Army took care of business when it mattered most on Saturday, as the Black Knights scored the final 10 points of the game to beat Temple by a final of 31-28.
It didn’t all come easy for Army, as the team had to rally from a seven point defect with under a minute and a half to go to get the victory in overtime.
Starting quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw gave way to Kelvin Hopkins Jr. on the final possession.
The move turned out to be a good one, as Hopkins hit Jermaine Adams in the back of the end zone to tie it up with one second to go, sending the game to overtime.
Army had the momentum going into the sudden death period, and the Black Knights did not look back.
Bradshaw came back into the game at the start of overtime, and although Army didn’t put the ball in the endzone, the offense did exactly what it needed to do to win the game. Blake Wilson connected on what could become the game winning field goal from 29 yards out, to give Army the lead.
The Black Knights defense, who was giving up big plays all game, made the stop when it counted as Boumehri sent his 27 yard field goal attempt wide left, it was his second miss of the day.
It was a tale of two quarters in the first half, as army dominated the opening 15 minutes and change.
The Black Knights opened the scoring with a 12 play, 68 yard drive capped off by an 11 yard touchdown run by Darnell Woolfolk. In typical Army fashion, the Black Knights took over seven minutes off the clock, and did not throw the ball once on the drive.
Army subsequently blocked an Alex Starzyk punt on the next drive, setting up good field position at the Owl’s 28 yard line. Bradshaw then completed his first pass of the game for 24 yards to Ejekam. Woolfolk followed the play with a four yard touchdown run, his second of the day.
It did not take long for the Owls to answer, as they drove six plays, for 18 yards in just over two minutes to get on the board.
Isaiah Wright called his own number out of a wildcat formation for a 50 touchdown run. Wright had previously thrown two unsuccessful passes out of the wildcat.
Keeping the momentum in its favor, Temple forced an Army punt on the next possession, leading to a 37 yard strike from Frank Nutile to Addonis Jennings.
The junior quarterback had 55 yards through the air on the drive alone, along with a 13 yard first down scramble to set up the Jennings touchdown.
Sean Chandler intercepted Luke Langdon as time expired in the first half. Langdon was the third quarterback to appear on the final drive of the half for Army.
The 3rd quarter was a quiet one, as neither team could manage to put any points on the board. Ryqeull Armstead found pay dirt from 43 yards out early in the 4th quarter to give the Owls a 21-14 lead.
Army’s Darnell Woolfolk was quick to answer, scoring on a 44 yard touchdown run of his own midway through the final quarter of play.
Armstead once again gave the Owls the lead with a minute and a half to go, only to have that lead disappear on the touchdown by Jermaine Adams with one second to go.
The Owl’s offense put together its best performance of the season, scoring 28 points against a quality defense in Army. Temple racked up over 500 yards of total offense on the game, 290 of which coming via the arm of Frank Nutile.
Nutile controlled the game in his first career start, as he made tough third down throws throughout the contest. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his performance was not turning the ball over on the road, in front of a packed Michie Stadium.
Nutile was certainly helped out by Isaiah Wright, who found himself open countless times on the afternoon. Wright had three catches, for 79 yards, to go along with four carries, for 60 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Running back Ryquell Armstead would have gotten player of the game honors had the Owls pulled this one out.
The junior running back put together his strongest performance of the season, rushing for 151 yards, and two touchdowns, including his 21 yard scamper to take the lead with 1:30 to go in the game.
On the defensive side for Temple, the Owls held Bradshaw, the team’s leading rusher, to just 49 yards on the ground. Linebacker Shaun Bradley led the way for the Temple defensive unit, totaling 11 tackles on the day, and one tackle for loss.
Chapelle Russell also put together a strong performance in the linebacking corps, as he had nine tackles on the afternoon.
While the Owls managed to slow down Bradshaw, they could not slow down Darnell Woolfolk. The junior running back rushed for 132 yards on the day, and three touchdowns, including a game tying touchdown midway through the fourth quarter.
The Owls will head into their bye week at 3-5 on the season, and would have to win three of their final four games to become bowl eligible. They do not get a break from the triple option, as they will welcome in Navy, the number one rush offense in the nation.