Sunday, August 23, 2009

Battle of the Knights

West Pointe, NY (AP) - This week the Army Black Knights played host to the Scarlett Knights of Rutgers. Like a jousting match of yonderyear, this game went back and forth until the Black Knights defeated the Scarlett Knights 17-14. Early in the game both offenses looked lackluster, with both teams missing field goals in the opening stanza. Rutgers would have a fumble return for a touchdown called back due to a challenged instant replay. With less than three minutes to go in the first half, Rutgers broke the scoring drought with a touchdown from the goal line. Not to be discouraged, Army went down the field and scored on a 30 yard field goal to end the half.

The second half was little better offensively for either team. Army took the lead 10-7 midway through the third quarter. Looking to put Rutgers away, Army coach Shaun Mason began to run the clock with each possession, a move that would later almost come back to haunt him. After holding Rutgers to seven points in the first three quarters, Army would give up a long drive to Rutgers, capped off with a 3 yard touchdown pass from Natale to Crogran. With two minutes left in the game, Army got the ball back. Army has been a very poor passing team this year, with quarterback Chip Bowden completing less than 40% of his passes. Despite that, Bowden mustered the troops and marched the team down the field. Senior Iwande Smith, who has not seen much time at halfback this year, was promoted this week the third string receiver after converted tight end Ali Villanaevu caught a bout of the dropitis. Despite being a newly moved receiver, Smith pulled in a twenty yard fade route from Bowden with seven seconds left to win the game for the Black Knights.

Coach Mason was seen jumping up and down as the pass was in the air. After the catch several cadets rushed him and dumped Gatorade on him, leaving him a wet, wild bundle of energy. He did not hold a post game press conference, instead telling reporters as the team ran off the field that he was taking the whole team out for ice cream for pulling off the upset against a 5-1 Rutgers squad who though they could win with their scout team.

Next week the Black Knights have a much needed bye week, followed by a trip to Colorado to face rival Air Force.

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