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Zips leave bungling Cadets behind, 22-3
West Point, NY - The Akron Zips (2-2) took a 9-3 halftime lead, and the Cadets tried three QBs but mounted no offense as the Mid-American team left them in the dust to win 22-3 on a picture perfect day on the beautiful heights along the Hudson. Army (0-3) had its chances to make the contest closer, but inept ball-handling skills made it impossible to mount potential comebacks.
Igor Iveljic booted the ball through the uprights from 25 yards away to take a 3-0 Zip lead on Akrons's first possession, but misfired from the same distance hitting the right upright on their second drive. As Carson Williams played ineffectively for the Cadets, Stan Brock replaced his QB with Soph Chip Bowden. Bowden moved the Cadets, but Army coughed the ball up at Akron's 21. A 49-yard pass from Akron's Chris Jacquemain to WR Andre Jones set up a 25-yard scoring strike by the same combination. A missed extra point made the score 9-0 until Bowden led his team into scoring position when Matt Campbell's 36-yard FG curved from the right to left through the uprights to put Army on the board with three seconds left in the half. Army seemed to have a chance to get back into the game in the second half. The defense held the Zips to 153 yards compared to 160 yards for the Cadets. Five turnovers by the Cadets compared to one by Akron made the major difference in the second half.
The Zips drove to a first and goal at Army's nine, but the Army defense pushed them back to the 19 where Iveljic converted a 36-yard FG. On the next Army possession, Bowden, who ran for 65 yards to lead the Cadets on the day, got carried off the field with an ankle injury and never returned. Rather than reinsert the inept Williams into the game, Brock substituted with 5'6" Carlo Sandiego, Army's main return man, at QB. It didn't work.
On the first possession of the fourth period, Sandiego got nothing on his pitchout resulting in a fumble recovery by the Zips. This prompted our 8-year old GGA, Chris Headden, to comment, "This is worse than Yale!" Chris and his family attended last year's Big Tailgate when Harvard battered Yale in THE Game, 37-6, in New Haven. Army's Ted Bentler then recovered a fumble by Akron on the subsequent drive. Army still seemed to have a chance down only 12-3, but with Sandiego still at the controls, Akron's LB Bryan Williams, one of three Zip captains named Williams, recovered another fumble by Sandiego at the Army 24. Dennis Kennedy ( 73 yards on 19 carries) scored from the one. The 19-3 lead with 8:22 left in the game seemed like more than enough to seal the game against a team with an offense as weak as Army's. Brock could take no more and re-inserted Williams back at QB, but Manley Waller picked off his pass and Akron eventually scored on Iveljic's 37-yarder. Army didn't quit this week as claimed by Head Coach Stan Brock in their previous game against New Hampshire. They put together one more drive starting from their 35. Williams connected with WR Mike Wright at the Akron 14, but he took a hit as he was about to cross the goal line and fumbled the ball into the end zone where Miguel Graham recovered for the touchback. A replay of the play was performed very accurately several times by Chris at our postgame tailgate in the Target Hill parking lot while playing catch! Akron left Army in the dust for a 22-3 win.
Things don't get any easier for the Cadets who visit Texas A&M next weekend. The Zips host Cincinnati next week before entering MAC play. We'll be back to see Army on October 25 when they improving host Louisiana Tech. Army looks like it's on its way to a winless season despite a seemingly more favorable schedule. Army has a lot of work ahead if it wants to win any game at all this season! It's best chance seems to be if Bowden comes back healthy to run the option offense for the Cadets.
Extra Points: Except for Army's football ineptitude, it was a beautiful football weekend for the 27,040 fans at West Point. The parachuters are amazing to see land so accurately on the field. GGA Charlie Roberts wondered if they would leave a jumper on the goalpost during the game if he ever got caught up on one of the uprights!
Akron outgained Army 357 yards to 223.
The fourth Akron captain along with the three named Williams is Merce Poindexter.
At halftime, Army introduced its 2008 Hall of Famers including former head basketball coach Bobby Knight ; Young Arnold Tucker, the Army QB of 1945-45 who led the Cadets to an 18-0-1 record including national championships with Glenn Davis and "Doc" Blanchard; and Mike Silliman, one of Knight's basketball players who captained the 1968 Olympic basketball team that won the Gold Medal. Young Arnold Tucker is now about 83 years old! Most athletes of the nine introduced played more than one varsity sport at West Point. Several Hall of Famers won honors on the Army swim team. GGA Dave Headden chimed in, "You'll never see that happen at Rutgers!" He referenced that school's elimination of the sport with several others due to budget cuts.
Army outdid the Zips in another contest hosted in Michie - the one-armed cheerleader contest! A male cheerleader from each squad pressed a female cheerleader by the feet above his head with one arm. To the cheers of the Corps that watched the contest right in front of them, the Army team outlasted the Akron team.
Army has some nice-looking female cheerleaders, but the game program boasts of four women who will lead their volleyball team in Patriot League competition this year. They look like they could have a great Beach Volleyball team. If they did, we might consider season tickets!