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November 13th, 2013

Late Surge Pushes WKU Over Army, 21-17

Army RB Terry Baggett reached the triple-digit rushing mark for the fifth time in 2013 by totaling 102 yards on 12 carries, including a touchdown against WKU. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
WEST POINT - Western Kentucky ate up the final four minutes of clock and capped an 87-yard drive with a touchdown to come from behind and defeat Army, 21-17, on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium. The Black Knights held the Hilltoppers scoreless in the first half and took a three-point lead into the final quarter before WKU tacked on a pair of scores to seal the win.

Army (3-7) outgained WKU (6-4) in total yards, 347-334, as the Black Knights fall to 3-1 this season when winning the yardage battle. Junior Terry Baggett reached the triple-digit rushing mark for the third time in four games and fifth time in 2013 by totaling 102 yards on 12 carries, to include a touchdown. Baggett will enter the Hawai’i contest on Nov. 30 with 991 yards this season.

Army caught everyone by surprise as sophomore kicker Daniel Grochowski opened the game with an onsides kick which bounced off a WKU player and a Black Knight recovered. The play was nullified as Army was flagged for an offsides penalty and forced to re-kick.

Despite a career-high 68-yard run by Tony Giovannelli which got the Black Knights within a yard of the goal line, Army went without a point in the first quarter and cracked the scoring column with 3:28 remaining in the first half. Grochowski connected on a 25-yard field goal attempt to improve to 8-for-11 on the season and give the Black Knights a 3-0 lead at the half.

Army got the ball out of intermission and scored on its opening drive when junior quarterback Angel Santiago punched in a one-yard score, his eighth of the season, tying him for the team lead with Baggett. The Black Knights’ 10-0 lead lasted five minutes before WKU trimmed the advantage to 10-7 when Willie McNeal snagged his first of two straight touchdown passes from Brandon Doughty, the first from 11 yards out.

McNeal and the Hilltoppers opened the final quarter with another score just 12 seconds in, as WKU took its first lead of the game with 14:48 left on the clock. Army marched down the field on its ensuing possession, eating up nearly eight minutes of clock, capped by Baggett’s 20-yard rushing TD to regain the lead, 17-14.

Momentum appeared to be on Army’s side as junior linebacker James Kelly forced his second career fumble on WKU’s second play from scrimmage, with senior Colby Miller recovering near midfield. The momentum stalled, however, as Army failed to capitalize and was forced to punt on a three-and-out.

The Hilltoppers got the ball back with 4:16 remaining at their own 16-yardline as Doughty led the charge down the field. The junior QB passed for 73 yards and rushed for nine in WKU’s 10-play, 87-yard final scoring drive. Antonio Andrews, who had a game-high 117 yards rushing, broke off a two-yard score with 32 seconds remaining as WKU pulled ahead 21-17 and became bowl eligible.
Army fumbled on its first possession after the score and the Hilltoppers recovered to put the Black Knights away.

Seniors Jarrett Mackey and Thomas Holloway highlighted the defensive effort for Army. Mackey recorded a career-high two quarterback sacks, dropping Doughty for a combined 22 yards lost and totaled eight tackles. Holloway matched his season best with 11 tackles and snagged his first interception since Nov. 12, 2011 against Rutgers. WKU’s Andrew Jackson was credited with a game-high 15 tackles.

Doughty passed for 199 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both to McNeal who totaled a game-high 101 yards receiving. Santiago connected with seven different Army receivers for a combined 70 yards, led by Giovannelli who had a pair of catches for 29 yards.

Army’s final test leading up the annual Army-Navy Game presented by USAA will be in three weeks when the Black Knights travel to Hawai’i. Kickoff against the Warriors is slated for 11 p.m., Eastern.

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