WEST POINT - Kent State’s Dri Archer ran for 222 yards and a touchdown, and threw for another score, to lead the Golden Flashes to a 31-17 victory versus Army in front of 30,022 fans at Michie Stadium Saturday afternoon. The loss dropped the Black Knights to 1-5 on the season, while the Golden Flashes improved to 5-1.
Army outgained Kent State 457-367, including a 325-283 rushing advantage. The Golden Flashes used big plays to score the victory, including, an 87-yard touchdown run by Archer in the fourth quarter. Army’s offense was held to two touchdowns on four trips to the redzone, and misfired on two key fourth-down conversion tries.
Senior RB Malcolm Brown led Army with 92 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Sophomore RB Raymond Maples ran for 80 yards to move into 10th place on Army’s all-time rushing list with 2,025 yards. Senior QB Trent Steelman ran for 66 yards and threw for another 66 yards (5-for-9).
Freshman QB A.J. Schurr played the final two drives, throwing for 66 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 21 yards in his first extended action. The Black Knights threw for a season-high 132 yards, their largest output since the last meeting with Kent State on Nov. 3, 2010 (149).
Sophomore WR Chevaughn Lawrence had a career day with six catches for 88 yards, while junior WR Patrick Laird added two catches, 10 yards and a touchdown to his season total.
Defensively, sophomore LB Geoffery Bacon matched his career high with 14 tackles, including 12 solo stops. Sophomore DT Richard Glover made his first career start, and racked up four tackles, 1.5 for loss, including a sack.
Archer accounted for 222 yards of the Golden Flashes 283 rushing yards. Trayion Durham gained 65 yards and scored once on 21 carries. Quarterback Spencer Keith was 6-for-11 for 60 yards and a score, while Archer completed his only pass, a 24-yard connecting with Keith on throwback play. Eric Adeyemi made two catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Luke Batton racked up 16 total tackles to lead the KSU defense, while Roosevelt Nix made two tackles for a loss, including the game’s only sack.
Army had its worst third-down day of the season, converting only five of its 17 chances. The Black Knights were also stopped on a 4th-and-inches at their own 38-yard line and on 4th-and-2 inside the Golden Flashes’ 15-yard line with a chance to make it a one score game in the fourth quarter.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Golden Flashes struck first on their initial possession of the second stanza. A 19-yard run by Archer moved the ball into Army territory, and after four straight runs by Durham, Archer took a handoff, but pulled up and hit Keith on a throwback for 24 yards. The PAT was good, putting the Golden Flashes on top 7-0 with 11:46 left in the half.
The Black Knights punted on their next possession, and once again the Golden Flashes found the end zone via the pass. Keith hit Adeyemi for a 30-yard score, one of his two catches on the drive. The extra point extended the lead to 14-0 with 6:44 to go in the half.
Army rushed for only 115 yards on 31 carries in the first half. Kent State held a 176-132 total offense advantage in the first 30 minutes.
The Black Knights forced the Golden Flashes to punt on the first possession of the second half. On the ensuing drive, Army faced a 4th-and-1 from its own 38-yard line. Steelman was met at the line of scrimmage on a quarterback sneak, giving Kent State the ball in Army territory. A 28-yard field goal by Freddy Cortez pushed KSU’s lead to 17-0 with 8:56 left in the quarter.
The Army offense took the ball and moved to the Kent State 20-yard line where Daniel Grochowski drilled a 37-yard field goal with 3:12 left on the third quarter clock.
The Golden Flashes answered back with their third touchdown. Archer set up the score with a 48-yard dash, and Durham did the honors with a two-yard plunge. The extra point pushed the Golden Flashes’ lead to 24-3 with 54 seconds left in the third quarter.
Brown scored the Black Knights’ first touchdown of the day on a five-yard run with 12:02 left in the fourth quarter. Grochowski’s PAT trimmed the deficit to 24-10.
After a Kent State punt, Army drove to the Kent State 11, where Maples fumbled it back to Kent State. After a run for no gain, Archer scampered 87 yards for the touchdown to re-establish a 21-point lead with 6:22 left.
Schurr came on at quarterback for the Black Knights and engineered a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. He completed two of his four passes and ran for 17 yards on the drive. He tallied his first career scoring pass when Laird made a spectacular one-handed grab, reaching behind the defender despite being interfered with. Grochowski’s final PAT set the final margin.
Army will play its first road game in nearly a month when they travel to Eastern Michigan on October 20th.