Woolfolk scores twice, Army beats Lafayette 31-13
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Darnell Woolfolk rushed for 69 yards and two touchdowns, Calen Holt and Kelvin Hopkins Jr. each scored on short runs, and Army beat Lafayette 31-13 on a windswept Saturday.
It was the sixth straight victory for Army (8-2), which has won 12 in a row at home. Lafayette (3-7), which plays in the Championship Subdivision (FCS), fell behind early and was doomed by a blocked punt to start the second half. Army has won 18 straight in the series, all at Michie Stadium.
Army dominated the opening half, running twice as many plays as the Leopards, outgaining them 256-63, and holding the ball for nearly 22 minutes to gain a 17-6 lead. The margin could have been greater if not for a turnover and two penalties in a three-play sequence with the ball inside the Lafayette 10.
The Leopards’ loss was sealed after a blocked punt on the first possession of the second half. Jacob Bissell’s kick slammed off the helmet of Army’s Andy Davidson and Mike Reynolds recovered for the Black Knights at the Lafayette 1 to set up Woolfolk’s second TD. It was his 34th touchdown rushing, fifth all-time at Army and one ahead of Carlton Jones.
Army took the game’s opening kickoff and methodically marched down the field to the Lafayette 6, but two false starts by the Black Knights forced them to settle for John Abercrombie’s 25-yard field goal.
The Leopards tied it late in the first, taking advantage of an Army gaffe. Lafayette generated nothing on its first possession, punting after three downs. But Reynolds fumbled the kick after it bounced once and Lafayette’s Yasir Thomas recovered at the Army 23. After losing 2 yards in three plays, Jeffrey Kordenbrock kicked a 42-yard field goal.
The Black Knights scored their first touchdown early in the second. Hopkins hit a wide-open Glen Coates along the right side, and he broke a tackle and bulled his way to the Lafayette 1 for a 35-yard gain, a career best. Woolfolk scored on the next play for a 10-3 lead.
Another nice punt by Bissell pinned Army at its own 6-yard line, but Artice Hobbs got the Black Knights out of trouble quickly with a nifty 18-yard run right after a pitch from Hopkins on the first play of the drive.
The Black Knights then used the pass to strike again and put Lafayette in a deep hole. With the Leopards intent on trying to stop the run, Hopkins found a wide-open Holt for a 32-yard gain. Holt scored on an 8-yard run to the right off another pitch with 41 seconds left in the second quarter, giving Army a 17-3 lead.
Kordenbrock’s 43-yard field goal as time expired gave the Leopards a boost going into the break. It was short-lived for a team that was averaging 14 points a game and found little give in the Army defense.
In honor of Veterans Day, the Leopards had special decals on their helmets to honor the military .
Lafayette: The Leopards, like most of the teams in the Patriot League, are in a down year but can salvage a measure of respect with a win next week against Lehigh in the most-played football rivalry in the nation. The teams have played 153 times since 1884.
Army: The Black Knights have become a force in their home stadium, going unbeaten last year and raising their record this year to 5-0 with one game left.
NO PASSING FANCY
Army ranked second nationally in rushing entering the game, averaging 306.6 yards, and racked up 182 in the first half Saturday. But Hopkins again demonstrated that teams have to respect his arm with the two key completions.
Lafayette scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter when QB Sean O’Malley finally got untracked. He had completions on screen passes of 23 yards to CJ Amill and 10 yards to Mike Dunn and hit Tim Payne over the middle for 19 yards to set up a 3-yard scoring toss to Will Eisler. The Leopards had four first downs on the drive and only nine for the game to 23 for Army.
Lafayette hosts Lehigh next Saturday.
Army hosts unbeaten Colgate in the season finale at home next Saturday.
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