Army delivers Hawaiian Punch :Home streak reaches nine after thriller against Hawaii

By Kat Castner Army Athletic Communications

September 20th, 2018 | Sports, Sports Calendar
Junior running back Conor Slomka broke down the right sideline and reached the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown during Army West Point’s 28-21 victory over Hawaii Sept. 15 at Michie Stadium. Slomka finished the day with 62 yards on the ground.
  An energetic cadet shows the world that Army Football is number one.
 Junior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. led all Army ball carriers with 110 yards and a pair of scores on 20 carries during Army West Point’s 28-21 victory over Hawaii Sept. 15 at Michie Stadium. The Charlotte, N.C., native also added 162 yards in the air on six completions. Photo by Class of 2022 Cadet Brenden Stanton

In a thrilling game that came down to the wire, it was the Army West Point Football team delivering a huge fourth-quarter stop to take down undefeated Hawaii, 28-21, Sept. 15 at Michie Stadium.
The Black Knights ended the Rainbow Warriors’ unbeaten streak, which stood at three-straight games heading into Saturday’s contest. With the win, Army shifts to 2-1 on the year.
Junior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. led all Army ball carriers with 110 yards and a pair of scores on 20 carries. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native also added 162 yards in the air on six completions.
He was backed by the 70-yard rushing game of senior running back Darnell Woolfolk and a 62-yard rushing performance by junior running back Connor Slomka. Both rushers found their way into the end zone once opposite the Rainbow Warriors.
Defensively, Kenneth Brinson led the charge with a team-best six tackles and two sacks for a loss of eight yards.
James Nachtigal also helped the Black Knights’ defensive corps with five tackles and one sack for a loss of nine yards.
Highlights and game notes
• The Black Knights are now undefeated at home in their last nine contests, which is the longest span since winning 14 straight from 1984-86.
• Hopkins was the first Army quarterback to throw and run for 100 yards in a single game since Chris Carter did so on Nov. 21, 2015 against Rutgers.
• Hopkins is also the first quarterback since Zac Dahman in 2005 to throw for 500 or more yards in the first three games of the season.
• Darnell Woolfolk scored his 26th career touchdown and tied Doc Blanchard and Larry Dixon for eighth in all-time career scores.
• The Black Knights went for over 100 yards passing for the second time this season.
• Army compiled more than 40 minutes of possession for the second-straight week.
• Brinson recorded a total of two sacks in the game, which shifts him into sole possession of seventh place all-time with 10.5 sacks.
• The Cadets held Hawaii’s high-powered offense, which came into the game averaging 48.3 points, to just 21 on Saturday.
• Army is now 20-2 when leading after three quarters under Coach Monken.
• It is also Army’s first win in the series and they are 1-1 against Hawaii at West Point.
How it happened
• The Rainbow Warriors wasted little time utilizing their run-n-shoot offense as they took the opening drive down the field and into the end zone in just five plays for the early 7-0 edge. Hawaii completed three passes during that time, including a 50-yard pickup by Cedric Byrd.
• After a big fourth down sack by Brinson, the Black Knights knotted things up using a five-play drive of their own to pull even at 7-7. A highlight of that march was a Hopkins-Calen Holt connection for 63 yards that put the Cadets in the red zone at the 1-yard line.
• The Army defense forced a 3-and-out, giving the ball back to the Black Knights’ offense with 5:15 remaining in the first quarter. Starting from their own 36, the Cadets marched 64 yards down the field on 14 rushes and scored on a Hopkins 1-yard rush to give the home side the lead at 14-7.
• Hawaii countered quickly and leaned heavily on the hot hand of its quarterback, Cole McDonald. He connected on all six of his pass attempts for 53 yards before John Ursua took the direct snap and found his way into the end zone on a 1-yard rush.
• The Black Knights responded with a quick score of their own and needed just 5:32 to regain their one-touchdown advantage. The drive started on Army’s 25 and was capped by a 48-yard touchdown catch and score by Connor Slomka.
• After a scoreless third quarter, the Black Knights had possession to begin the fourth period and Hopkins led the charge down the field.
The junior quarterback accounted for 61 of the team’s 73 yards on a touchdown drive that ended with a 3-yard rushing score by Woolfolk.
• With 8:55 remaining in the game and trailing by two touchdowns, Hawaii needed just one play to trim the deficit to seven following a 80-yard passing touchdown from McDonald to Ursua.
• With the ball back with the Black Knights and 8:42 left to play, Army began to drive down the field. An 11-yard drive that was highlighted by a 29-yard pass from Hopkins to Coates milked 5:42 off the clock, but resulted in a turnover on downs after the Cadets could not convert on a 4th-and-1 on the Hawaii 28.
• The Rainbow Warriors took over possession and McDonald caught fire. He completed four passes for 39 yards and added a 28-yard scamper to put his team at the Army 11.
However, the Black Knights’ defense held strong and forced three incompletions to seal the home victory.