Kelton Hill single-handedly tried to give Georgia State the complete game it hasn’t had all season, including one of the most exciting plays in the team’s short history.
Hill passed for four touchdowns and rushed for another to lead Georgia State to a 42-35 win over Campbell in the Panthers’ regular-season finale on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
Other than a few hiccups by his special teams, it was close to the type of performance that coach Bill Curry said earlier this week that he’s been waiting all season to see.
The offense dominated with a school-record 514 yards. Hill not only tied a single-game record for scoring passes, but also passed for 213 yards and rushed for 141 more. Combined with Donald Russell’s 146 yards, the team posted its first game with two 100-yard rushers and set a school record with 301 rushing yards.
The defense did just enough, limiting the Camels to 338 yards and creating two turnovers.
Leading 14-7, Hill hit Jordan Giles on the first play of the second half for a 55-yard touchdown, his third scoring pass of the game and the second to Giles, who ran a deep patter across the middle of the field and outraced the defender to the corner of the end zone.
Campbell cut Georgia State’s lead to 21-14 when C.J. Oates strolled in from 2 yards out on an option play. The drive started when Hill was sacked and fumbled the ball. The Camels took over on the 28-yard line.
Hill made up for the mistake by scoring a touchdown on the play of the year on the next series. Hill read the option to Russell, kept it and took off left. After a few yards he spun back to the right to slip out of a tackle and then sprinted all the way back across the field for the 39-yard touchdown. It gave the Panthers a 28-14 lead.
Hill added another touchdown pass, this time a 3-yarder to Arthur Williams, to increase Georgia State’s lead to 35-14 with 12:42 remaining. It was Hill’s fourth touchdown pass of the game, tying a school record.
The Panthers had no trouble running through Campbell, totaling 106 yards in the first half that included a 25-yard loss on a snap that went over Hill’s head, one of several that weren’t on target.
The Panthers answered quickly after Campbell opened the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown run by C.J. Oates.
Following a pass that was nearly intercepted on first down and then a fumbled exchange on a handoff on second down, Hill hit Danny Williams running uncovered down the sideline for a 56-yard touchdown pass.
The Panthers tacked on another touchdown when Hill hit Giles in the second quarter with a 3-yard pass. Hill bought time for Giles to run all the way along the back of the end zone until he was open. The drive started when linebacker Dexter Moody sacked and stripped the ball from quarterback Braden Smith. Linebacker Jake Muasau recovered it and returned it to the 43.