WEST POINT, N.Y. Ian Smith scored the first two touchdowns of his career and the Army defense turned in a stellar performance as Army beat Louisiana Tech, 14-7, Saturday afternoon at a rainy and windy Michie Stadium.
Smith rushed for a one-yard score in the first quarter then caught a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Chip Bowden and the Army defense netted five sacks in front of a crowd of more than 27,000 on Pete Dawkins Day.
At halftime of the game, Army retired Dawkins’ No. 24, the jersey he wore on the way to winning the Heisman Trophy in 1958.
Then Army defense told its story. Joshua McNary had two sacks and Frank Scappaticci, Victor Ugenyi and Desmond Lamb also registered sacks and the Black Knights limited Louisiana Tech to 152 yards of total offense. Saturday marked the second consecutive week Army registered five sacks and this week the losses totaled 41 yards.
The Black Knights rushed for 203 yards and held a 32:43-27:17 advantage in time of possession and improved to 3-5 after winning its second game of the season at home. Louisiana Tech fell to 3-4.
Smith rushed four times for 41 yards and also caught a pair of passes for 14 yards to pace the Black Knights offense. His first-quarter touchdown run came on the Black Knights second possession and he scored the game-winning points with 10 minutes left in the contest. The receptions were the first of Smith’s career.
Army quarterback Chip Bowden completed three of 9 passes for 32 yards, including his first career passing touchdown. He also rushed 10 times for 50 yards. Fullback Collin Mooney led the rushing attack with 17 carries for 57 yards.
Louisiana Tech had five possessions on its side of the field in the second half but Army limited the Bulldogs to one touchdown and rebounded from an overtime loss at Buffalo a week ago.
Stephen Anderson led the Army defense with 10 tackles, including three tackles for losses of nine yards. Eight of Anderson’s tackles were primary stops. Donovan Travis had six tackles while John Plumstead, Lowell Garthwaite, McNary, Ted Bentler and Scappaticci each registered five tackles.
The Black Knights won the toss and elected to receive and strung together three first downs before the drive stalled and they were forced to punt.
Scappaticci forced a fumble on Louisiana Tech’s first possession when he sacked Ross Jenkins for a loss of 10 yards. Fritz Bentler recovered the fumble at the Bulldogs’ 18-yard line. Seven plays later, Smith found paydirt for the first time with a one-yard run. Mooney carried for 12 yards on the drive as well to set up the score. Matthew Campbell kicked the PAT for a 7-0 Army lead with 2:30 left in the first.
That was all the scoring until Louisiana Tech tied the game in the third quarter. Following an Army fumble, the Bulldogs used eight plays to move 34 yards and knot the game. R.P. Stuart capped the drive with a two-yard run. Brad Oestriecher kicked the PAT to make it 7-7 with 7:11 remaining the third quarter.
Army put together the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. Following a missed 51-yard field goal attempt, Army needed 4:55 to go 66 yards in 10 plays.
Following an incomplete pass, Wesley McMahand rushed for five yards and then Smith hauled in a 12-yard pass from Bowden. Justin Turner picked up five yards and then Smith ripped off a 32-yard pick up near the home sidelines to get the ball inside the 10. McMahand carried for five and Turner another yard before Bowden hit Smith in the left side of the end zone. Campbell’s PAT extended Army’s advantage to 14-7.
The Army defense did the rest from there, forcing two three-and-outs. Louisiana Tech had one last possession with 2:33 left in the contest. After an incompletion, Desmond Lamb came around the corner for a 10-yard sack on second down. A no-gain on a rush was followed by a timeout and an incomplete pass on fourth down, allowing Army to run out the clock.
The Black Knights will conclude their home schedule Saturday against service academy rival Air Force. Kickoff is scheduled for noon at Michie Stadium.