Football shows fight, edged by No. 7 Michigan in OT

By Matt Faulkner Army Athletic Communications

September 12th, 2019 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
  Senior running back Kell Walker set up Army West Point’s first score with a season-high 31-yard run. He finished the day with 39 yards on five carries during the Black Knights 24-21 double overtime loss to No. 7 Michigan at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. Photo by Danny Wild/Army Athletic Communications

It took two overtimes, but the Army West Point Football team fell to No. 7 Michigan, 24-21, in front of 111,474 fans at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Michigan’s Jake Moody kicked a field goal in the second overtime to put the Wolverines up 24-21 and then the home team forced a fumble on third down to come away with the win.
Army saw senior running back Connor Slomka rush for a team-high 92 yards on the ground and senior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. ran for 41 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
Senior defensive back Elijah Riley finished with a career-high 13 tackles, including two tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Cole Christiansen racked up 12 tackles and a forced fumble.

How it happened
• The Black Knights were on the board first after being set up by a sack and forced fumble by sophomore linebacker Arik Smith with the recovery from sophomore defensive lineman Kwabena Bonsu at the 10:13 mark of the opening quarter.
• The drive stayed alive thanks to a two-yard rush by Slomka with Army facing 4th-and-1 on its own 49.
• Senior running back Kell Walker set up the scoring play with a season-high 31-yard carry to the Michigan 18-yard line.
• Junior running back Sandon McCoy powered into the end zone for the score from two-yards out to put the Cadets ahead of Michigan 7-0.
• With 24 seconds on the clock in the first, the Wolverines evened the score with Zach Charbonnet finding the end zone.
• The two teams traded turnovers when Riley sacked Shea Patterson for a loss of seven yards and then recovered the ball to set up the Black Knights in the second quarter.
• On the next Michigan drive, Christiansen forced another Wolverines fumble which was recovered by senior defensive back Cam Jones at the 9:37 minute mark.
• Army ate up a chunk of the game clock in the second during a 40-yard, 11-play and 6:46 minute drive to re-take the lead.
• Army was 4th-and-5 on the Michigan 35 and attempted a pass, but it was a holding call against Michigan that kept the Black Knights’ drive alive with 7:35 on the clock.
• Then two minutes later, Slomka was successful on a 4th-and-2 play on the Michigan 14 setting up the Cadets for the score.
• Hopkins punched it in for the touchdown with 2:51 remaining in the first half to gain a 14-7 advantage over the Wolverines.
• Michigan re-tied the score after a 5:19 minute drive in the third quarter.
• Charbonnet reached the end zone again for the Wolverines to bring the score to 14-14.
• The Cadets made big 4th-and-2 stops on back-to-back Michigan drives in the fourth quarter.
• Five minutes in, Army stopped Michigan on its own 25 during when senior defensive back Jaylon McClinton perfectly anticipated the play to secure the stop.
• With 2:32 remaining in regulation, Christiansen and sophomore defensive back Cedrick Cunningham Jr. combined for the stand to provide the Black Knights an attempt to take the game.
• With two seconds on the clock, Army attempted a 50-yard field goal from the Michigan 33-yard line, but it was just short to send the game into overtime.
• Army was first up on offense and scored on five plays to go ahead 21-14. Hopkins scored on the 6-yard keeper.
• Michigan answered with a touchdown of its own on four plays to force another round of overtime.
• The Wolverines were up first this time and settled for a 43-yard field goal which turned into the game-winning score.