Buies Creek – De’Shawn Jones ran for a career-high 189 yards and Kameron Bryant threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead Campbell to a 41-20 win over Pikeville Thursday night in the Fighting Camels’ season-opener at Barker-Lane Stadium.
Jones’ night included a 60-yard TD run and a 50-yard scamper to set a new school Division I era (since 2008) single-game record. He broke the previous mark of 170 set by Jordan Cramer in 2011 and matched by Kurt Odom one year later. Jones averaged 12.6 yards per run on 15 attempts.
In his first start at quarterback for the Camels, Bryant totaled 205 yards of total offense – 138 through the air and 67 on the ground. The transfer from Appalachian State completed 12-of-19 passes and gained 6.1 yards per attempt on 11 carries.
Campbell (1-0) improved to 3-5 in season-opening games (4-4 in home openers) since the program’s re-birth in 2008.
Sani Warren completed 12-of-31 passes for 128 yards and 1 TD for NAIA member Pikeville (1-1), which was out-gained 468-261 on the night. Eddie Miller III hauled in four receptions for the Bears, while Quan Weaver ran for 63 yards on 13 carries.
Bryant’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Austin Fleming capped a 7-play, 80-yard drive to give the Camels a 7-0 lead. Bryant’s 16-yard run and a 26-yard rush Jones set up the Camels in the red zone.
Derek Harris intercepted a pass by David Salmon on Campbell’s next possession and returned it 30 yards to the Camel 13. However, the defense held Pikeville to a 38-yard field goal by Damir Karapandzic.
Jared Joyner’s four-yard run closed an 8-play, 65-yard drive to push Campbell’s lead to 14-3 with 6:47 left in the opening half. Bryant runs of 15 and 11 yards set up the Camels inside the Pikeville five.
Jones’ 20-yard run and a 13-yard completion to Andre Davis set up Bryant’s 6-yard run to put the Camels ahead 21-3 with 4:23 left in the half.
Pikeville picked up 38 of its 99 total first-half yards on the final play of the half when Warren’s “Hail Mary” pass found Jamon Langford in the end zone to trim the margin to 21-10.
Campbell outgained the Bears 243-99 in the opening half and held the visitors to just five first downs before the break. Jones ran for 73 yards (10.4 per carry) and Bryant 63 before intermission.
Pikeville then took the second half kick-off and drove 61 yards in 12 plays to cut the gap to 21-17 on Warren’s 2-yard quarterback keeper.
However, the Camels answered on a 7-play, 62-yard drive that was helped along by a pair of personal foul penalties by the visitors. Aaron Blockman hauled in Bryant’s 31-yard pass at the back to the end zone and Ozimek’s PAT left the Camels in front 28-17 with 7:18 remaining in the third.
Damir Karapandzic’s 30-yard field goal cut the Camel lead to 28-20 with 12:17 to go in the fourth.
The Camels answered with a 6-play, 80-yard drive, keyed by Jones’ 50-yard carry. Joyner ran in from eight yards to give the Camels a 35-20 advantage with 2:21 to play. The junior from Greensboro then burst off tackle and broke off his 60-yard run down the right sideline to provide the final margin with 1:31 to go.
Ugonna Awuruonye led the Camels with seven tackles, while Daniel Bostick and Jake Barr added eight apiece. Tanner Fiser and Arthur Williams made nine stops each for Pikeville.
Campbell hosts Chowan next Saturday, Sept. 12th at 6:00pm.