WEST POINT - Sophomore Dan Grochowski connected on all three field goal attempts but the Army football team could not break into the end zone as the Black Knights fell to Wake Forest 25-11 on Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium. Army (1-3) pounded its way into the red zone four times but was forced to settle for field goals on three of those trips while the Demon Deacons (2-2) crossed the goal line on two of their four red zone appearances.
Junior running back Terry Baggett anchored the Army offense, totaling a career-best 125 yards rushing, including a career-long 51-yard sprint which set up Grochowski’s first field goal of the game.
The Black Knights cracked the scoring column first after sophomore Alex Tardieu’s 51-yard punt pinned Wake Forest at its own six. After sophomore Shaquille Tolbert dragged Josh Harris down for a loss of two yards, junior Richard Glover forced Harris into the end zone for Army’s first forced safety since Oct. 27, 2012 against Ball State.
The Demon Deacons used their first possession of the second quarter to gain the lead after Chad Hedlund drilled a 35-yard field goal. The Black Knights punted on two consecutive possessions before Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price teamed with Michael Campanaro for a 66-yard touchdown pass with time winding down in the first half. The Demon Deacons would take a 10-5 lead into the break.
Army turned Wake Forest’s three-and-out to open the second half into Grochowski’s second field goal of the game, this one from 32 yards out, as the Black Knights narrowed their deficit to 10-8. The sophomore place kicker gave Army an 11-10 lead by putting one through the uprights from 32 yards away almost two minutes later.
The Black Knights’ lead lasted just three minutes, however, as Price marched Wake Forest down the field before Harris found paydirt with a 15 yard run. The Demon Deacons converted the two-point attempt, as Price passed to Jonathan Williams, giving Wake Forest an 18-11 lead to close out the third quarter.
Army failed to get into Wake Forest territory on its next two possessions as the Demon Deacons stretched their lead to 25-11 following another Harris scoring run.
With just one timeout remaining, 3:30 left on the clock and facing a 14-point deficit, Army turned to sophomore quarterback Kelvin White. White connected on five of his six pass attempts in his career debut, with all five going to freshman Xavier Moss. White would finish with 45 yards passing and 16 yards on the ground, while Moss had a team-best eight catches for 61 yards receiving.
Starting Army play-caller Angel Santiago totaled 19 passing yards and gained 66 markers on the ground. Senior Thomas Holloway finished with a team-best eight tackles, the game’s only sack and a fumble recovery, while freshman Josh Jenkins snagged his second interception of the season.
Harris led the Demon Deacons with 96 yards rushing and two scores, while Price passed for 132 yards and added 66 on the ground. Nikita Whitlock led the Wake Forest defense with game-high 14 tackles, including three for a loss, while Hunter Williams recovered a pair of fumbles.
The teams combined for 17 penalties, with Army’s eight miscues resulting in 131 lost yards for the Black Knights. It marked Army’s most penalized game since combining with Rutgers for 20 flags and 157 penalty yards at The Meadowlands on Oct. 16, 2010.
Army will begin its two-game road series next weekend when the Black Knights face Louisiana Tech at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Kickoff on Saturday, Sept. 28 is set for 4 p.m.