STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. The Army sprint football team dropped to 1-2 on the season after suffering a heartbreaking 19-13 overtime loss against the Wagner College JV team on Sunday afternoon in Staten Island, N.Y.
It looked like Army was in the driver’s seat in the fourth quarter when Justin Abbatacola punched in a one yard touchdown run to put the Black Knights up 13-6 but costly turnovers and penalties would be prove once again to be killer down the stretch.
A fifth interception from Army quarterback Robert Miner set up a 34-yard touchdown pass as Wagner tied the game at 13-13 with just over two minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Black Knights took over with just under two minutes to play but a botched snap was recovered by Wagner with 1:48 to play. The Army defense held strong however, forcing Wagner out of scoring position to end regulation in a 13-13 tie.
Army had the ball first in overtime but could not get the offense rolling. Faced with a fourth and long situation, Miner heaved up a hail-mary that was intercepted on the one yard line.
Army’s defense looked tough after back-to-back sacks by Thomas Malejko and Andrew Mellon on Wagner’s possession in the first overtime. It looked like Wagner would be forced to turn the ball over when Army was flagged for pass interference on a fourth and long that kept the drive alive and led to the final score of the game on a 4-yard touchdown pass.
The Black Knights committed seven total turnovers, including six interceptions and a lost fumble while Wagner lost four fumbles.
Miner was 7-for-24 for 137 yards with six interceptions while Abbatacola led the ground attack with 22 carries for 50 yards and one touchdown.
Wagner tallied 24 first downs to Army’s 12 and held the time of possession advantage at 51 minutes to Army’s 38 minutes.
Army kicker Sam Herbert connected on 2-of-3 field goal attempts in the first half with conversions from 26 and 47 yards.
The Black Knight defense was strong, recording eight total sacks and seven pass break-ups. Thomas Russell led the way with three sacks, four tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one blocked punt and six total tackles.
Nate Drake registered 13 total tackles while Barrett Rife also recorded 13 stops. Steven Wax had two solo sacks with Malejko and Mellon each recording 1.5 sacks.
The Black Knights will begin the Collegiate Sprint Football League schedule next Friday night on the road at Princeton. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.