Tigerville, SC – Freshman running back Idris Anderson rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns and earned most valuable player honors as he led North Greenville to a 42-16 win over Campbellsville of Kentucky in the national Christian Collegiate Athletic Conference Victory Bowl game before 4,130 at Younts Stadium.
The Crusaders, who finished the year at 9-3 and a school record eight consecutive victories, piled up 453 yards of total offense, but big plays were the key to putting away a tough Tiger team. Teryan Rucker also added a rushing touchdown as did Willy Korn. NGU won its second Victory Bowl title in its third try and completed the second best record in school history. Campbellsville finished the year at 7-5 in its first NCCAA bowl appearance. Coach Jamey Chadwell’s team also completed a marvelous turnaround season, going from 2-8 a year ago to 9-3 this season. After the Crusaders stopped the Tigers on their first series, North Greenville opened up with a surprise, as sophomore Isaiah Johnson took a pitch on the opening play of the game and pulled up and hit a wide open Freddie Martino for a 46 yard touchdown. Steven Arneson’s extra point made it 7-0 just two minutes in. Tyran Melvin stopped CU’s next drive singlehandedly as he tipped Tiger quarterback Robert Hill’s pass and intercepted it. Anderson scored his first touchdown from one yard out with 7:21 left in the second quarter. That culminated a 10 play, 80 yard drive. NGU’s defense turned away a Tiger drive late in the second quarter by stopped a fourth and goal play at the two yard line and then preventing Campbellsville from scoring at the end of the quarter. The Crusaders asserted themselves both offensively and defensively in the third quarter. NGU, behind Marcus Wilson, Teryan Rucker and Idris Anderson. Rucker scored his touchdown from 15 yards out and the Crusaders moved out to a 21-0 lead. Campbellsville responded with a field goal by David Hon, and on NGU’s next series, Willy Korn fumbled and CU recovered. NGU held again, and Hon’s next field goal attempt was blocked by Mark Smith. NGU then got big rushes from Willy Korn and a 54-yarder by Idris Anderson before Korn scored from 12 yards out with 3:09 left in the third. Arneson’s kick made it 28-3. NGU’s Raheem Hughes picked off a Robert Hill pass on Campbellsville next series, and Anderson sprinted free and scored from 45 yards out as the Crusaders put the game out of reach on the last play of the third. Arneson’s kick made it 35-3. Campbellsville scored on the next series when Hill hit Dexter McAtee with a seven yard TD pass. Hill’s two point try failed. On the kickoff, Campbellsville’s onside try was picked up by NGU’s Jamarius Robinson who sprinted straight ahead into the end zone for yet another North Greenville touchdown. That made the score 42-9 with 7:52 left. CU added another late touchdown when Will Warf hit Harold Small with a touchdown pass and the extra point made it the final margin. “It took us a little while to get into a rhythm in the game, but Isaiah Johnson’s touchdown pass got the crowd into it and there was a lot of emotion early,” Chadwell said. “Every game, I go in thinking we’re going to find a way to run the ball and make people stop us. Sooner or later, we’re going to hit one, like that 80 yarder that got called back, but they gave us some early chances but we couldn’t complete some deep balls early. In the second half, our running game was going and we just stayed on the ground.” “Campbellsville was daring to throw it early, but we just didn’t connect on them,” he added. “We just went back to work and did what we needed to do. Idris started running the ball well and we were able to move it. Campbellsville had a good team and we bent, and bent, but never broke. The key play was when we went up 21-3 and turn it over and Mark Smith blocked that field goal attempt. From there, we scored about five plays later and that took the wind out of their sails. The defense played great all year long. They were out there a long time in the first half, and we got up but not as much as we wanted to be. The layoff might have hurt us a little, but we really started running well in the third quarter.” “Beating Presbyterian really made our season,” Chadwell summarized the season. “Losing to Lenoir Rhyne close was a good milestone, but the PC win gave us credibility. Our leadership the week before the PC game really made a huge difference. One of our goals was to be undefeated the rest of the year. We decided we wanted to keep it going and that was big.”