Falcons Best Black Knights in CiC Trophy Showdown
Nov. 1, 2008
It was the sixth straight win at Michie Stadium for the Falcons (7-2) and gave Navy a clear shot at capturing the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy outright. The Middies hold the advantage in the competition for service-academy supremacy because of their 33-27 win at Air Force a month ago. A win over Army (3-6) on Dec. 6 will clinch it.
Two teams that run virtually all the time managed to make critical plays through the AIR as both defenses came through, but the Falcons used Harrison's right foot to keep Army at bay. He kicked field goals of 21, 29 and 48 yards, and averaged 41 yards on eight punts as Army threw for a 47-yard touchdown on the third play of the game.
Air Force, ranked fourth nationally in rushing at 291 yards per game, finished with 142 yards, one fewer than the Black Knights. Todd Newell led the Falcons with 42 yards on eight carries. Army, eighth in rushing at 246.7 per game, was led by Collin Mooney's 92 yards on 22 carries.
The Falcons led 10-7 halftime lead despite being outgained 148-104 and netting just 72 yards rushing.
Air Force failed to convert its first eight third-down tries before Newell gained 7 yards up the gut of the Army defense on third-and-3 from the Army 37 late in the third quarter. Two plays later, Newell rumbled another 17 yards up the middle to set up Harrison's 29-yard field goal with 18.9 seconds left.
After the Black Knights FORCEd a three-and-out early in the fourth, Harrison boomed a 54-yard punt to pin Army at its 21 and the Black Knights punted after three plays.
Andrew Rinehart's short punt gave the Falcons a first down near midfield, but a chance to add to their lead was dashed by a penalty. Wideout Josh Cousins was called for offensive pass interference after a reception just inside the Army 30, and the Falcons had to punt.
But Harrison drew a roughing-the-kicker penalty against Donovan Travis, who rolled under Harrison's feet, and Air Force kept possession for another set of downs as the clock ticked down.
Harrison, who is 19-for-21 on the season on field goals, added a season-long 48-yard field goal with 1:42 left after Army gambled and failed on fourth down.
Army, ranked last in the nation in passing at 45.4 yards per game, surprised the Falcons on the game's third play from scrimmage. Taking a snap from near midfield, Chip Bowden hit Damion Hunter in the right flat, and he sidestepped three defenders for a 47-yard touchdown.
Air Force entered the game with 14 fumble recoveries, tied for tops in the nation, and the Black Knights led the country with 17 lost fumbles, so something figured to give.
Mooney fumbled at his 27, his team-high fifth lost fumble of the season, on a hit by Brandon Reeves, and Reggie Rembert recovered for the Falcons. The Army defense stiffened after Newell's 4-yard run gave Air Force a first down at the 2, stopping the Falcons three straight times for a net loss of 1 yard and forcing Harrison's 21-yard field goal with 6:51 left in the first quarter.
The Falcons failed to take advantage of an interception at the Army 41 early in the second by Andre Morris off a tipped pass by defensive end Jake Paulson. Tailback Asher Clark was called for a 15-yard facemask penalty on first down and the Falcons went three-and-out.
Rembert's 35-yard punt return, a personal foul against Army's Richard King, and Jefferson's 21-yard pass to Ty Paffett set up Jefferson's 1-yard scoring run off right tackle with 1:30 left in the first half.