Rogers, who entered the night as the leading rusher in all of Class AAAAAA, toted the ball a season-high 28 times while pushing his rushing total for the season to 1,129 yards.
“Mike Rogers is a really good football player, and we are very happy to have him on our team,” Campbell coach Harris Rainbow said of the Central Florida commitment. “The game was ugly at times, so we just rode him a little bit, and managed to come out with a win.”
Rogers’ 4-yard touchdown came on the Spartans’ opening drive of the game, and it was followed by a 76-yard touchdown pass from Ricky James to Marlon Horne that gave Campbell a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
But as the Spartans seemed poised to run away with things, costly mistakes by Campbell (3-4, 1-4) kept Pebblebrook (2-5, 0-5) in the game.
The Falcons moved 82 yards on 12 plays to open the second quarter — with the help of three Spartan penalties — and cut the lead to 14-7 on the first of three Dezmon Huntley touchdown passes, a 6-yarder to Kendall Quarles.
Pebblebrook safety Perry Seldon then picked off a James pass on the Spartans’ next possession and returned it 88 yards for a score, sending the game into halftime knotted 14-14.
“Give (Pebblebrook coach Tommy Macon) and his staff credit, because they made it really hard on us and forced us into mistakes,” said Rainbow, who was already thinking ahead to next week’s home game against Marietta. “But we have to clean things up this week in practice before we play a great team next Friday or we’ll get blown out of the water.”
With Pebblebrook hanging around in the first half, Rogers put the team on his shoulders in the third quarter and seemingly put the game on his own.
He opened the second half with a 56-yard kick return to the Pebblebrook 36-yard line, then carried the ball three straight times before finding the end zone from 17 yards out.
A Falcon fumble gave the ball back to the Spartans deep in Pebblebrook territory moments later, and a 9-yard Rogers run set up a 1-yard Kahj Huitt touchdown that gave Campbell a 28-14 advantage with 7:30 to play in the third quarter.
Cameron St. Cyr’s 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter pushed the Spartans’ lead to 35-14 before Huntley threw touchdowns to Justin Simms and Anthony Mitchell in the waning minutes, bringing the game to a 35-26 final.
Simms led all receivers with 83 yards on two receptions. Dontra Hall led Pebblebrook’s ground game with 59 yards on 13 carries.