Saturday, September 16, 2023

Campbell Rushes Past Monmouth with Rogers Leading the Way

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. — In a thrilling clash at Kessler Stadium, Campbell University's NaQuari Rogers took center stage, rushing for an impressive 152 yards and notching three touchdowns, guiding the Camels to a 45-31 victory over Monmouth on Saturday.

Camels Secure First CAA Win

Campbell (2-1, 1-1 CAA) celebrated their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) victory of the season, while simultaneously inflicting Monmouth's (1-2, 1-1 CAA) inaugural conference defeat.

Rogers Shines in Career Performance

NaQuari Rogers, a sophomore hailing from Virginia Beach, Va., had a standout performance, carrying the ball a career-high 21 times for 152 yards and three crucial touchdowns. His go-ahead 32-yard sprint with 9:37 left in the fourth quarter was a game-changer, capping off an outstanding day for the young talent. Rogers had already made his mark in the first and third quarters with two more touchdowns, propelling Campbell to its first lead of the game at 24-23 with 6:49 remaining in the third.

Back-and-Forth Battle

Monmouth had taken an early 23-7 lead in the second quarter, notably highlighted by Jaden Shirden's 35-yard touchdown.

However, Campbell responded emphatically, reeling off 24 consecutive points, which included Chaney Fitzgerald's 12-yard touchdown reception and Caleb Dowden's 42-yard score just before halftime. Rogers added his second touchdown, followed by a three-yard keeper from Hajj-Malik Williams, establishing a 31-23 advantage for the Camels.

Monmouth's Shirden, who exhibited an impressive performance throughout the game, tied it at 31-31 early in the fourth quarter with a 22-yard touchdown catch.

Campbell Seals the Deal

Rogers had the last word, dashing for a 32-yard touchdown, and Chris McKay, Jr. followed suit with a 26-yard scamper, ultimately securing the Camels' victory at 45-31.

Shirden ended the day with a remarkable 165 yards rushing, in addition to four catches for 31 yards.

Second-Half Dominance

While Monmouth held a 23-17 lead at halftime, the Camels completely turned the tables in the second half, outscoring the Hawks 28-8. Campbell's offense piled up an impressive 249 yards in the second half alone, including 118 rushing yards in the final quarter.

Contributions Across the Roster

Campbell QB Hajj-Malik Williams
Photo Credit: Campbell Athletics
Hajj-Malik Williams, Campbell's quarterback, completed 16-of-25 passes for 184 yards and a touchdown while also adding 32 rushing yards and another TD. Fitzgerald led the receiving corps with eight catches for 54 yards and a score.

Campbell's defense was anchored by CJ Tillman, who tallied 10 tackles, with Ed Dennis and Monchovia Gaffney adding seven stops each. Keevan Bailey and D'Marcus Harrington contributed with interceptions in the second half.

For Monmouth, Marquez McCray completed 19-of-36 passes for 211 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, while Dymere Miller caught nine passes for 138 yards.

What's Next

Campbell will return home on September 23, hosting Elon for Parent's Weekend in another crucial CAA contest, aiming to build on their newfound momentum in the conference.