Rutgers 27, Army 15
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) _ Mike McMahon set up two touchdown runs by Gary Fauntleroy with long passes and ran for a score himself in leading Rutgers to a stunning 27-15 victory over Army on Saturday night.
Cornerback Reggie Stephens returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown and linebacker Ben Martin thwarted a late Army drive with an interception as Rutgers (2-2) rebounded just a week after a 70-14 loss to Syracuse.
The loss last week was the Scarlet Knights’ worst in Big East history and the point total was the most the school allowed in 108 years. All that was forgotten on homecoming as Rutgers won for only the fourth time in coach Terry Shea’s 26-game tenure.
Fullback Michael Wallace scored on runs of 17 and 4 yards for Army (1-2), which killed itself with mistakes playing most of the game without quarterback Johnny Goff, who sprained an ankle late in the first quarter.
With sophomore Joe Gerena playing, the Cadets got into Rutgers territory five times in the second half and failed to score with kicker Eric Olsen missing field goals of 34 and 40 yards.
Martin stopped another drive at the Scarlet Knights 3 and the last two ended on downs.
Rutgers, which has been limited to 14 points in each of its last two games, got 14 on its first two possessions against Army. McMahon connected with Bill Powell on passes of 48 and 42 yards to set up touchdown runs of 1 and 9 yards by Fauntleroy.
The Cadets didn’t get going until Gerena, who carried 18 times for 61 yards, replaced Goff later in the first quarter. A few plays after the sophomore took over, split end Rod Richardson went 35 yards on a reverse to set up Wallace’s 17-yard run up the middle on third-and-13. The extra point attempt by blocked by Jabari Moore.
Linebacker Nate Hunterton intercepted a pass that Powell dropped into his lap two plays later at the Army 45. Wallace scored on a 4-yard run to get the Cadets to 14-12 but Gerena misfired on the 2-point conversion pass.
Army had a chance to take the lead after holding Rutgers on its next possession. But on first down, linebacker Shin Black blitzed and Gerena, who was 12-of-22 for 94 yards with two interceptions, tried to force the ball in the flat. Stephens stepped in front of receiver Shaun Castillo and went 50 yards untouched for his second interception return of the season and a 21-12 lead.
Olsen, who kicked an 18-yard field goal to beat Rutgers 37-35 last year, kicked a 32-yarder in the second quarter to make it 21-15. However, he missed from 34 and 40 yards early in the third quarter and Rutgers responded with a 12-play, 77-yard march that McMahon, who was 8-of-19 for 150 yards, capped with a quarterback sneak.