BUIES CREEK, N.C. — Charleston Southern’s football team showed first-year head coach Jamey Chadwell exactly what he wanted to see Saturday.
Despite their 2-0 record going into the game at Campbell, the Buccaneers had failed to put together four quarters of consistent offense. After his team’s 30-10 victory over the Camels, Chadwell felt a lot better about his team’s offensive production.
Senior quarterback Malcolm Dixon rushed for a career-high 135 yards and two touchdowns while passing for 118 yards, and junior running back Christian Reyes added a career-high 105 yards and two scores.
Charleston Southern, which totaled 561 yards in offense in its first two games, finished the night with 467 yards, including 327 yards on the ground.
“I thought we did some good things in the first half but we sort of shot ourselves in the foot some. I was really pleased with the way we executed in the second half,” said Chadwell. “I was real pleased with how we came out offensively in the third quarter. I thought we were physical up front and we had some lanes to run.
“We finished the game well. The way we finished gave us a good taste. Last week, even though we won, we didn’t finish well and that left us with a bad taste.”
Dixon’s effort moved the 6-1, 190-pounder into second-place in the school’s total offense list, pushing over 3,700 yards for his career.
Charleston Southern moved the ball effectively throughout the first quarter, particularly on the ground. However, Dixon’s fumble at the Campbell 30 on CSU’s first possession ended a promising drive.
CSU’s third possession produced the game’s first touchdown on Reyes’ one-yard run with 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Reyes gained 38 yards on seven carries during the 71-yard drive and finished the first half with 66 yards.
“We weren’t sure if Christian was going to play because he’s banged up but he certainly gave us a lift in that drive,” said Chadwell. “He sort of got us going in the running game, which is something he is capable of doing.”
Campbell answered CSU’s score on its next possession, capping a 61-yard drive with Jarrett Ozimek’s 31-yard field goal with 12:46 remaining in the second quarter.
Late in the first half, Dixon connected with Kevin Glears on a 41-yard pass play and then hit Chris Theodore with an 18-yarder to the Campbell 10-yard line with a minute to play.
Dixon misfired on three consecutive passes and the Bucs settled for a 27-yard field goal from Cameron Mitchell.
The Buccaneers scored on their opening possession of the third quarter as Reyes capped a 64-yard drive with a four-yard run with 4:59 to play in the period, pushing CSU’s lead to 17-3.
Campbell refused to wilt, however. The Camels had two impressive drives in the third quarter but neither produced points. The first ended on fourth down at the CSU 36 and the second ended with an end zone interception on fourth down CSU’s Elijah Lee.
After Lee’s interception, the Buccaneers went 80 yards on five straight running plays with Dixon covering the final 29 yards for a touchdown, pushing the lead to 23-3 with 14:17 left in the game.
CSU’s defense limited Campbell to 260 total yards. Senior safety Demaris Freeman had 10 tackles, and senior end Will Hunt had eight tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. Last week, the Camels tallied 614 yards in a win over Virginia-Wise.
Charleston Southern will play at Norfolk State on Saturday, the second of three consecutive road games.
“We’re stepping up in terms of competition over the next two weeks and hopefully we can continue to compete hard and gain more confidence,” said Chadwell.