Rushing Attack Lifts Black Knights to a Home Win

WEST POINT – Seven different cadets found pay dirt as the Army West Point football team picked up a, 63-7, bounce-back win over UMass on Saturday at Michie Stadium.

With over 35,000 spectators on hand, the Black Knights (4-6) outgained the Minutemen (1-9), 546-125. The Army rushing attack, which logged 498 yards, was paced by Sandon McCoy. The junior had a career day after he rushed for three touchdowns on 14 carries.

Jabari Laws was the team’s top rusher in terms of yardage gained after he totted the ball eight times for 140 yards and a score, which included a career-high 83-yard touchdown rush.

Cade Barnard, Artice Hobbs IV, Kelvin Hopkins Jr., Jemel Jones and Connor Slomka all joined in on the action after they each found their way into the endzone opposite the Minutemen.

It was a total team effort on the defensive end for the Black Knights and Arik Smith totaled a team-best five tackles. Army logged three sacks, eight tackles for loss and a pair of picks.

Jacob Covington and Malkelm Morrison applied a lot of the pressure, combining for four tackles for loss. Elijah Riley and Ryan Velez were responsible for the pair of interceptions on the day.

After the Army defense forced a three-and-out on the Minutemen’s first possession of the game, the Black Knights strung together a 52-yard scoring drive. The drive was capped off by a four-yard plunge by McCoy to give the Black Knights the 7-0 lead with 11:14 on the clock.

UMass answered on its ensuing possession with a trick play that went for 56 yards and a touchdown with 9:55 remaining in the first quarter to even the score.

The score did not remain even for long as the Cadets used 11 plays to take the ball 75 yards down the field and into the end zone. McCoy was once again responsible for the score, but this time, from four yards out to give the Black Knights the 14-7 lead.

McCoy scored his third touchdown of the afternoon with 11:48 left in the first half to cap off a 12-play 73-yard drive that put the Black Knights ahead, 21-7.

UMass was pinned deep in its own territory on its next drive before Velez picked off Andrew Brito. The Black Knights took over at the Minutemen 12-yard line and following two Slomka rushes, gained the 28-7 edge with 9:34 remaining in the opening half.

With just over two minutes left, UMass took a shot on a fake punt pass on fourth down deep in its own territory. However, the pass sailed just over the hands of the receiver and gave Army the ball in great field position. It took just three plays before Hobbs powered his way into the end zone to give the Black Knights a 35-7 lead.

On Army’s first play of the second drive of the new half, Laws exploded up the middle of the field for an 83-yard touchdown run. The long rushing score put the Black Knights ahead, 42-7.

Hopkins Jr. was next in line to find the end zone and with 2:33 remaining in third quarter, he scored from nine yards out to make it a 49-7 game.

Army gained the 56-7 lead on a two-yard touchdown run from Barnard with 9:55 remaining in the contest.

In his collegiate debut, Jones Jr. scored from four yards out with less than a minute remaining to seal the 63-7 victory.

The Black Knights return to action Saturday when they host VMI in their final home game of the 2019 season.

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