Army Surges Past UTSA on Road With 37-29 Victory

SAN ANTONIO, TX – The Army West Point football team (2-1) defeated UTSA (1-2), 37-29 in a primetime game on ESPN on Friday night, its third win over UTSA in San Antonio in the last five years.

Army converted a perfect 6-for-6 on fourth down to help dominate time of possession as the Black Knights held the ball for over 44 minutes of gametime. RB Hayden Reed rushed for a career-high 107 yards while QB Bryson Daily also topped the century mark on the ground.

On the opening drive of the game, Army marched 75 yards on 16 plays taking 7:28 off the clock as RB Hayden Reed punched in a touchdown from one yard out. Reed also broke free on a 27-yard run on a third and short. Army picked up all 75 yards by virtue of the ground game.

On the second play of UTSA’s first drive, LB Jimmy Ciarlo punched the ball loose on a rush attempt by UTSA RB Kevorian Barnes, with DB Quindrelin Hammonds picking up the fumble recovery. Forcing its fifth turnover of the season, Army got the ball back on the Roadrunners 41-yard line.

On Army’s second offensive possession, Army went for it on 4th-and-7 and was able to convert on a defensive pass inference on a pass intended for WR Ay’Jaun Marshall to give the offense a fresh set of downs at the UTSA 23-yardline. Senior RB Jakobi Buchanan finished off the drive with a bruising 10-yard touchdown run up the middle.

Army led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter, dominating the opening period, running 26 plays to UTSA’s six, outgaining the Roadrunners 101 yards to 41 and having possession for 13:19.

Early in the second, UTSA answered on a 19-yard touchdown run by RB Robert Henry, to cut into the Black Knights lead, 14-7.

QB Bryson Daily’s first completion came on a 26-yard pitch and catch on a swing route to RB Markel Johnson. Three plays later, Daily found WR Noah Short down the field for a gain of 38, as Short made a ridiculous catch with tight coverage. UTSA’s defense held, and K Quinn Maretzki banged in a 23-yard field goal to make it a 17-7 game.

Army’s defense held firm again, forcing a punt after LB Kalib Fortner blew up a running play behind the line of scrimmage for a loss. Daily and the Black Knights then embarked on a 13-play drive culminating in a career-long 45-yard field goal from Maretzki which made it a 20-7 game in favor of Army. The big plays on the drive came via gains of 13 and 11 through the air to Isaiah Alston and Casey Reynolds, respectively.

UTSA responded with a blow just before the half, with QB Eddie Lee Marburger connecting with Tykee Ogle-Kellogg on a 46-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass as time expired. Army went into the half holding a 20-14 lead despite a 22:49 to 7:11 advantage in time of possession.

To start the second half, Army’s defense was able to get off the field stopping UTSA on 4th-and-6 from the 49-yardline to give the offense good field position. Following a 14-yard run by Reed, Army settled for a 36-yard field goal by Maretzki to give Army a 23-14 lead. With the make, Maretzki set a career high with three field goal makes in a game.

The Roadrunners responded on the following drive as Marburger hit WR Joshua Cephus for 44 yards for a touchdown, to make it a 23-21 game.

Army quickly responded on a two-play drive as Markel Johnson took a lateral screen from Daily, with the running back connecting on a pass with WR Isaiah Alston for a gain of 55 yards. Daily then hit Short for a 25-yard touchdown down the seam, Short’s first career touchdown to again give the Black Knights a nine-point lead, 30-21.

To begin the fourth quarter, Army marched 70 yards on 14 plays, which was capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by Daily to extend the lead, 37-21. UTSA responded quickly and efficiently, with Marburger hitting Devin McCuinn for a 72-yard deep touchdown pass on the second play of the drive. The duo connected once again on the two-point conversion attempt, making it a one-score game with 6:12 to play.

Army failed to move the chains on its ensuing drive, punting the ball away as UTSA took over at their own 35 with 4:34 to play, trailing 37-29. Needing a stop, the Army defense stepped up with Jackson Powell sacking Marburger on third down, marking consecutive games with a sack for the senior. With all three timeouts, UTSA punted back to the Black Knights with 3:12 to go.

Army continued to grind out yards on the ground, with Daily breaking loose for a gain of 13 on a third down and five which forced UTSA to use all of its remaining timeouts. Needing one more first down to clinch the game, Daily once again plunged forward on a third down and short to pick up a key first down to secure the win. It marked just UTSA’s second defeat in its last 19 games at the Alamodome, as the Black Knights outran the Roadrunners 254-121 on the ground en route to the victory.

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