr fumble on Campbell’s next offensive play, and Zion Keith recovered to again provide Wake with a short field at the CU 22. Beal-Smith’s 10-yard run and Sciba’s conversion kick doubled the Deacon lead (14-0) with 1:49 left in the first.
Campbell responded with a 15-play, 75-yard drive capped by Williams’ 7-yard scoring pass to Mason Donaldson in the right corner of the end zone. Isaac Riffle’s kick cut the Wake Forest lead in half (14-7) with 8:42 left in the opening half.
Walker carried most of the load on a 7-play, 71-yard march.The sophomore back rushed for 67 yards on six carries in the drive, covering the final 12 to extend Wake’s lead to 21-7 with 6:29 remaining in the second quarter.
Sciba’s 41-yard field goal with 51 seconds to play sent Wake into the half with a 24-7 lead.
Wake gained 154 of its 254 first-half yards on the ground, as Walker (75) and Beal-Smith (80) accounted for nearly all of the damage.
The Deacons marched 78 yards in eight plays following the second half kickoff and pushed the margin to 31-7 on Hartman’s 9-yard scoring pass to Taylor Morin. Zion Keith then intercepted Williams’ pass, returned it 45 yards and Wake led 38-7 with 11:26 remaining in the third.
After Beal-Smith’s 5-yard run stretched the Deacon lead to 45-7, Campbell responded with a 75-yard scoring drive in six plays. Williams lateraled wide to Donaldson, who then hit his quarterback with a return pass for a 26-yard score to cut the lead to 45-14.
Donavon Greene returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards and Wake led 52-14 with 4:12 to play in the third.
Campbell drove inside the Wake red zone before Williams fumbled. The Deacons then marched 77 yards and Justice Ellison capped the drive with a 7-yard rush for a 59-14 edge. Will Drawdy tacked on an eight-yard rushing TD with 5:09 to play.
After the Big South Conference announced that it was postponing its football season, but would allow members to play up to four games this fall, Campbell opened the year with a 27-26 loss Sept. 12 at Georgia Southern on ESPNU. CU also traveled to Coastal Carolina on Sept. 18 for its first appearance on ESPN. Last Saturday (Sept. 26), the Camels lost 52-21 at Appalachian State after leading the Mountaineers for nearly the entire first half.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)