National power Kennesaw State delivered a statement to Big South foes and to anyone else who may have been doubting the No. 4-ranked Owls with an impressive win over Presbyterian as KSU improved to 2-0 in conference play and 6-1 on the season.
Campbell and Monmouth kept pace with the Owls with convincing wins of their own. Campbell downed Hampton and Monmouth handled Gardner-Webb this past weekend. The Camels and Hawks are also both 2-0 in conference play.
All three of the league leaders will be favored in their games next weekend.
Gardner-Webb, which lost for the first time in Big South play on Saturday, has a chance to remain within striking distance with a win over Monmouth next Saturday.
Kennesaw State def. Presbyterian 55-10
Tommy Bryant operated the Kennesaw State offense to near perfection Saturday as he helped guide the Owls through the rain, the mud and the muck on the way to a 55-10 win over Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C.
Bryant set the tone on the day by leading the Owls on a 63-yard scoring drive to open the game. The drive, all on the ground, consumed 5:19 off the clock and was capped by a one-yard run by Daniel David that gave KSU a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way.
The Kennesaw defense also got in on the scoring festivities when Desmond Johnson forced a fumble on PC’s first drive and teammate Tyler Moore scooped the ball up and returned it 16 yards for the score to give the Owls a 14-0 lead just nine minutes into the game.
KSU would tally two more fumble recoveries in the game that the Owls would eventual turn into points to aid in the scoring.
Bryant ran for 51 yards (11 carries) and a pair of touchdowns on the day. He also completed three of four passes for 76 yards and two more scores. The four touchdowns responsible for were a career-high for the sophomore.
Jarius Jeter and Tyler Huff combined for 111 yards on the ground for the Blue Hose. Jeter led the way with 58 yards on 12 carries, while Huff tacked on 15 carries for 53 yards.
Presbyterian linebacker Colby Campbell tallied 20 tackles on the day and became the first Big South player to have that many in a single game since 2017. It was also the most tackles by a Blue Hose player in the school’s Division 1 history.
Kennesaw State returns home on Saturday to take on North Alabama. Presbyterian takes a hiatus from conference action and will face Merrimack on Saturday in Massachusetts.
Campbell def. Hampton 31-16
A lot of people were interested in the outcome of this game as a Barker-Lane Stadium record crowd of 6,783 watched Campbell celebrate homecoming by defeating Hampton 31-16 to win for the fifth straight week.
The Camels’ 5-1 overall record equals the best start in the program’s Division 1 era (since 2008).
Hajj-Malik Williams completed 14 of 26 passes for 217 yards and tossed three touchdowns in the win. He also led the Camels with 82 yards rushing on 15 carries in the game.
The Pirates managed to pull to within 14-10 late in the second quarter on a 17-yard scamper by Shai McKenzie. A field goal from 29 yards out with four seconds left in the first half gave the Camels a 17-10 advantage at the intermission.
Hampton closed to within 17-16 in the fourth quarter when Deondre Francois hooked up with KeyRon Catlett on a two-yard scoring pass. The conversion kick was blocked and the Camels were never seriously challenged after that.
Francois finished with 23 completions on 43 attempts for 246 yards and the one score. He was intercepted once in the game. Jadakis Bonds caught six passes for 52 yards on the day and McKenzie finished with 137 yards on 26 carries.
Campbell travels to Gardner-Webb on Saturday for a key Big South contest. Hampton, meanwhile, takes a break from conference play when the Pirates entertain Virginia-Lynchburg.
Monmouth def. Gardner-Webb 49-28
Monmouth had a field day as the Hawks remained undefeated in conference play with an impressive 49-28 win over visiting Gardner-Webb.
Kenji Bahar, a fifth-year senior, completed 20-of-26 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns to spearhead the offensive attack for the Hawks. Bahar has now thrown for at least 300 yards in a school record six games and moved into second place on the school’s all-time touchdown passing list with 53. He needs just seven more passing yards to become the school’s leader in that department.
Receiver Terrance Greene had a career day for the Hawks. He caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Lonnie Moore also passed the century mark after hauling in five passes for 103 yards in the win.
Pete Guerriero added 186 yards in the game as the Hawks piled up 599 yards of total offense against the Bulldogs.
Guerriero picked up 131 yards in the third quarter alone. Both of his touchdown runs in the game came in the third period. Teammate Devell Jones added 68 yards rushing and tallied two TDs of his own.
Jalyn Cagle had 112 of G-W’s 128 rushing yards in the game. He carried the ball 18 times and scored one touchdown. Teammate Izaiah Gathings caught four passes for 65 yards and a pair of dramatic touchdown passes for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
The Hawks are now 5-2 on the season and travel to Charleston Southern on Saturday. Gardner-Webb will return home and play Campbell.
Charleston Southern def. North Alabama 25-20
History was made on several fronts Oct. 19 as Charleston Southern defeated future Big South foe North Alabama 25-20.
The win, sealed by Darin Smalls’ interception with 39 seconds remaining, gave the Buccaneers the first-ever win in the state of Alabama in program history while two Buccaneers made it a memorable night for themselves.
Jamari Dunbar recorded the first 100-yard rushing game of his career. He finished with 123 yards on a career-high 28 carries. Teammate Alex Usry booted four field goals in the win, including one from 52 yards out in the final period that bounced off the crossbar before going through. It was the longest field goal in school history.
The Lions, who are transitioning from Division II and not eligible for the Big South title until 2022, grabbed a 20-19 lead on a 34-yard field goal from Joe Gurley with 10:34 to play in the game.
That lead evaporated when Terrence Wilson ran in from eight yards out for the deciding points for the Buccaneers with 6:57 remaining in the game.
Charleston Southern amassed 429 yards of total offense in the game, including 271 yards on the ground. Quarterback Jack Chambers completed 14-of-26 passes for 126 yards in the game. Isaac Ross caught five passes for 37 yards and Markus Melvin led the way on the ground with 60 yards on 11 carries.
North Alabama, which jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the game, was limited to just 265 yards of offense and was picked off three times by the Buccaneers. J.D. Sosebee and Jarrod Stanley also had interceptions for CSU to go along with Smalls’ pick in the contest.
Christian Lopez was 15-of-32 passing for 206 yards in the game for the Lions. Terence Humphrey rushed 11 times for 35 yards to pace the UNA on the ground.
A native of Bismarck, N.D., Ray is a graduate of North Dakota State University where he began studying athletic training and served as a student trainer for several Bison teams including swimming, wrestling and baseball and was a trainer at the 1979 NCAA national track and field championship meet at the University of Illinois. Ray later worked in the sports information office at NDSU. Following his graduation from NDSU he spent five years in the sports information office at Missouri Western State University and one year in the sports information at Georgia Tech. He has nearly 40 years of writing experience as a sports editor at several newspapers and has received numerous awards for his writing over the years. A noted sports historian, Ray is currently an assistant editor at Amateur Wrestling News.