Saturday, October 9, 2021

Campbell Devours Gardner-Webb in Inaugural BBQ Bowl

BOILING SPRINGS – It was the inaugural BBQ bowl between Big South rivals Gardner-Webb and Campbell taking place at Spangler Stadium on Friday night. At stake were bragging rights and a catered barbecue meal for the winning squad. Both teams traded offensive and defensive blows for three and a half quarters, knotted at 28 with four minutes left on the clock. Campbell stepped up on both sides of the ball over the last four minutes, finding the end zone twice on their way to a 42-28 win, and claimed the right to take the brand new trophy back to Buies Creek for the next year.

The Meat

After both teams started slowly, trading punts and turnovers, it was Campbell who broke onto the scoreboard first. Capping an eight-play drive, Bryant Barr (Eastern Guilford) punched it in from two yards out to give the Camels an early 7-0 lead. It was the Gardner-Webb defense that got the Runnin' Bulldogs on the scoreboard first with linebacker William McRainey (West Brunswick) picking up a fumble and racing seventy-one yards to the house for the scoop-and-score to tie the game at 7-7.

The second quarter saw both teams turning on their offenses. Wiley Hartley, on fire since stepping into the starting quarterback role due to injury, threw the first of his two touchdown passes early in the quarter, finding Caleb Snead in the back of the end zone. Gardner-Webb struck back quickly with Narii Gaither rushing for fifty-five of his game-high 150 yards on the way to the end zone to tie the game again. Gardner-Webb then went on to take the lead on a one-yard pass from Bailey Fisher to Bryson Duckworth to seemingly give the Runnin' Bulldogs a 21-14 halftime lead, but Campbell was able to go seventy-five yards in only fifty-two seconds with Hartley finding Julian Hill (Pine Forest) over the middle for a thirty-nine-yard score to cap off the quick drive to send the game into the half at 21-21.

Both teams' running backs found the end zone during the third quarter. Narii Gaither rushed twenty-two yards for his second score of the night to give Gardner-Webb a 28-21 lead, but Bryant Barr would not let Camels go without a score, punching the ball in from a yard out, his second of the night, and setting up what would be a momentous fourth quarter. Barr added the go-ahead score, his third of the night, at the 3:53 mark to give the Camels a 35-28 lead. After the Campbell defense held Gardner-Webb on fourth down, CJ Freeman's twenty-three-yard scamper sealed the deal and secure the 42-28 win for the visitors.

The Sides

  • Bryant Barr's ninety-seven yards and three touchdowns were both career highs.
  • Caleb Snead hauled in ten receptions on the night, tying his own school record.
  • Wiley Hartley was 26/41 on passing for 265 yards.
  • Narii Gaither now has two 150 yard rushing games this season.
  • William McRainey led Gardner-Webb with thirteen total tackles to go along with his scoop-and-score.
  • Campbell led the time of possession battle, 36:54 to 23:06.

The Dessert

North Carolina barbecue legend Bob Garner was on hand to debut the new trophy at halftime and Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander had the privilege of handing over the trophy to the victorious Camels in a postgame ceremony.

What's Next on the Menu?

Campbell (3-2, 2-0) will host #25 Monmouth next Saturday at Barker-Lane Stadium while Gardner-Webb (2-4, 0-2) has an open week before hosting Robert Morris at Spangler Stadium for Homecoming on October 23.