Army Drops Home Opener to UTSA in OT Thriller

WEST POINT – Army West Point football fell in overtime in its home opener, 41-38 against UTSA at Michie Stadium.

In the first quarter, a pair of pass breakups from S Marquel Broughton, the Roadrunners were set up with a fourth and short at the Black Knights 28-yard line, with Army stuffing the run up the middle with Broughton making the stop. UTSA would return the favor on Army’s opening possession, forcing a turnover on downs after Tyrell Robinson got the ball across midfield with an 11-yard run.

OLB Andre Carter would wreak havoc on UTSA’s next drive, with his sack helping Army force a three and out. Army’s big play prowess continued on the next drive, with QB Tyhier Tyler connecting over the middle with RB Ay’Jaun Marshall for a 77-yard touchdown. It was the second linkup between Tyler and Marshall, after the two had a 53-yard touchdown in the first half last week against Coastal Carolina.

QB Cade Ballard came in at quarterback on the Black Knights next drive, moving the chains with a 15-yard completion to Robinson after Buchanan converted a fourth and one from the Black Knights’ own territory to keep the drive alive. The Black Knights were unable to score on the drive, with the Roadrunners eventually tying the score at seven with a one-play, one-yard drive following a muffed punt by the Black Knights midway through the second quarter.

The Black Knights were able to drive down quickly on its ensuing drive, with Ballard hitting WR Isaiah Alston for a 48-yard gain and Josh Lingenfelter for 25 yards to set up a first and goal. RB Jakobi Buchanan punched in a 1-yard touchdown run on a pivotal fourth and goal to give Army back its seven-point lead at 14-7. UTSA would find the end zone to tie the score with a 29-yard touchdown pass from Frank Harris to WR Zakhari Franklin.

Getting the ball back with under 90 seconds remaining in the half, Ballard was able to drive down quickly to set up another first and goal, highlighted by a 42-yard completion to RB Braheam Murphy down to the one-yard line. Army went to its goal-to-go connoisseur in Buchanan, who promptly notched his second touchdown of the game and fifth multi-score game of his career as the Black Knights took a 21-14 lead into half.

Receiving the second half kickoff, Army put together its most time-consuming drive of the afternoon with a 12 play, 75-yard drive that took 8:11 off the clock, culminating in a 16-yard rushing touchdown by Tyhier Tyler. After a Roadrunners answer, Army took a 28-21 lead into the final quarter.

After an Army punt, UTSA put together an 11-play touchdown drive to tie the score at 28 with 9:49 remaining. The Roadrunners would continue their second-half scoring run, punching in a one-yard touchdown run to take its first lead of the game with just over seven minutes remaining. On Army’s ensuing drive, Alston drew a key pass interference call to set up the Black Knights in opposition territory with less than two minutes remaining. Needing a big play, Ballard was able to connect with Tyrell Robinson for a 42-yard touchdown pass up the seam to tie up the score, 35-35, with 1:03 remaining followed by K Quinn Maretzki’s fifth extra point of the contest.

With the Roadrunners getting the ball back with just over a minute remaining, they were able to set up a 41-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game. UTSA’s Jared Sackett’s attempt went wide right, sending the game into overtime, the Black Knights first overtime affair since its victory over Air Force last season.

Army opened overtime with possession and struck first by a Quinn Maretzki 28-yard field goal to give Army a three-point lead. Once UTSA gained possession, the Roadrunners were able to strike a seven-yard touchdown pass from Frank Harris to De’Corian Clark to secure the win at West Point, 41-38. UTSA QB Frank Harris finished the contest 32-45 passing, for 359 yards and three TDs.

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