Sprint Football Sets Up CSFL Title Shot With 58-44 Win Over Penn

Senior Ben Johnson

Senior Ben Johnson

Oct. 28, 2011

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Army vs. Penn Highlights

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army sprint football defeated Penn 58-44 Friday night at West Point's Shea Stadium, settings itself up for another chance to win the College Sprint Football League title. The Black Knights (5-1, 5-0) will face fellow undefeated CSFL team and service academy rival Navy next Friday to decide the conference championship for the third straight season.

The Black Knights used another offensive-fueled game to defeat the Quakers (4-2, 3-2 CSFL). Army totaled 634 yards on offense, including 411 yards passing. Penn remained close for most of the game, collecting 520 yards of its own.

Army's 411 passing yards were a career high by junior quarterback Javier Sustaita, whose seven touchdown passes were more than he had all of last season combined. Sustaita also rushed for the Black Knights' first touchdown of the game to total eight scores on the night.

For the year, Sustaita has passed for 27 touchdowns and rushed for seven this season, both totals being team highs.

Senior wide receiver Ben Johnson also had a career-highlighting game for the Black Knights, quadrupling his touchdown total for the season (four) by snagging three scoring catches, including a dramatic 35-yard diving grab in the second quarter. Johnson's 142 receiving yards are the most he has had since 2010's season opener at RPI, when he totaled 156.

The Black Knights fell behind early for the third-straight game as Penn's Todd Busler found the end zone first just 2:39 into the game. Army responded with back-to-back touchdowns as the defense held the Quakers to three-straight three-and-outs.

Penn took its second and final lead of the game, 14-13, shortly into the second quarter. Once again Army responded with a pair of scoring drives, with Johnson catching his second touchdown of the game before junior Kevin Scruggs connected on his first field goal of the season, a 27-yard boot.

The Black Knights outscored Penn 24-14 in the second quarter to hold a 37-21 lead at the half.

The Quakers struck first in the third quarter, but a blocked extra-point attempt by junior Lucas Hornick preserved Army's double-digit lead.

The Black Knights stretched the difference to a game-high 17 points when Sustaita found junior wide receiver Cody Nyp for his 11th touchdown of the season. Nyp and Sustaita would also connect for the game's final score with 4:26 remaining in the final quarter.

The Quakers came within seven with 7:14 remaining in the fourth quarter when Michael Bass hit an 18-yard field goal, but Nyp's 12th TD of the season put the victory securely in Army's hands at 58-44.   

Junior running back Marquis Morris totaled a game-high 81 yards rushing, while seniors Mike Meier and JP Cooper led the defensive side. Meier registered a career-high 17 tackles, while Cooper snagged an interception for the second consecutive game.

"First of all, give Penn a lot of credit, said Army head coach Lt. Col Mark West. "They're a very talented group especially on the offensive side with a very experienced quarterback. We knew they were going to try to come out fast, but we did hang in there.

"Our defense talked about making big plays at critical moments in the game, and we were certainly able to do that in some pretty opportune times which gives the ball back to our offense. I don't think they could be stopped tonight, they were running on all cylinders."

Army will face Navy for the second time this season in hopes of avenging its lone loss of the year. The Black Knights and Midshipmen will not only be battling for the Star, but for the CSFL title. Army defeated Navy in last season's CSFL championship game, winning the Star in Annapolis, 32-30. The Black Knights own 31 CSFL titles and are 31-38-1 all-time against the Midshipmen.  


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