Wade Holtsclaw scores one of his three rushing touchdowns in a 58-25 victory over Kentucky Christian on Saturday night to lead the Tigers to their first 4-0 start since 2011. Photo by Brett Pierce.
The Campbellsville football team won its fourth-straight game to start the season after beating Kentucky Christian University, 58-25, on Saturday night at Finley Stadium.

The Tigers (4-0, 2-0 Mid-South Conference Bluegrass) are 4-0 for the first time since 2001. Campbellsville outscored the Knights (0-6, 0-1 MSC Bluegrass) 38-19 in the second half and 21-6 in the fourth quarter.

Wade Holtsclaw recorded three rushing touchdowns in the game and finished with a team-best 70 yards on the ground. Jordan Duff had the longest play of the game with a 46-yard rushing touchdown. Duff ended the night with a rushing and receiving touchdown to go along with 164 all-purpose yards.

Hunter Brown threw for 436 yards and pair of touchdowns, while completing 28-of-46 passes. Bradley Bates set a new career-best with 16 points in the game and was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, while hitting all seven of his PATs. His 16 points also sets a new program record. Bates’ 15-point game against Faulkner University last season tied the previous program record of 15 points, which tied Casey Clark’s 15-point game against Kentucky Christian in 2012, where the Tigers won 15-14.
Justin Manning continued to lead the Campbellsville defense with 18 tackles against Kentucky Christian where 12 tackles were unassisted. Jaceree Caldwell finished with two of Campbellsville’s three sacks in the game and BJ Pelt intercepted two passes to push his season total to four.

After winning the opening drive and electing to receive, the Tigers marched 90 yards down the field in 10 plays. Holtsclaw capped off the drive with a rush from one yard out to put Campbellsville ahead 7-0 after the first drive took just 2:27 off the clock.

The Tiger offense continued its strong start in the first quarter as Holtsclaw rushed in for his second touchdown in as many drives. Holtsclaw scored from two yards out to finish Campbellsville’s six-play, 80-yard drive.

Kentucky Christian struggled to get on the board as its first three drives ended without getting a score. The Knights first possession ended with a missed 35-yard field goal and the Tiger defense forced back-to-back to turnover-on-downs.

Campbellsville took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter and facing fourth down from the Knight eight-yard line, Bates converted a 25-yard field goal on the first play of the quarter.

Despite allowing 17 points in first 15:05 of the game, the Knight defense recorded a pair of interceptions and held the Tigers without a point until the 4:24 mark of the second quarter. After Jordan Duff returned a punt 22 yards to the Kentucky Christian 23-yard line, Campbellsville took a 20-0 lead with a 37-yard field goal from Bates.

On the ensuing drive for the Knights, after Jug Smith came into the game at quarterback for Jakwon Roberts, Kentucky Christian went 81 yards down the field in 10 plays to score its first points of the game. The Tigers held a 20-6 advantage heading into the half.

Campbellsville outgained the Knights 187-98 in the first quarter, but at the half Kentucky Christian had 230 total yards, compared to 245 from the Tigers.

To start the second half, Campbellsville came out strong with the defense forcing a three-and-out, followed by the offense going 55 yards in four plays to score a touchdown. Brown capped off the drive with a 16-yard pass to Keanu Young to give the Tigers a 27-6 lead.

The Knights answered back as Darius Strickland caught his second touchdown pass of the night from Smith to cut its deficit to 14 points with 9:07 to play in the third quarter. Kentucky Christian corralled the ensuing kickoff after Bryan Vanderlyn popped up the kick. Four plays later, Strickland made his third touchdown reception of the night make it a 27-19 game.

Campbellsville’s offense scored 10-unsawered points with Bates’ third field goal of the night followed by an 18-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Duff. With the the Tigers leading 37-19, the Knights returned the kick off 45 yards into Campbellsville territory. However, Pelt collected his third interception of the season – first turnover of the night for the Tigers – at the Campbellsville eight-yard line.

The Tigers could not manufacture any points of their first turnover of the game and the Knights countered with a 71-yard drive that lasted 13 plays. The drive ended in a Kentucky Christian touchdown as the Campbellsville lead whittled down to 12 points after the Knights missed their second two-point conversation of the night.

Just 54 seconds later, Duff broke out for a 46-yard rushing touchdown to answer the Kentucky Christian score. The flurry of scores continued with Holtsclaw recording his third rushing touchdown of the game with 10:01 to play in regulation. A total of three touchdowns were scored in span of 2:12 as Campbellsville went ahead, 51-25.

The Tigers broke the 50-point mark for the second time in four games this season. Campbellsville first surpassed 50 points against Point University (51-33) in week two.

Austin Jenkins kept the Tiger offense rolling in the fourth quarter as he dished a short shovel pass to Chantz Goodman who ran in the ball from 45 yards out to stretch the Campbellsville lead to 58-25. The touchdown was Jenkins’ first collegiate play.

Campbellsville capped off the game and won by the final score of 58-25. The Tigers scored a touchdown on each of their first three possessions in the fourth quarter.

Kentucky Christian ran a total of 112 plays – 56 in each half – while Campbellsville ran 83 total plays. The 33-point victory for the the Tigers is largest in series history against the Knights. The previous largest margin of victory was 31 points in the first meeting between the two programs. That first meeting came on Aug. 28, 2010, which was Campbellsville’s first ever night game at Finley Stadium. Over the last four meeting between the two team margin Campbellsville outscored the nights by just 3.75 points per game.

The Tigers move to 4-0 on the season for the first time since 2001 with the victory on Saturday night.

Campbellsville continues its Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division slate next weekend against Cincinnati Christian University. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET in Cincinnati, Ohio.

by David Gerhart

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