Campbell outlasts Gardner-Webb 49-47 in triple OT
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. (AP) — Hajj-Malik Williams passed for 208 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 100 yards and two scores and Alex Santiago blocked a punt and returned it 41 yards for a TD on the final play of regulation as Campbell outlasted Gardner-Webb 49-47 in triple overtime on Saturday.
The difference in the game was Gardner-Webb’s failed 2-point conversion try in the third OT.
Gardner-Webb jumped out to a 17-3 second-quarter lead thanks to two TD passes by Jordan Smith — a 30-yarder to Izaiah Gathings in the first quarter and a 5-yarder to Gathings at the 9:18 mark of the second.
Campbell (6-1, 3-0 Big South Conference) trailed 27-13 after the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ K. Everett booted a 23-yard field goal with 32 seconds left in the third quarter. But the Fighting Camels lived up to their name using Williams’ 8-yard TD toss to Jalen Kelsey with 1:55 left in the game and Santiago’s return score to force overtime.
The teams traded TDs and extra points through the first two extra periods. Campbell had the ball first in the third OT. Johnathan Hawkins scored on a 3-yard run and Williams ran it in on the mandatory two-point conversion for a 49-41 lead.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs (3-5, 1-2) scored on Jayln Cagle’s 1-yard plunge, but G-W’s Chuma Awanna was flagged for offensive pass interference on the 2-point try, moving the ball back to the 18-yard line. Kalen Whitlow’s final pass was incomplete.
Hawkins had 105 yards on 17 carries for the Fighting Camels, who had 263 yards on the ground. Caleb Snead had five catches for 104 yards and a score.
Gardner-Webb’s quarterback duo of Kalen Whitlow and Smith combined to complete 22 of 32 passes for 221 yards and four TDs. Cagle rushed for 103 yards on 28 carries and Devron Harper snared nine passes for 106 yards.