Camels drop PFL opener in overtime shootout at Valpo 49-42

Brian Hudson (photo by Will Bratton)
Brian Hudson (photo by Will Bratton)

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VALPARAISO, IND. – After both teams combined for over 1,000 yards of total offense in a 42-all regulation, Valparaiso's Eric Hoffman connected on his fourth touchdown pass and the Crusader defense stalled Campbell at the one to preserve a 49-42 win in the Pioneer Football League opener for both teams.

Valpo moves to 1-3 on the season and begins 1-0 in PFL play, while Campbell drops to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference action.

The Camels amassed 567 yards of total offense in regulation, including 292 on the ground, knotting the game at 42-all on Kurt Odom's 14 yard run with 2:42 to play. Valpo drove inside Campbell territory, but with under a minute on the clock, Campbell's Matt Farris stopped Denzell Conway to give the Camels the ball with 30 seconds remaining.

Campbell's effort to win in regulation came up short when Brian Hudson's hail mary was intercepted in the endzone as time expired.

With possession to begin the overtime period, Valpo's Conway rushed for 14 yards on first down, then Hoffman found Andrew Cassara in the right back corner of the endzone to go ahead 49-42 after the extra point.

Campbell used four plays to go to the Valpo one yard line, but three straight rushes up the middle were stalled, giving the Crusaders the 49-42 overtime win.

The Camels' 591 yards of total offense are the second most all-time (modern era, since 2008) in a game behind this season's 659 in a 56-21 win over UVa.Wise. The total is a PFL single-game program record.

The team rushed for 298 yards and passed for 293, scoring three times on the ground and twice through the air.

Odom, a senior running back, led the way with 91 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, while Hudson added 89 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The senior quarterback added 256 yards passing on 21-of-33 attempts and another score.

Keith Goss also ran for 66 yards, while DeShawn Jones added 36.

Ben Bolling and Chad McMichael both grabbed touchdown passes in the loss, posting 88 and 59 yards, respectively. Jordan Hildreth caught four passes for 68 yards, also throwing a 37-yard touchdown pass.

The Camels were plagued by 112 penalty yards on 14 flags, while Valpo assessed 61 yards on six penalties.

Marcus Maynard, Matt Farris and Andrew Yost each posted nine tackles for the Camels, while Aaron Nichols tacked on six and an interception. Lucas Smith tallied Campbell's only sack of the game, one of his four stops.

Valpo's Hoffman threw for 407 yards and four touchdowns, including the overtime go-ahead score, connecting on 33-of-47 tries. Fred Gladney was targeting 10 times, hauling in 156 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Crusaders.

Jake Hutson netted 98 yards and three touchdowns rushing on 25 carries.

Cody Cotton led the Crusaders with 13 tackles, also forcing two fumbles, while Alex Green and Patrick Derbak posted 11 each and four combined for loss.

The Camels return home next weekend, Oct. 5, hosting PFL rival Morehead State for Family Weekend. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. from Barker-Lane Stadium.