Army football

Aaron Boumerhi misses 27-yard FG as Temple falls to Army in OT

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Aaron Boumerhi misses 27-yard FG as Temple falls to Army in OT


WEST POINT, N.Y. – Blake Wilson kicked a 29-yard field goal in the first overtime and Army held off mistake-prone Temple 31-28 on Saturday in a dramatic finish.

Temple had a chance to force another extra period, but Aaron Boumerhi missed left on a 27-yard field goal attempt, his second miss of the game, sending the Black Knights (6-2) into a gleeful frenzy as they remained unbeaten in five games at Michie Stadium and became bowl-eligible.

Army, which disdains the pass nearly all of the time and ranks last nationally, tied the game through the air with a 14-play, 79-yard drive in the final 91 seconds of regulation. Backup quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr., Army's top passer, completed five passes for 67 yards, hitting Jermaine Adams in the left corner of the end zone with a perfectly thrown 16-yard strike with one second left.

It was the last nonconference game of the year for Temple (3-5), which has lost four of five.

Ryquell Armstead rushed for 151 yards on 18 carries and scored twice in the fourth quarter for Temple. His 21 yard-run around the left side with 1:38 left seemed to doom the Black Knights.

Temple quarterback Logan Marchi, who had two straight 300-yard games, did not start. Owls officials said he was hurt in last week's game against UConn but was available to play. Redshirt junior Frank Nutile, the only other player on the roster with game experience, got the nod. His resume included six games and six completions, but he rose the occasion. Nutile finished 20 of 29 for 290 yards passing and one touchdown with zero turnovers.

The Temple defense held Army to 135 yards on 27 carries in the first half as the nation's second-leading rushing team found few openings and the Black Knights managed just 29 yards on 10 carries in two three-and-outs in the third. Army entered the game averaging 378.4 yards a game and finished with 248.

Darnell Woolfolk led the Black Knights with a career-high 132 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw, the key to the ground game, gained just 49 yards on 13 carries.

The Owls broke a 14-all tie early in the fourth after a critical third-and-11 play. Tailback David Hood snared a screen pass with one hand in the right flat and raced 36 yards to set up Armstead's 43-yard run.

The Black Knights answered by finally breaking through on the ground. Woolfolk burst up the middle for a 44-yard touchdown with 5:03 left in the fourth.

The Owls have been plagued by mistakes, and another one cost them in the second quarter. Army linebacker Cole Christiansen blocked Alex Starzyk's punt and recovered it at the Temple 28. Bradshaw then hit Jeff Ejekam for 24 yards and Woolfolk scored on the next play from the 4 to give Army a 14-0 lead early in the second.

Nutile found some comfort in the pocket and completed a 17-yard pass to Keith Kirkwood on a third-and-8 play and Isaiah Wright scored on a 50-yard run out of a wildcat formation on the next play.

After forcing an Army punt, Nutile gained 13 and five yards on consecutive keepers and then hit Adonis Jennings for 37 yards over the middle for a touchdown to tie it at 14-all with 3:38 left in the half.

Army gained a 7-0 lead in the final minute of the opening quarter on Woolfolk's punishing 11-yard run. The big fullback broke three tackles on his way into the end zone.

The takeaway
Temple: The Owls might have a quarterback quandary. Although Marchi had two strong games throwing the ball, he's also thrown eight interceptions. Nutile entered the game 6 of 14 for 80 yards passing with one pick.

Army: The Black Knights have won two games without completing a pass, but Bradshaw went 2 for 2 for 42 yards in the first half and looked steady in a role that's rare in this triple option and Hopkins proved Army's passing game can be a factor going forward.

Kicking out of trouble
Army punter Nick Schrage had kicks of 65 and 52 yards after two three-and-outs in the third quarter to keep Temple at bay. The game remained tied when Boumerhi's 32-yard field goal attempt for the Owls hit the right upright.

Up next
Temple: The Owls have a bye before facing Navy in a night game on Thursday, Nov. 2.

Army: The Black Knights have a bye before traveling to play service academy rival Air Force on Nov. 4.

West Point mourns football player Brandon Jackson who was killed in car crash

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West Point mourns football player Brandon Jackson who was killed in car crash

WEST POINT, N.Y. -- A West Point football player from New York City died in a car accident hours after helping Army win its second straight game.

Cadet Brandon Jackson, a 20-year-old sophomore from Queens, died in a single-car accident at around 1:50 a.m. Sunday in Westchester County, north of New York City, according to police and the U.S. Military Academy.

Police in Croton-on-Hudson said Jackson was driving by himself when he hit a guardrail. The accident is under investigation. Police and academy officials did not provide information on where Jackson was headed when his vehicle crashed about 20 miles south of West Point, across the Hudson River from the academy.

Jackson was a starting defensive back and recorded two solo tackles and one assist in Army's 31-14 win Saturday over Rice. Army is 2-0.

"We will honor his life as we mourn the untimely death of a young man who had a promising future as a leader in service to our nation," said West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen Jr. "Brandon internalized our watch words: duty, honor, country."

Caslen said Jackson was following the example of his mother, an Iraq War veteran.

Head coach Jeff Monken called Jackson a beloved teammate.

"Words cannot describe the grief that our team is feeling over the loss of our brother and friend Brandon," Monken said.

Matt Rhule wants Temple to feel 'hurt' after disappointing opening loss to Army

Matt Rhule wants Temple to feel 'hurt' after disappointing opening loss to Army


With all of the controversy currently surrounding Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem, it was easy to notice when Matt Rhule pulled his team over to Army’s side of the field after Friday’s game to join the Black Knights as they sang their alma mater.

While Rhule admitted the move was something he always does when playing service academies, there was another motive behind the Temple head coach’s decision.

“To be quite honest, I wanted our team to see it,” Rhule said. “I’m hurt right now and I want it to hurt tonight.”

Oh, the Owls are hurting all right. Temple was grinded for 329 yards rushing and quarterback Phillip Walker threw three interceptions in a 28-13 season-opening loss to Army at Lincoln Financial Field (see Instant Replay).

The Owls (0-1) have now lost three straight games dating back to last season and followed up the historic 2015 campaign by opening the new year with a major misstep against an Army team that managed just two wins a season ago.

“Being 0-1 is never good. Losing a football game is never good,” Temple linebacker Avery Williams said. “Losing is never an option around me. I hate losing. It kills me, it eats me up inside. I want everybody to feel like that. I want us to feel this loss, man. I don’t want nobody out partying tonight. I don’t want no social media. I just want people to feel this loss, understand what losing feels like.

“We’re 0-3 right now. We’ve lost a conference championship, a bowl game and today. We’re 0-3. It’s never good losing. It hurts and I want it to hurt. I want it to hurt for the rest of the season.”

The Owls could be in store for much more pain as the season goes on if they don’t get their once ferocious defense in order. The unit looked every bit like a group trying to replace the playmaking and leadership of three players — Tyler Matakevich, Matt Ioannidis and Tavon Young — who departed for the NFL.

Temple had no answers for Army’s signature triple option, which helped the Black Knights (1-0) win the time of possession battle 35:48 to 24:12 and run 18 more plays than the Owls. Army running back Andy Davidson had 121 yards and two touchdowns as the team used eight different ball carriers to outgain the Owls by 246 yards on the ground.

“I think in practice we did a pretty good job of executing. Our scout team gave a pretty good look,” defensive lineman Averee Robinson said. “It’s a lot different in a game, it’s a lot quicker in a game. We just didn’t go out there and execute, which we should have. I fully believe we were prepared to but we just didn’t come to play.”

“They just dominated us,” Rhule said. “It wasn’t like, hey, this guy has it and he doesn’t have it. They literally just knocked us off the ball. Credit to them, credit to coach [Jeff] Monken. They physically dominated the line of scrimmage. … It wasn’t really like assignment football. They weren’t even running the option half the time. They were just handing the ball on the dive and knocking us off the ball. We weren’t able to knock them back.”

Temple may have been prepared for some defensive struggles early after losing such production on that side of the ball. What the Owls weren’t ready to handle were the struggles of their senior quarterback.

With starting running back Jahad Thomas out for what Rhule said is probably the first of several weeks with a hand injury, Walker failed to carry the load offensively. Sure, he threw for 168 yards to pass Henry Burris as Temple’s all-time leader, but Walker completed just 12 of 26 passes and was sacked four times.

Even when Temple held a 10-7 lead at halftime and when Walker helped bring the Owls within a point at 14-13 with 1:29 remaining in the third quarter, he never seemed to get really comfortable in the pocket.

Trailing by eight points down the stretch, Walker threw two of his three interceptions in the final 3:41 to seal the loss.

“It was just limited on how much we had the ball. It was just kind of hard,” Walker said. “We had to take advantage of our opportunities and make the best of it but we failed to do that.”

Temple is now forced to regroup after dropping just its second season opener in the past seven years in humbling fashion. That shouldn’t be an issue with FCS Stony Brook coming to the Linc next week.

However, the Owls know these issues could linger if they don’t find some real leadership and a true identity.

“I think somewhere along the line we’ve gotten convinced that we’re some team that we’re not,” Rhule said.

“I think we have to just kind of understand who we are. We’re not this team that’s gonna be up by 45 every game at halftime. I have not gotten that across. I can tell you I’ve said it. But, you know what, who cares how many times I’ve said it? I’ve got to say it some more times. I think some other players said it today for the first time, and I hope that our team will regain that focus.”