Gardner-Webb tops Campbell 42-35 Saturday to win BBQ Bowl, to host North Carolina A&T for Big South Title next Saturday
Press release provided by Gardner-Webb Athletics
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Gardner-Webb opened up a big lead and held on for a 42-35 win over Campbell Saturday to claim the 2022 N.C. Pork East/West BBQ Bowl.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs (5-5, 4-0 Big South) will host North Carolina A&T (7-3, 4-0 Big South) in the Big South Conference Championship Game next Saturday at Noon in Ernest W. Spangler Stadium.
Bailey Fisher completed 30-of-38 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 48 more yards and a score to lead an offensive effort that produced 583 yards and 33 first downs. Narii Gaither had 100 yards on 19 carries and TJ Luther caught eight passes for 132 yards and two scores – his seventh 100-yard game of the season.
Gardner-Webb built a quick 14-0 lead and led 21-7 after a muffed punt resulted in a Campbell special teams score on the first play of the second quarter. The Camels (4-6, 2-3 Big South) cut the lead to 21-14 with 9:06 to play before halftime – but Fisher found Caleb Borders from 30 yards out and hit Luther on a six-yard touchdown to put the ‘Dogs up 35-14 at halftime.
Campbell seized momentum on the first play of the third quarter, returning a fumble 29 yards for a score. Gardner-Webb answered with a Donovan Jones touchdown to go up 42-21 with 12:38 to play to put GWU back up by three touchdowns.
Campbell cut into the lead again with 9:02 to play in the third on a Lamagea McDowell touchdown run and made the game interesting when NaQuari Rogers punched in a score from five yards out with 6:43 to go, but Gardner-Webb’s defense regained its composure with a pair of key stops.
GWU got pressure on a fourth down play with 1:43 to play to force a bad throw and took over on downs. A 13-yard run by Fisher sealed the win and Gardner-Webb went into victory formation for the third week in a row.
Gardner-Webb has won four of its last five games, with its lone setback coming in a 21-20 loss on October 15 at current No. 19 FBS Liberty.
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