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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. initially ran right before cutting back the other way and eluding a tackler. He sent two other defenders sliding to the ground when he switched directions again and took off toward the end zone.
That nifty 77-yard run was one of his Armed Forces Bowl-record five rushing touchdowns as the No. 22 Black Knights overwhelmed Houston 70-14 on Saturday to reach 11 wins for the first time in program history.
"Just trying to get back to the line of scrimmage," Hopkins said. "There was this huge convoy of guys right there when I was running in. ... I just felt like people were on me. I thought it was Houston, and I realized it was gray jerseys. It was a really good team win."
The Black Knights' (11-2) 56-point win tied the FBS record for largest margin of victory in a bowl game, set by Tulsa in its 63-7 win over Bowling Green in the 2008 GMAC Bowl.
Army scored 70 points in a game for the first time since 1955, when it scored 81 against Furman, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The win was its ninth straight since an overtime loss at playoff team Oklahoma exactly three months earlier.
"Great, great finish to a terrific season," coach Jeff Monken said.
Houston (8-5) lost for the fourth time in five games since starting 7-1 and getting into the AP Top 25 poll for one week in late October. The injury-plagued Cougars suffered their most-lopsided loss in their 27 bowl games, and their biggest loss overall since a 66-10 loss at UCLA during the 1997 regular season.
"That's the hardest part to swallow, you're 7-1," second-year coach Major Applewhite said. "I'm proud of the way our kids fought. I'm not proud of losing the games at the end of the season the way we lost them."
Army Coach Jeff Monken hopped on top of a wall and pumped his fist toward stoked cadets who were set to belt out the alma mater. He brought the party to the locker room and waved an Army football flag as the Black Knights bounced around him.
Army ditched its mundane routines and cut loose like a bunch of rowdy civilians on Saturday. And why not? The setting was right after Army had beaten Navy for a third straight time, this time in front of a packed house and the president at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
“I don’t ever want our guys to stop celebrating,” Monken said. “I promise you, I’ll be celebrating every year if we win this thing because I know how hard it is.”
Monken returned a program that routinely suffered annual losses to the Midshipmen into a bowl-bound team that can keep the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy at West Point.
The No. 22 Black Knights recovered two fumbles in the fourth quarter and Kelvin Hopkins Jr. had two rushing touchdowns as Army beat Navy, 17-10.
President Trump attended the 119th game between the rivals and flipped the coin before spending a half on each side. No matter his view, Army (10-2) always had the edge.
Army retained the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy — awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies — after winning it for the first time in 22 years last season and snuffed a late rally by Navy (3-10).
Army retained the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy — awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies — after winning it for With Navy behind by 10-7, quarterback Zach Abey lost a fumble on fourth-and-12 deep in his team’s territory. Hopkins scored on a 1-yard run, making it 17-7 and giving Army the cushion it needed to win in front of an announced crowd of 66,729.
Woolfolk scores twice, Army beats Lafayette, 31-13
Hopkins Jr. each scored on short runs, and Army beat Lafayette 31-13 on a windswept Saturday.
It was the sixth straight victory for Army (8-2), which has won 12 in a row at home. Lafayette (3-7), which plays in the Championship Subdivision, fell behind early and was doomed by a blocked punt to start the second half.
"I challenged our team this week to try and play our very best football, to play the best that we can play," Monken said. "At this point in the season we really need to be doing that if we're going to accomplish the goals that we've still got out there. I don't think we did that today, but it was good enough to win. We made some plays."
Army dominated the opening half, running twice as many plays as the Leopards, outgaining them 256-63, and holding the ball for nearly 22 minutes to gain a 17-6 lead. The margin could have been greater if not for a turnover and two false start penalties in a three-play sequence with the ball inside the Lafayette 10 that forced Army to kick a field goal on the game's first drive.
The following analysis is provided by Jim Morrision ('59) who was a wide receiver on the undefeated Army Football Team led by Pete Dawkins. Charlie Shaw ('62) was kind enough to forward this to us.
AF 14, ARMY 17: MONDAY AM QB REPORT
Please pardon the tardiness. I attended the AF game for our ’58 Undefeated Team’s 60th Reunion and traveled all day Sunday, arriving home late Sunday night. Hence the Tuesday AM QB Report.
Independent Army (7-2, Sagarin # 45) defeated Mtn. West Air Force (3-6, Sagarin #76) 17-14 in a hard-fought game on a cool, sunny, and windy day at Michie in front of an announced sell-out crowd (although there were some empty seats , possible due to the rain before KO).
With the win, Army retained the CIC Trophy in back-to-back seasons (for the first time ever), regardless of what happens vs. Navy. FYI, the current holder retains the trophy in case of 3-way ties. Since AF defeated Navy 35-7 earlier, Army will keep it for another year. HOOAH!
It was Army’s 5th straight win and 11th straight win at Michie. Seven of those 11 wins have been by 7 points or less, many decided in the last minute (and even the last play!). Army feature writer John Feinstein named the current team the Michie Miracles. For us elderly (80+ years), a better term may be the Cardiac Cadets. Probably costing us Old Farts a few precious years.
Army dominated the First Half, limiting the AF O to just 3 possessions and gaining 164 yards TO vs. AF’s 105 yards, but AF changed QBs (after an Army INT on the Goal line just before the Half) to start the 2nd Half, sparking their O. Army’s O stalled in the 2nd Half with just one long Drive which was held to a FG.
The AF O out-gained Army 201 yards to 92 yards in the 2nd Half. The AF O also out-scored Army 14-3 in the 2nd Half. That’s the 3rd straight game Army has been out-scored in the 2nd Half by a combined score of 50-31. Army is holding on for the wins thanks to the Army D and FGs by K Abercrombie.
Army is 13-0 over the last three years under HC when not having a turnover.
Army routs Eastern Michigan, clinches bowl eligibility for third straight season
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- After battling through a 2-10 season as a freshman, Jordan Asberry knows the depth of where the Army football program was when coach Jeff Monken took over in 2014.
Now bowl eligible after Saturday's rainy 37-22 win at Eastern Michigan, the senior running back should close his career in the postseason for a third straight year -- a first for the Black Knights.
"Coach Monken and the staff have turned this program around," said Asberry, who caught a touchdown and ran for another. "We worked real hard, but we didn't really see the fruit of our labor [in 2015].
"That sets the stage for finishing this year strong, but also the next season for the guys that are going to be playing next year."
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