October 9, 2010

Black Knights route Green Wave 41-23

Homecooking

For the Green Wave of Tulane, last weekend they walked into Rutgers Stadium and spoiled the Homecoming of the Scarlet Knights. They put on their best defensive performance of the season, and were looking to piggyback off of that win, as they hosted another group of knights on Saturday … the Black Knights of Army.

For the Black Knights, they faced their own homecoming heartache, as they felt prey to Temple last weekend and were looking to get back on track by pulling out a win against Tulane during their Homecoming Weekend.

But more importantly, Coach Ellerson and his team have been an angry but yet focused group this week … knowing that they let one get away from them against Temple.

Saturday's game saw the offense ride the back of sophomore fullback Jared Hassin, a very active kickoff coverage team, along with a defense that bent, but was unwilling to break.

After stalling the Green Wave on their first series and forcing a punt, the Hassin lead offense was in typical form as they marched down the field from their own 40 yard line and 11 plays - 60 yards, the 6-foot-3, 235 pound ran it in from nine yards out. The drive took 5:13 seconds, and was just a taste of things to come for Tulane's homecoming alumni and fans, although the Green Wave did answer back with seven points of their own, on their ensuing possession.

As they teams moved into the 2nd quarter, Army's swarming defense and special teams forced Tulane into back-to-back-to-back turnovers and coupled with two series that saw the Green Wave punt, this is where Army separated themselves from their host.

2nd Quarter Collapse

• With 14:18 into the 2nd quarter, a Tulane pass reception leads to a forced fumble by Chad Littlejohn at the Tulane 27 yard line and a subsequent 8 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Davyd Brooks.
Army 14 - Tulane 7
• On the ensuing kickoff, Tulane's Joe Kemp has the ball striped and Black Knights recover on Green Wave's 26 yard line. Net result is a 35 yard field goal by Alex Carlton.
Army 17 - Tulane 7
• Déjà vu - next kickoff return is striped by L.B. Brown and once again Army recovers, this time at the Tulane 30 yard line. Fortunately, for the Green Wave, the Black Knights can't capitalize as Carlton misses on a 40 yard field goal attempt.
Army 17 - Tulane 7
• Tulane is forced to punt and with 4:35 remaining in the first half, the Army offense marches 66 yards down the field in five plays, as quarterback Trent Steelman scores his 7th rushing touchdown on the year, from one yard out.
Army 24 - Tulane 7
• With .42 remaining in the first half, once again the Green Wave has to punt and the Black Knights simply run the clock out to close out the half.
Army 24 - Tulane 7

Army's first half stats were impressive to say the least. They compiled 169 yards rushing compared to 14 for Tulane, along their trademark TOP that was 18:31 for the half.

Learned Lesson

Unlike the Temple game, the Black Knights were determined not to let up off of the gas pedal until the final whistle was blown.

After taking the opening 3rd quarter kickoff, they went on another march (76 yards) that not took an unbelievable 7:49 off the clock, but appeared to emotionally remove Tulane from the game. During this 16 play series, it saw Army go for it on 4th and 1 from the Tulane 16 yard line … another trademark of the offense, who leads the nation in 4th down conversions.
The period was put on the drive as fullback Jared Hassin powered in from 6 yards out. For the first time this season, the sophomore from Delafield, Wisconsin appears to be close to 100% healthy as he would finish the day with 144 yards on the ground, two touchdowns and one reception for 14 yards.

Hassin's touchdown put Army up by the score of 31-7 and the Green Waves game plan was being thrown out the window, as they went into catch-up mode.

And when the 3rd quarter had ended, but teams only possessed the ball once each, which was ideal for the Black Knights.

Although Tulane made a gallant effort to get back into the game, it was the constant pressure of defensive end Josh McNary who recorded two more sacks that will be added to all-time Army sack leader resume. And if McNary wasn't making a sack, he was in the face of Tulane quarterback, Ryan Griffin.

However, McNary was not alone, middle linebacker Stephan Anderson made a couple of vicious hits … that kept the Tulane runner on the lookout and linebacker Steve Erzinger showed well in pass coverage ... as a unit, the Black Knights held Tulane to a mere 63 yards on the ground.

Tulane was able to put across two late 4th quarter touchdowns that made the score look respectable, but the 28,756 fans in attendance … the majority who were home crowd fans left with the homecoming blues for the Green Wave.

Final Score:

Army 41
Tulane 23

Notes:

• Cornerback Josh Jackson got the nod at field corner over Richard King. Jackson, who doubles as a return man, is just one step away from taking one to the house.
• Freshmen slotback Raymond Maples got his first collegiate start, as the Philadelphia native stepped in for Patrick Mealy.
• Wide receiver Davyd Brooks pulled down his first college touchdown reception.



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