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November 6th, 2013

Air Force Scores 42-28 Win Over Army



USAFA, Colo. - Air Force's Anthony LaCoste ran for 263 yards and three scores, including two touchdown runs of more than 70 yards, to lead the Falcons to a 42-28 victory over Army (3-6) at Falcon Stadium Saturday afternoon. The Black Knights led 21-14 with less than two minutes to go in the second quarter, but the Falcons (2-7) reeled off 21 unanswered points to take control.

Army pulled back within one score on a 10-yard touchdown run by junior Terry Baggett with 5:58 left, but, the Falcons responded with their third touchdown of the second half to regain a 14-point advantage and set the final margin.

Baggett finished the game with 121 yards on 20 carries for his fourth 100-yard effort of the season. Junior fullback Larry Dixon ran for 82 yards on 17 carries, while junior quarterback Angel Santiago added 61 yards and three of Army's four touchdowns.

Santiago also completed eight of his 14 throws for 109 yards. Freshman Xavier Moss caught three passes for 35 yards, while Baggett had two receptions for 33 yards.

Army gained 417 yards of total offense and held the ball for 37:32. The Black Knights picked up 28 first downs compared to only 17 for Air Force, but big plays keyed the Falcons offensive effort. Air Force averaged 8.4 yards per play, gaining 454 yards on 54 snaps.

Air Force quarterback Nate Romine went 7-for-8 for 111 yards through the air and added 31 yards and a score on the ground. Garrett Brown and Broam Hart also scored rushing touchdowns. Brown led the Falcons with four catches for 78 yards.

Junior Geoffery Bacon, who had missed the previous four games with an injury, led Army with 10 tackles. Senior Colby Miller added eight stops. Defensive linemen Mike Ugenyi and Robert Kough accounted for Army's two tackles for loss.

Christian Spears paced the Falcons with 12 stops, including one for loss. Jared Jones was also in double figures with 11 tackles. Robert Green made two of Air Force's five stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Army wasted little time finding the end zone, going 75 yards in nine plays, all rushes, on the opening possession. Baggett ran four times for 41 yards, while Santiago carried twice for 24 yards, including a four-yard touchdown run on 3rd-and-goal. Both of Santiago's runs converted third downs on the drive. Grochowski's extra point gave Army a 7-0 lead with 10:48 left in the opening period.

The Falcons answered right back when LaCoste took the shotgun snap and bolted up the middle 73 yards for the Air Force touchdown on just its second play from scrimmage. The PAT tied the score at 7-7 with 9:51 left on the first-quarter clock.

Santiago capped Army's methodical second touchdown drive with a one-yard plunge. The Black Knights marched 75 yards in 16 plays, taking six minutes, 28 seconds off the clock. Army converted two third downs on the drive, including a 3rd-and-10 when Santiago connected with Anthony Stephens for a 12-yard gain. Grochowski's second PAT put Army back on top 14-7 with 3:23 left in the opening quarter.

The Army defense forced a punt, and the Black Knights drove into Air Force territory for the third straight possession. The Falcons stopped Army on third down for the first time in the game, bringing on Grochowski for a 48-yard field goal try. The kick was blocked and the Falcons returned it to the Army 46-yard line.

The Falcons were able to take advantage, scoring the tying touchdown on a 14-yard run by Garrett Brown. The scoring run came on 4th-and-2 when Brown took an option pitch untouched around the left side. The extra point made it 14-14 with 6:30 left in the second quarter.

Army opened up the playbook to start its next drive. After an 11-yard run by Baggett on first down and a two-yard plunge by Turrentine, Santiago connected with Moss for 19 yards into Air Force territory. Two plays later, Santiago found Dixon on a play-action pass that covered another 19 yards. A personal foul on the Falcons moved the ball to the Air Force 11-yard line. After an illegal shift penalty, the Black Knights faced a 3rd-and-10. Santiago dropped back to pass, but was forced to pull it down. He broke one tackle and was tackled less than one yard shy of the line to make. The Black Knights went for it, and a quarterback sneak covered the necessary yardage to set up 1st-and-goal. Santiago took it in on the next play for his third score of the game. Grochowski's extra point put the Black Knights back on top 21-14 with 1:58 left in the half.

LaCoste set up the Falcons' game-tying touchdown with a 43-yard burst up the middle. He was finally brought down at the Army 29-yard line. A 19-yard pass set up a 1st-and-goal at the 3-yard line, and three plays later, Romine scored on a quarterback sneak. The extra point knotted the game for the third time at 21-21 with 11 seconds left in the half.

Army outgained the Falcons 226-188 on the ground and 276-217 overall, but big plays keyed Air Force's three scoring drives. The Black Knights made 20 first downs, compared to seven for Air Force, in the first half and held the ball for 21:06 through 30 minutes.

Baggett led the Black Knights with 87 yards on 13 carries. LaCoste had a career-high 141 yards on just eight first-half totes. In addition to 60 rushing yards and three touchdowns, Santiago completed three of his five passes for 50 yards. Romine was 2-for-2 for 29 yards through the air for the Falcons.

The Army defense forced a three-and-out on Air Force's first possession,  and the Black Knights once again crossed the 50-yard line. After getting stopped on 3rd-and-5, Grochowski lined up for a 39-yard field goal. The kick was wide right, setting up the Falcons at their own 22-yard line.

On the Falcons' first play, LaCoste took an option pitch and sprinted 78 yards down the right sideline to give Air Force its first lead of the game. The PAT gave the Falcons a 28-21 lead with 8:37 left in the third quarter.

Neither team scored on the next three possessions, and following an Army punt, Air Force took over at its own 30-yard line with 2:20 left in the third quarter. The Falcons moved to the Army 29-yard line, and on 3rd-and-6 Romine hit Brown on a 28-yard pass to the Army 1-yard line. LaCoste did the rest on the next play, and the extra point stretched Air Force's lead to 35-21 with 14:45 remaining in the game.

Army drove to the Air Force 29-yard line on its next possession, but Santiago's pass on 4th-and-6 fell incomplete turning the ball over to the Falcons with 11:28 left in the fourth quarter. The teams exchanged punts, but on the Black Knights' kick, Brown muffed the ball and Stephen Ricciardi recovered at the Air Force 25-yard line with 7:15 to go.

The Black Knights were able to convert the miscue into their first points of the second half. On 2nd-and-9 from the Air Force 10-yard line, Baggett took an option pitch around the right side for his first touchdown of the game. Grochowski's extra point pulled Army back within seven points at 35-28 with 5:58 left in the fourth quarter.

Air Force went to the air on its next possession. An 11-yard completion to Brown, a pass interference penalty and a diving one-handed grab by Garrett Griffin moved the ball to the Army 37-yard line with less than five minutes left. After a Falcons' time out, Romine found Brown again for a 29-yard gain down the right sideline. On 3rd-and-goal, Hart found paydirt from three yards away. The PAT pushed the Falcons' lead back to 14 points at 42-28.

Army turned the ball over on downs at its own 32-yard line with 2:42 to go, and the Falcons were able to bleed the clock all the way down to triple zeroes.

The Black Knights return to West Point for their final home game next Saturday. Army will celebrate Senior Day versus Western Kentucky to Michie Stadium. The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start.


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