Ahead 42-31 lead with 15 seconds remaining in the game seemed a relatively secure lead for Army, but Black Knights’ head coach Jeff Monken was taking no chances. So he had quarterback Angel Santiago drop back to pass; he hit Kelvin White with a 43-yard pass. White was tackled at the 1. Monken then called timeout, with two seconds remaining. Santiago then just took a knee for the last play of the game. Hey, coach, what gives?
“They were trying to win the game and so they were playing it all the way to the end so we were going to play all the way to the end,” he said.
But why not just take the knee prior to the pass?
With a visible twinkle in his eye, he said, “I am competitive.”
No word on whether Monken holds any particular grudge against anyone from the Bronx. Fordham plays Army in its opener next season. Safe to say Monken will not be similarly pleased if the Rams were to return the favor.
Fullback Larry Dixon had a record-breaking and record-tying game. His 158 yards rushing resulted in his becoming the third current Army running back to break 1,000 yards in a season. Raymond Maples and Terry Baggett were the others. He is also the 14th Army player to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. He now has 1,025. Strangely, he only ran the ball twice for a total of two yards in the first half.
“They took away the middle,” he said. “We have great senior running backs in Terry Baggett and Raymond Maples, who were getting to the outside. You can’t say enough about the linemen. We rotate a lot of guys in there and part of our offense is that we do a lot of blocking.”
By game’s end, Dixon passed former Heisman Trophy winner Glenn Davis for fourth place on Army’s all-time rushing list. His 3,098 yards trails only Trent Steelman (3,320 yards); Carlton Jones (3,536) and Mike Mayweather (4,299). His three touchdowns left him with 26, tying another Heisman winner, Doc Blanchard, for sixth all-time.
Conversely, Army held the Rams’ leading rusher, freshman Chase Edmonds, to just 69 yards. He entered the game leading the FCS in rushing touchdowns (21); fifth in all-purpose yards per game (173.3); sixth in rushing yards (1,470) and eighth in rushing yards per game (133.6).
With a 10-7 lead late in the second quarter, Fordham had moved to the Army 29, and quarterback Mike Nebrich hit tight end Dan Light with a pass right between the numbers, but the ball bounced off Light and landed in the arms of Army linebacker John Voit. It was Voit’s first career interception.
Army’s victory left it with a 4-0 lifetime record against the Rams. Army has outscored Fordham 142-31 in those games. Fordham coach Joe Moorhead said fatigue might have been a contributing factor in his team’s loss.
“Possibly,” he said. “This offense, they call it the triple option for a reason because you have to have someone devoted to the dive, someone devoted to the quarterback and someone devoted to the pitch. You have to commit to doing something during the week to defend it, which you don’t do during the season. Obviously they ran the quarterback sneak very successfully and they ran very successfully with Dixon on the dives. Our kids fought and they tried hard. That’s part of the FCS having 60 scholarships as opposed to a full complement, but that’s not an excuse, that’s facts. [Army] did a good job. I tip my hat to them and they did a good job of converting third and fourth-and-short when we needed to get off the field. And that’s something we can certainly take away and learn from.”