Oxford, OH - Zac Dysert passed for 342 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning score to Nick Harwell midway through the fourth quarter, as Miami (Ohio) rallied from a 14-point second half deficit to defeat Army, 35-28, Saturday afternoon at Yager Stadium.
The Black Knights (2-4) led 28-14 early in the third quarter, but the RedHawks (1-4) scored three unanswered touchdowns to pick up their first win.
Harwell finished with 10 receptions for 186 yards and a pair of scores to pace the RedHawks’ receivers. Erik Finklea rushed the ball 17 times for 90 yards to lead Miami’s ground attack.
Sophomore running back Raymond Maples rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries to lead the Army offense, which racked up 326 yards on the ground and piled up 450 yards of total offense.
Junior quarterback Trent Steelman rushed for 99 yards and two scores on 24 carries, and also completed all eight of his pass attempts for 124 yards and another score.
Sophomore defensive back Thomas Holloway led Army defensively with a career-high 16 tackles.
Miami opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game as the RedHawks took the opening kickoff and marched 83 yards in six plays for a touchdown. MU’s scoring drive was capped when Dysert hit Harwell with a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Army responded on its first offensive possession as the Black Knights drove 75 yards in 11 plays to score the game-tying touchdown. Army converted a key fourth-and-two situation inside Miami territory to extend the drive, which ended with a one-yard TD run by Steelman.
After forcing Miami to punt on its next offensive possession, Army took the ball and cruised down the field to take a 14-7 lead with 1:14 to play in the first quarter. Maples capped Army’s eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive as he ran untouched up the middle of the field for a 25-yard score.
Miami quickly countered to tie the score at 14-all as the RedHawks put together a six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. The drive was culminated on the final play of the first quarter as Dysert rushed for a one-yard score.
Army appeared to be driving for its third touchdown of the half midway through the second quarter, but the Black Knights turned the ball over at the Miami 24-yard line as Steelman fumbled the ball on a third-down run.
Miami took over and moved the ball to the Army 34-yard line, but the Black Knights’ defense stiffened and held the RedHawks on a fourth-and-10 play to get the ball back.
Army promptly drove the ball 66 yards in seven plays to reclaim the lead, 21-14, when Steelman hooked up with junior slotback Malcolm Brown on a seam route down the middle for a 45-yard touchdown pass.
Army was able to hold Miami on its final offensive possession of the first half and the Black Knights carried their 21-14 advantage into the intermission.
The Black Knights took the third quarter kickoff and drove the ball 80 yards in five plays to score their fourth touchdown of the game. Maples began the drive with a 22-yard run to the right side. Steelman then took off on a 40-yard run on the very next play to set Army up inside the Miami 20-yard line. Steelman capped the drive three plays later when he scored on a five-yard run. The drive, which used just 2:23 off the clock, gave the Black Knights their first two-touchdown lead of the afternoon.
Miami took the ensuing kickoff and drove the ball inside the Army five-yard line, and it appeared as though the RedHawks were poised to put more points on the board. Army’s defense again rose to the occasion as sophomore defensive back Tyler Dickson forced a fumble at the one-yard line and the Black Knights’ senior linebacker Andrew Rodriguez pounced on the loose football at the nine-yard line.
After an Army punt, Miami wasted little time in pulling to within 28-21 as the RedHawks drove 61 yards in six plays to score their third touchdown of the contest. The drive was capped with 2:30 to play in the third quarter when Dysert hit Justin Semmes out of the backfield for a 17-yard TD pass.
Miami forced and recovered a fumble by Maples on Army’s ensuing drive and the RedHawks converted the Black Knight miscue six plays later when Dysert hooked up with Andy Cruse for a nine-yard touchdown pass on a slant pattern. The score tied the game at 28-all with 14:56 showing on the fourth quarter clock.
After forcing an Army punt, Miami drove 98 yards in nine plays for the go-ahead touchdown. The score, which came on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Dysert to Nick Harwell, gave the RedHawks a 35-28 lead with 7:05 to play in the fourth quarter.
Army had one final opportunity, and the Black Knights drove the ball to the Miami 13-yard line, but they turned the ball over on downs.
Army will be idle until Saturday, Oct. 22, when the Black Knights travel to Nashville, TN, to face Southeastern Conference foe Vanderbilt.