WEST POINT – The Army Black Knights closed out the home portion of its 2021 slate with a 33-17 senior day victory over UMass at Michie Stadium.
A 14-point effort in the fourth quarter helped the Black Knights (7-3) put away the game against the Minutemen (1-10), who trailed Army by as little as two with less than 14 minutes to go. Outside linebacker Andre Carter II also highlighted the contest by breaking the program’s 12-year-old season sack record when he reached 13.5 on the year, besting defensive end Josh McNary’s previous mark of 12.5 (2009).
Both running back JaKobi Buchanan and quarterback Tyhier Tyler helped boost the Cadets to the win with Buchanan recording 49 of his 75 yards on a scoring drive that finished with a dive over UMass’ defensive line to put the home team on top at 26-17. An interception by safety Cedrick Cunningham Jr. then facilitated a drive that saw Tyler put the game out of reach with a 25-yard touchdown run that pushed the team to its final margin of victory.
The Minutemen were the first to strike in the fourth-ever meeting between the two teams, using a recovered fumble to get into scoring position. Though Army’s defense prevented them from reaching the end zone, the visitors came away with a 45-yard field goal that put them up 3-0, marking the Cadets’ first time allowing an opposing team to score in the opening quarter since a game against Wake Forest (Oct. 23).
Army was quick to respond to the early push, as running back Tyrell Robinson made a career-long, 87-yard touchdown run on the second snap of the following drive. Running back Cade Barnard then found tight end Josh Lingenfelter with a floater to complete the two-point conversion, giving Army its first lead of the day at 8-3.
The teams traded touchdowns at the start of the second quarter, which began with a three-yard dive from running back Wilson Catoe. Once again, the Black Knights secured the two-point conversion when quarterback Christian Anderson connected a pass with tight end Chris Cameron. UMass’ strike was recorded with a five-yard toss after a 38-yard pass put them in the red zone, cutting the Black Knights down to a one-possession lead at 16-10.
A stalled-out Cadet drive allowed the Minutemen to get the ball back quickly, but their chance was killed when Carter came up with his record-breaking sack and a forced fumble, which was recovered by Nolan Cockrill. The play allowed the team to finish the half with a 33-yard field goal from kicker Cole Talley that extended the home team’s advantage to 19-10 before the clock wound down.
The game slowed down dramatically after the trip to the locker room, as just 102 yards of total offense were recorded in the scoreless third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Army scored 14 unanswered points in the last stanza to earn the victory.
With the result, the Black Knights secured their sixth-straight season with a winning record at Michie Stadium. Over that stretch, Army has earned a 32-5 advantage over visiting teams, highlighted by three undefeated campaigns.
Additionally, the victory puts head coach Jeff Monken (56-42) just two wins away from tying Charles Daly (58-13-3; 1913-16, 1919-22) as the second-winningest coach in Army Football history. Earl “Red” Blaik (1941-58) owns the record with a career mark of 121-33-10.
Army will hit the road for a game against FBS Independent foe Liberty on Saturday, Nov. 27 in in Lynchburg, Va. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.