MAINESBURG, PA - Army sprint football opened the College Sprint Football League portion of their schedule at Mansfield on Saturday, Sept. 25 and earned a convincing 57-8 victory. The Black Knights improve to 2-0 on the season (1-0 CSFL) while the Mountaineers drop to 0-2 (0-2 CSFL).
The Black Knights cracked the scoring column on their first drive of the game. Sophomore quarterback Tim Meier led the march up the field, completing three short passes before a 17-yard rush set up a first-and-10 at the Mansfield 14. Meier found senior Lamar Simmons in the end zone to put the Black Knights up 6-0.
The Army defense came up big for the Black Knights in the first quarter as well, recovering a fumble by Mansfield's Jason Winters at midfield. Senior Eric Kanney led the running game on Army's second big drive, including four consecutive rushes at the Mansfield six-yard line leading to a touchdown to put the Black Knights up 13-0 to close out the first stanza.
After senior Joe Simon recovered another Mansfield fumble at the Mountaineer 36, Meier rushed for a combined 34 yards on three carries to set up a first-and-goal at the MU five-yard line. A holding penalty brought the football back to the 19-yard line, and after a Marquis Morris four-yard rush, Meier found freshman Tom Jeffers in the end zone for the score, putting the Black Knights up 20-0.
The Mountaineers went four-and-out deep in their own territory, setting up another Meier-to-Jeffers touchdown.
On MU's following possession, the Black Knights recorded their first interception of the year as senior captain Carlos Cook picked off Kode Plank at the Mansfield 33-yard line and ran it back for the score. Sophomore Kevin Scruggs missed his second extra-point attempt of the day, but Army stretched its lead to 33-0 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.
Mansfield drove the ball into Army territory but once again the Black Knight defense came up with a big play as Plank fumbled and senior Tyler Bambrick recovered and ran it back 45 yards for another Black Knight touchdown.
The Mountaineers earned their only points of the game late in the second quarter as they used the run game to set up the score. MU converted the two-point attempt to bring the score to 40-8.
Army's ensuing drive started with Morris returning the kickoff 28 yards to the Mansfield 40. Sophomore Javier Sustaita took over at quarterback for Meier, and led the Black Knight's march down the field along with junior running back Mike Meier. Meier rushed in Army's seventh touchdown of the day as the Black Knights entered halftime up 47-8.
Army went on to score again in the third quarter, as Sustaita found sophomore John Herina for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The Black Knights scored one final time with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter, as Scruggs connected on a 31-yard field goal attempt, pushing Army's lead to 57-8.
Army gained 391 total yards of offense while holding Mansfield to 165. Tim Meier passed for 101 yards and three touchdowns, while Sustaita threw for 68 and one score. Jeffers made five catches for 71 yards and two TDs. Cook led Black Knight defense with one sack, one pick-six and 6.5 tackles.
The Black Knights' home-opener against Cornell is Friday, Oct. 8 at 7:00 p.m. at Shea Stadium.