Oct. 5, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army sprint football defeated conference rival Cornell, 38-14, in its home opener in front of packed stands at Shea Stadium. The undefeated Black Knights (4-0, 3-0 CSFL) faced their most competitive opponent to date in the Big Red (3-1, 2-1 CSFL), and responded by totaling nearly 500 yards of offense.
Army's defense held Cornell scoreless until late in the third quarter. Junior Patrick Franco had a standout game for the Black Knights, totaling an Army season-high 12 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks. The Black Knights tallied nine sacks for their highest total of the season, while the Army offensive line kept the pressure off senior quarterback Javier Sustaita all night.
Sustaita passed for 314 yards and five touchdowns, as classmate Cody Nyp raked in three of those scores and 154 yards. Nyp's big plays were the story for the Black Knights on Friday night, with touchdowns of 46, 29 and 62 yards, respectively.
Senior running back Marquis Morris had a career-highlighting game, rushing for 131 yards, 93 of which came in the first half. Morris did so on 21 carries, matching his season-high, for a 6.2 yards per rush average.
Senior kicker Kevin Scruggs cracked the scoreboard first, drilling his second field goal of the season, a 24-yard attempt with less than a minute left in the first quarter. Nyp tacked on his first TD of the game (46 yards) with 28 seconds left in the half to give Army a 10-0 lead heading into intermission.
Army, which had won the coin toss and deferred, opened the second half with a five-play, 60-yard scoring drive as Sustaita and Nyp connected for TD Number 2. Junior Tom Jeffers tacked on a 10-yard touchdown to extend the Black Knight lead, 24-0, late in the third quarter.
Cornell scored its first of two touchdowns with one minute remaining in the third, as Abe Mellinger caught a pass and dodged the defense for 69 yards to the end zone. Senior John Herina and Sustaita responded 49 seconds later with their own 56-yard bomb to end the third quarter with a 38-7 Army advantage.
Nyp found paydirt for the third time in the game midway through the fourth, before Mellinger made his second long-distance play of the game, a 49-yard TD reception.
Army totaled 492 yards of offense (314 pass, 178 rush) to Cornell's 352 (342; 10). The Black Knights improve to 54-16 all-time against Cornell with their second straight victory over the Big Red.
Army's 4-0 mark to start the season is its first since 2009 and just third time since 2000.
The Black Knights will return to the road next Friday night when they travel to league foe Penn. Kickoff in Philadelphia, Pa., is set for 7 p.m. at Franklin Field.