Final Statistics: Army 29, VMI 7
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Jared Hassin ran for a career-best 158 yards and Donovan Travis and Jordan Trimble connected on a highlight-reel interception return for a touchdown as Army topped VMI, 29-7, Saturday afternoon in front of more than 32,000 fans during Military Appreciation Day at Michie Stadium.
The Black Knights, who wore Army Combat Uniform-themed uniforms, improved to 5-3 this season. The team voted to wear the camouflaged pants, jerseys and helmets while the Corps of Cadets wore ACU's to the game as well.
Hassin, a sophomore, topped the 100 yard mark for the third consecutive week and established his career best 158 yards on just 14 carries. He averaged 11.3 yards per carry with a career-long run of 54 yards. Hassin also caught three passes for 54 yards.
Travis and Trimble provided their own highlights with a combined 79-yard interception return. Travis picked off an Eric Kordenbrock pass at the Army 21 yard line. Travis returned the pick 37 yards and then lateralled to Trimble who scampered the final 42 yards early in the fourth quarter.
Army, coming off its bye week, racked up 381 yards of total offense, including 316 on the ground. Senior Patrick Mealy ran 18 times for 97 yards and quarterback Trent Steelman picked up 42 yards on 10 carries. Steelman connected on 4-of-11 passes for 65 yards.
In addition to the interception, Travis also registered eight solo tackles and broke up a pass to pace the defense while senior Stephen Anderson made seven tackles, including six primary stops.
Army went three-and-out on its first possession but scored on its second with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that took close to three minutes off the clock.
Hassin ran for 17 yards on the second play then hauled in a 10-yard pass. Mealy broke off a 20-yard run before Hassin and Steelman connected for a16-yard completion on fourth-and-two. Mealy picked up six more yards and Steelman capped the drive with a one-yard scoring plunge. Alex Carlton kicked the PAT for a 7-0 Army lead after the first quarter.
The Black Knights extended their lead to two touchdowns in the second quarter on Hassin's scoring run. Following an eight-yard punt return by Josh Jackson, Steelman threw an incomplete pass and then Hassin started up the middle and broke outside while dragging a defender with him on a 38-yard scoring run.
Army benefitted from a VMI holding penalty to bump its lead to 16-0. Kordenbrock completed an 11-yard pass but a holding call in the end zone gave the Black Knights a safety.
After the free kick, Carlton kicked a 43-yard field goal, the first of his two field goals, for a 19-0 Army lead at halftime.
The Keydets got on the scoreboard in the third quarter with a 15-play, 86-yard drive. After Army stopped him on three straight plays from the one-yard line, Chaz Jones leaped over the top to paydirt.
Carlton kicked his second field goal of the game early in the fourth quarter, this time from 41 yards, to make it 22-7 Army.
Travis and Trimble closed the scoring on the next possession. VMI was driving when Travis picked off his team-leading third pass of the season, returned it past midfield and then pitched to Trimble who took it the rest of the way.
Army will close out the home portion of its 2010 season Saturday, Nov. 6, against service academy rival Air Force. Prior to the noon kickoff, Army will honor the senior members of the class. The game is sold out but will be broadcast live by CBS College Sports Network.