BUIES CREEK, N.C. – It was a one-possession game with under six minutes to play, but the University of Pikeville failed to score down the stretch and NCAA Div. I FCS member Campbell University added two late touchdowns to win 41-20 on Thursday night.
A 38-yard field goal from Damir Karapandzic made it a 28-20 UPIKE deficit with 12:17 left in the fourth, then Demetrius Taylor made things interesting with an interception on the Camels next drive. The UPIKE drive stalled near midfield, and following a punt, Campbell went on a six-play, 80-yard drive to help seal the win.
The Camels gained 468 yards of total offense, compared to 261 for the Bears, including 311 on the ground. DeShawn Jones led the charge for CU, gaining 189 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. Quan Weaver paced the Bears running game with 63 yards on 13 carries.
Kameron Bryant threw for 138 yards and a score for the Camels while also adding 67 yards on the ground with another touchdown. Sani Warren went 12-of-31 passing for 128 yards and a score for the Bears.
UPIKE had early chances to score in Camel territory, recovering an onside kick on the opening kickoff and recovering a fumble on CU’s first drive. But all the Bears came up with on the two drives was a missed 27-yard field goal from Jacob Sword.
After the miss, the Camels put together a seven-play, 80-yard drive with Bryant finding tight end Austin Fleming uncovered in the middle of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown strike.
Another gift came UPIKE’s way to start the second quarter when Derek Harris picked off backup quarterback David Salmon and returned it inside the 20. The drive stalled in the red zone though, leading to a 38-yard field goal from Damir Karapandzic to make it 7-3.
Campbell wasn’t done before halftime, adding a pair of touchdown drives to lead 21-3 with just seconds left for UPIKE’s final drive. But the five ticks of the clock were just enough for Warren to connect on a last-second pass to Jamon Langford.
After a 50-yard field-goal attempt was scratched due to a false start, Warren had time for one more heave. The pass was batted around in the air before Langford snagged it for six. The big play made it a 21-10 Campbell lead at halftime.
The momentum carried over to the third quarter when the Bears opened with a 12-play, 61-yard drive with Warren using a 2-yard keeper to make it a four-point game. UPIKE kept the ball for just over four minutes on the drive.
Up 21-17, Campbell got the big touchdown play it needed to help slow the threat as Bryant went through the air 31 yards to Aaron Blockman. The Bears didn’t go away, as Karapandzic added the other field goal to get within eight early in the fourth quarter.
After UPIKE was forced to punt on its next two drives, Campbell ended up putting it away with two touchdowns in the last two and a half minutes.