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Piaktowski, Bulldogs cruise to 31-14 win

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The Drake Bulldogs schooled the Campbell Fighting Camels 31-14 in their fourth-straight win of the season and their sixth-straight win at home. Drake improves to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Pioneer Football League.

Senior quarterback Mike Piatkowski had a career day, setting an NCAA Division I FCS record for completion percentage with a minimum of 30 pass completions. Piatkowski completed 30 of 33 passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns. His 90.9 completion percentage broke the previous national record of 88.9 percent. The 30 completions also tied a single-season school record.

The Bulldogs took the field with a great deal of intensity and during the first two possessions of the game, Drake scored on the slow-starting Fighting Camel defense.

“We played a pretty good football team and handled them pretty well,” head coach Chris Creighton said. “We have a lot of respect for this team. So (this is) another challenge we can put a check mark by and there will be plenty more, but we’re very pleased to be where we are right now.”

The first touchdown was a four-yard pass from Piatkowski to junior Joey Orlando after a drive of 10 plays for 67 yards. The second was a four-yard run by junior Trey Morse on Drake’s second possession, which was a drive of 13 plays for 80 yards.

Drake continued its tirade, and Orlando had a second touchdown on a 12-yard pass with 5:30 left in the first half.

Leading 21-0, the Bulldogs entered the second half strong, with Campbell scoring for the first time in the third quarter.

Drake retaliated with a 25-yard field goal by fifth-year senior Billy Janssen, ending the third quarter with a lead of 24-7. Early in the fourth quarter, Piatkowski found senior Nathan Paddock in the end zone for a two-yard touchdown pass.

“The O-line had a great game today, (and) the backs were doing great,” Piatkowski said. “Everyone had a great game: offense, defense and special teams.”

Paddock, who had 97 yards receiving, was impressed with the way Drake’s offense played against the Fighting Camels.

“I think the whole offense was just firing on all cylinders,” he said. “It was one of the most-full games that we had this whole season, so I’m pretty pleased at how well we did. Every throw that I had (from Piatkowski) was on the spot, so it’s hard to not look good whenever he’s throwing perfect balls.”

The Bulldogs are 17-3 at home since Creighton took the reins as head coach in 2008.

Creighton was impressed with Piatkowski today as well.

“Everybody’s got to be working on that (performance): the offensive line, the backs, the receivers, and he’ll be the first to tell you that,” Creighton said. “But 30 of 33 is better than pretty good; it’s really good.”

Drake’s Homecoming game brought in a total of 2,427 fans to fill Drake Stadium.

“I appreciate all the alumni being here, and it’s just a beautiful day being at Johnny Bright Field and Drake Stadium,” Creighton said. “I just appreciate everybody tuning in and listening to Drake Bulldogs’ football.”

The Bulldogs are gearing up for their away game next weekend against the Morehead State Eagles in Morehead, Ky.

As Piatkowski looks forward to the game, he’s confident in the Drake football team.

“We just got to keep getting better, keep executing and just work off of this (win,)” he said. “We had a great game and just try to get better every week.”

ON THE ROAD

SATURDAY, OCT. 8
@ Morehead State, 12 p.m.
Morehead, Ky.

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