The Crusaders did a wonderful job of “getting back into the game” on the road at Campbell University this past Saturday.  The 41-21 win over the Fighting Camels showed what happens when all three phases – offense, defense, and special teams – play at a high level.

We left campus early Friday morning for the bus ride to Midway and our flight to Raleigh, NC. We practiced at North Carolina State University on Friday afternoon, then headed back to the hotel for meetings, dinner, and our pre-game chapel.

Saturday was a beautiful day for football and the Crusaders arrived at Campbell ready to play after the 45 minute bus ride from Raleigh.

Our defense gave up 14 points as the other seven were the result of an offensive fumble that Campbell returned for a touchdown.  We held Campbell to 287 yards total offense.  Most impressive was not allowing Campbell into the end zone after the 8 minute mark of the second quarter.  The key to defensive success was getting off the field on 3rd down.  The defense held Campbell to only three 3rd down conversions.  The other key was tackling and pursuit. We had the fewest missed tackles of the season and when we did, the pursuit was there to make the play.

Our offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage paving the way for 304 total rushing yards, 248 from Jake Hutson, and three rushing touchdowns. Our receivers did an excellent job blocking downfield as we had a 62 yard run, a 30 yard run, and a 23 yard run. QB Eric Hoffman was 21 of 23 with three passing TD’s.

Greg Wood did an excellent job punting and pinning Campbell deep. Our coverage was excellent and forced a turnover that led to our final touchdown of the day.

More important, our team responded from a 14-0 deficit and a 21-7 deficit.  Our effort was outstanding and it was pleasing to see the team play with such confidence, determination, and character.

We honored the following players for their performance versus Campbell:

Defensive POW:                                Chris Howard

Offensive POW:                                 Jake Hutson and Sterling Summerville

Special Teams POW:                       Greg Wood

OL POW:                                             Stuart Barkley

O Prep & Special Teams POW:     Austin Etzler

D Prep POW:                                     Carlos Hunter

Big Hit:                                                Cody Gokan

Big Play:   Sterling Summerville, Dale Cook, Eric Slenk, Bruce Collins. Alex Green, Ryan Lehr

Congratulations to RB Jake Hutson for being named PFL Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts vs. Campbell.

The Crusaders are back home for the last time in 2012 to take on Davidson College for Senior Day.  We need a packed house to honor our seniors and get two in a row!  Kick-off is at 1 PM.