BUIES CREEK — The 5,130 fans who filled the stands and wrapped around the end zone at Barker-Lane Stadium on Thursday night came to witness the first night game in Campbell football history.
Unfortunately for the Camels and their fans, turnovers deflated the effort as Shorter beat the Camels 31-20.
A fumble on the Camels second play was recovered by linebacker Demery Hawkins at the Campbell 43 to start Shorters first scoring drive.
Quarterback Eric Dodson found receiver Brandon Morten on the right side for a 38-yard pickup that set up a 1-yard rush by Dodson to put Shorter up 7-0.
Fumbles plagued the Camels throughout the first quarter on their first four drives. The third drive took them from their own 35 to the red zone, but a fumble on the 17 ended the threat.
A methodical 10-play, 73-yard drive led to a 28-yard field goal that put the Hawks up 10-0 with 2 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Camels defense stopped Dodson in the red zone on fourth down and the momentum began to turn in Campbells favor.
The Camels took over at the 11 and went down the field on two passes from quarterback Braden Smith of over 20 yards that led to a 31-yard field goal by kicker Sam Eberwein.
The Camels had another opportunity with 1:58 remaining in the first half and Smith led them to an 11-play, 70-yard drive that resulted in a 10-yard touchdown catch by Jonathan Rogers to tie the game at 10-10 at halftime.
Campbell took its first lead on the first drive of the second half after a 2-yard run by running back Kurt Odom after a nine-play drive to open the second half put them up 17-10.
On the ensuing drive, Shorter went for it on fourth down twice, and got both. The second was on the 2 as Bradley Moon knotted the score at 17.
Eberwein kicked a 41-yard field goal to put the Camels back on top, 20-17, with 12:11 remaining in the game. But a 61-yard pass down the right side from Dodson found Morton again and put the Hawks up for good, 24-20, with 7:32 remaining.
After Campbells fifth fumble, Moon broke off for a 61-yard run to push score to 31-20.