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The UTSA Roadrunners faced the Army West Point Black Knights in the second home game of the season for the ‘Runners. The Black Knights would walk away from the game victorious, 31-13. The ‘Runners posted 260 total offensive yards while allowing Army to post 358 yards.

“We game planning knew what to expect from this team, but it’s very hard to emulate that,” head coach Frank Wilson said about the planning for a triple-option flexbone offense. 

The ‘Runners and Black Knights met for the first time in each of the schools history. Looking back at the first two weeks for Army, they beat Rice by seven and lost in double overtime to Michigan. 

“I thought the momentum of the game swung in our direction, and we really got after them from a defensive standpoint,” Wilson said.

The ‘Runners were able to force three Army turnovers in the first half and restrict the Black Knights to a total of 19 yards in the second quarter. Quarterback Frank Harris finished the game with 23 completions for 187 yards and no touchdowns. Running back Sincere McCormick had five touches for 30 yards and one score to mark two consecutive weeks that the freshman has found the end zone.

Tight end Carlos Strickland led way for all the ‘Runner receivers with four catches for 38 yards and a touchdown catch from Harris that was called just short of the end zone.

“It was just one of those things we’re just kind of came up short but they’re definitely a physical team,” Strickland said on the physicality of the Black Knights.

The ‘Runners won the coin toss and elected to differ. The Black Knights made the most of their opportunity and on the first play quarterback Labari Lewis broke free on a 34-yard rush to set up Army with great field position. After a penalty, running back Kell Walker took a pitch from Lewis 26-yards for the first Army touchdown of the game. 

Harris started for the ‘Runners once again and on the first offensive drive of the game, connected with wide receiver Sheldon Jones for a 14-yard catch to give the offense a first down. A few plays later, Harris was sacked and fumbled the ball away to Army defender Kwabena Bonsu. 

Army started their next drive in very good field position and was able to complete a pass on third down for 12 yards, but it was not enough. Army brought out their kicker David Cooper who nailed a 40-yard field goal to increase the Black Knight lead, 10-0. 

With about six minutes left in the first quarter, Army was able to surpass the 100-yard mark. On that same drive, the Black Knights ended up fumbling the ball away and it was recovered by middle linebacker LaDarian McFarland to give the ‘Runners some momentum and the ball back.

The ‘Runners started off the second quarter with a punt after the Army defense smothered Harris as he dropped back to pass. On the next drive, defensive end Jarrod Carter-McLin busted through the Black Knight offensive line on his way to making a tackle for a loss. 

“They were physical, but I feel like we were just as physical,” Carter-McLin said.

Army would eventually fumble, but it was recovered by the Black Knights. On third down strong safety Rashad Wisdom and Carter-McLin swarmed the backfield to make a huge stop on third down to force a punt and give the ‘Runners the ball back. 

The ‘Runners started off the third quarter with a bang; the drive began at the ‘Runner 35-yard line and Harris would help conduct a 13-play 65-yard drive that ended with Lowell Narcisse 2-yard touchdown to cut the Army lead to three. The drive wouldn’t have lasted without a crucial Gavin Sharp reception on fourth down that kept the drive alive. 

For the Black Knights, Walker kicked off the next drive with a 15-yard rush but that was all the offense had in store as the ‘Runner defense swarmed Walker for a huge tackle for a loss with Wisdom flying in on third and long to make a huge sack that would send the Alamodome into a frenzy.

The ‘Runners faced a four and nine, and looked like they were all set up to punt but punter Lucas Dean had other plans. Dean hit Wisdom on a short pass that ended up turning into a 22-yard gain to keep the ‘Runners drive alive. A few plays later the ‘Runners ended up fumbling with Army gaining position around midfield. 

“It was a drive killer, a momentum killer for our team all together,” Strickland said about what the fumble did to the offense at that point in the game.

The Black Knights took advantage of the turnover as Lewis broke free untouched on a 41-yard rush into the end zone to give Army a 10 point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The ‘Runners return man Brett Winnegan would answer right back though taking the Army kick 65-yards down to the Army 35-yard line. The drive would be capped off on a Sincere McCormick seven-yard rushing touchdown to cut into the Army lead. The ‘Runners fumbled the snap on the extra point so the Army lead would stay at 11. 24-13, Black Knights. 

“You can go 0-3 and still win the conference, and that was our goal at the end of the day. It was never to go undefeated,” Carter- McLin stated. 

On the very next drive the Black Knights would go on a seven and a half minute long drive that would end in the final score of the game for both teams and seal the Army victory. 

The ‘Runners will be back on the field Sept. 21 at 6:30 in Apogee Stadium, against the University of North Texas. It will be the first conference game of the season for both schools. 

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