BUIES CREEK – Hajj-Malik Williams accounted for three touchdowns and Campbell’s defense stopped Hampton on five of six second half possessions to lead the Camels to a 31-16 win over the Pirates Saturday at Barker-Lane Stadium.
In front of a record-setting Homecoming crowd of 6,783 at the 5,500-seat facility, Campbell (5-1, 2-0 Big South) won its fifth-straight game by holding Hampton to 0-of-3 on fourth downs – all in the final half.
Williams tossed a pair of TD passes to Jalen Kelsey and also scored on a pass from wide out Caleb Snead as the Camels equaled their best start in the program’s Division I era (since 2008).
Hampton (3-4, 0-2) took an early lead on Evan Lomax’s 31-yard field goal with 4:13 remaining in the opening quarter.
However, just two plays later, Williams hit Kelsey on a 79-yard scoring pass down the right sideline. Colin Gary’s PAT gave the Camels a lead they did not relinquish the rest of the game.
Midway through the second period, Kam Prewitt’s 29-yard punt return set up the Camels on the Hampton 23. Williams tossed a lateral to Snead, then the sophomore receiver threw back across the field to the Camel signal caller, who ran down the right sideline and Campbell led 14-3.
Shai McKenzie’s 17-yard run capped an 11-play, 70-yard drive to bring Hampton within 14-10 with 1:37 left in the half. However, the Camels drove 58 yards and Colin Gary’s 29-yard field goal pushed the margin to 17-10 at the half.
Hampton drove 86 yards and Deondre Francois hit KeyRon Catlett with a 1-yard scoring pass to cut the margin to 17-16 on the first play of the fourth period. However, the snap on the PAT was low and Justice Galloway-Velazquez blocked Lomax’s kick to preserve Campbell’s lead.
On the next drive, Williams marched the Camels 66 yards – and ducked out of a potential sack by Mason King to find Kelsey wide open in the end zone on an 11-yard scoring pass.
Campbell stopped Hampton on downs on the next two drives. On fourth and three at the Camel 34, Monchovia Gaffney broke up Francois’ pass intended for Jadakis Bonds.
On fourth and less than two yards at the Hampton 41, Galloway-Velazquez and Darion Slade stopped Shai McKenzie one yard shy.
The Camels then extended the margin to two scores when Johnathan Hawkins ran 27 yards to give CU a first-and-goal at the one, then dove over on the next play for a 31-16 edge with 2:07 to play.
Hampton then drove to the Campbell two, but Gaffney intercepted Francois to halt the Pirates on their final drive.
Williams completed 14-of-26 passes for 217 yards and led the Camels on the ground with 82 yards on 15 carries. Kelsey finished with three receptions for 104 yards and two scores, while Davarius Bargnare had four receptions for 33 yards.
A transfer from Florida State, Francois completed 23-of-43 passes for 246 yards and one TD. McKenzie had 137 yards on 26 carries, while Bonds led Hampton with six receptions for 52 yards.
Slade led the Camels with 11 total tackles, while Galloway-Velazquez added 10 stops and Gaffney nine. Justin Brown topped Hampton with seven tackles.
Campbell returns to action next Saturday, Oct. 26 at Gardner-Webb at 1:30PM, while Hampton hosts Virginia-Lynchburg Saturday at 2:00PM.