By James Vallone
BUIES CREEK, N.C. – In a game that started not only the season, but also the start of being a Division II team, Shorter goes into Buies Creek, N.C., and takes a victory against Campbell by the score of 31-20. The game showed the kind of defensive dominance coach Nathan Burton was looking to instill by forcing five fumbles in the game, along with the potential of a running and passing balance from Eric Dodson.
Dodson established a new record for the Shorter Hawks football team by passing for 191 yards, eclipsing the mark of 166 established last season by David Byrd. He added a touchdown of 61 yards to Brandon Morten in the fourth quarter that gave the Hawks the lead, 24-20, which they would not relinquish. Bradley Moon joined the fun by adding a 61 yard TD run of his own to cap the scoring. That was Moon's second of the game as he had a two yard run to start the game.
Dominique Henfield had the lead for tackles tonight with 11 for the game. The fumbles were caused by Henfield (2), Michael Peeples, Desmond Clark, and Jamal Denson; the Hawks were able to recover each one that was put on the turf.
Moon led the rushing attack for the Hawks by racking up 102 yards on 19 carries and the two touchdowns. Morten was the leading receiver with 107 yards on four receptions.
Tonight marked the first night game at home for the Campbell Camels and their quarterback, Braden Smith, threw for 336 yards and rushed for another 59 to keep the Camels in the game. The Camel running game was led by Kurt Odom with 65 yards on 17 carries.
The Hawks are on the road again next week in a game at Newberry, September 8 at 6:30 pm.
Quotes from Coach Jones' postgame press conference:
Regarding the play of the defense and especially the turnovers: "The kids deserve the credit for winning the turnover battle; this is something we drill on every day. Ripping the ball from the defender and recovering the loose ball helps lead to victory."
When asked about his faith in Eric Dodson with his offense: "It was his first start and he showed he has the ability to run and throw and to beat a crowded line of scrimmage."
Final thought: "We have a hard road ahead of us with where we are going, but I am thankful for the kids and the effort they have put forth."