BUFFALO – Buffalo got out to a quick lead, but the Army West Point Football team scored a decisive 42-13 victory on Saturday afternoon to hand the Bulls their first loss of the season.
Army scored 21 unanswered points in the first half, including a blocked field goal return for a touchdown by Elijah Riley with Wunmi Oyetuga coming up with the deflection on the kick. Army’s defense allowed only six points after the opening drive to shut down a Buffalo offense that hadn’t scored less than 35 points in a game this season.
Kelvin Hopkins Jr. led the Army offense with 89 rushing yards and 91 through the air to go with a passing touchdown. Jordan Asberry hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass, while Darnell Woolfolk, Connor Slomka, Calen Holt and Luke Langdon all found the end zone in the win. The Black Knights outscored Buffalo, 42-6, after the Bulls took a 7-0 lead.
The home side took an early 7-0 edge after breaking free for a 53-yard touchdown score. Tyree Jackson connected with K.J. Osborn for the big yardage play that capped a four-play, 81-yard drive that ate up just 1:11 off the clock.
After making a big defensive stop on fourth down during the next Bulls’ drive, the Black Knights marched 74 yards in 5:44 to knot the score at 7-7. The Cadets converted on three third down situations during the 11-play drive. Holt finished things off with a five-yard scamper for his third career score.
Army then forced a 3-and-out just as the closing seconds ticked off the first quarter clock. As the second period got underway, the Black Knights proceeded to put together a 12-play, 77-yard drive to pull in front 14-7. Hopkins Jr. had five of those 12 plays and picked up 22 yards. Slomka finally found paydirt from three yards out for his fourth-straight game with a score.
During the ensuing drive, the Bulls drove the ball down to the Army 11 before being forced to kick a field goal. Buffalo sent Adam Mitcheson out for the 28-yard attempt but it was blocked by Oyetuga. Riley then picked up the loose ball and returned it 80 yards for the score, handing the Black Knights a 21-7 advantage.
After forcing the Cadets to a quick 3-and-out to start the second half, Buffalo pulled within eight, 21-13, following a 12-play, 87-yard drive. The Bulls converted on a 4th-and-goal after the Black Knights were called for pass interference. Two plays later, Buffalo was in the end zone. A missed point after attempt though hindered the home side from gaining all seven points.
Army quickly answered to make it a two-score game again when Hopkins Jr. found Asberry wide open for the 25-yard touchdown pass. That score capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive that gave the Black Knights a 28-13 lead.
The Cadets then milked another 7:44 off the clock, spanning the end of the third quarter to midway into the fourth period. Woolfolk completed the 13-play scoring drive by stretching his arms over the goal line for the touchdown.
The final points of the game came from Langdon as he scampered from 25 yards out, diving in to the end zone to close the scoring at 42-13.
The Black Knights have an off weekend before they close out a three-game road swing on Oct. 13 against San Jose State.