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Army holds off late Louisiana Tech rally to win, 14-7
West Point, NY - Chip Bowden connected with RB Ian smith on a short roll out for a 3-yard TD pass to give Army a 14-7 lead with 10 minutes remaining and staved off a desperation pass that was dropped with 1:30 remain to bring their record to 3-5. Both defenses played tough against one another. The Cadets held LT to 152 yards while the Bulldogs held Army to 235. Tech scored on RP Stuart's 2-yard end around in the third to knot the score. Smith scored on a one-yard run in the first period to take the initial lead. The game, played in a steady but gusty rainstorm, was not in hand until the fourth period when Ross Jenkins long pass on fourth and 20 slipped through the hands of WR Philip Livas for what would have been a first down. LA Tech now stands 3-4.
Extra Points: Tech Head Coach Derek Dooley is the son of former Georgia Coach Vince Dooley. We saw his father coach UGA to a 22-22 tie against Auburn in 1978 when he decided to kick for the extra point rather than go for two late in that game. The tie cost the Dawgs the Sugar Bowl. Thanks to OT initiated in 1995, Derek would not have been able to settle for a tie today. Guest Game Analyst Charlie Roberts and I were prepared for an OT late in this game.
Army's defense made some big hits and played a very good game, but the Tech offense is nothing to write home about. Daniel Porter ran for 73 yards on 20 carries, and Jenkins completed eight passes for 84 yards. They never took advantage of four Army turnovers. Army meets a greater offensive challenge next week in their final home game when Air Force comes to town.
It was Pete Dawkins Day as they retired the Heisman winner's #24 jersey. We never got our bobbleheads though! The slow-moving security process slowed us getting in. We arrived shortly at our seats before kickoff. Supposedly they could be picked up at the Fanfest which we didn't know.
Charlie and I moved from our end zone seats to the last row on the 40 behind the visitors' bench at halftime. Though it rained steadily as the American flags whipped in the gusts above our heads, the rain felt lightly and the wall directly behind us shielded us from the winds. We were both happy to see a competitive game at West Point. The weather did not deter our enjoyment of the game as many left at the half.
This was the first Army win we attended after four consecutive losses including two this year. The last I saw was their win over Arkansas State in 2005. We also saw Army lose two games prior to that win that season and then saw them lose to Navy. This was the second time we watched LA Tech play. They only scored 7 last time also in a 67-7 loss at Penn State in 2000.
Army introduced its first ever Sprint Football team on the 50th anniversary of the start of the program. Sprint used to be referred to as 150-lb. football. You could tell the original players from that team were small for football players. They won the initial league and defeated Navy 7-0 in their inaugural season in front of 13,000 fans and President Eisenhower. The League consisted of several Ivy League schools, Army, Navy, and Rutgers back in it inception. Title IX and budgets limit the number of teams today down to the two academies, Princeton, Cornell, and Penn. Mansfield State of PA also started a program this year.