Football tramples VMI, 47-6, for Senior Day win

By Greg Kincaid Army Athletic Communications

November 21st, 2019 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 Senior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr., who came into the game to replace sophomore quarterback Jabari Laws late in the opening quarter, logged a career-best 208 rushing yards and a score on 16 carries for the Black Knights during Army West Point football’s 47-6 victory over VMI on senior day Saturday at Michie Stadium.  Photo by Army Athletic Communications

With 594 yards on the ground, the Army West Point football team powered past VMI for a 47-6, senior day win Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium.
Senior quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr., who came into the game to replace sophomore quarterback Jabari Laws late in the opening quarter, logged a career-best 208 rushing yards and a score on 16 carries for the Black Knights (5-6).
Prior to exiting the contest, Laws had success running the football against the Keydets (4-7) as the second-year quarterback went for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Junior quarterback Christian Anderson and senior running backs Connor Slomka and Kell Walker also all found pay dirt to add to Army’s successful rushing performance.
Slomka was responsible for three of the Black Knights’ seven touchdowns in the game.
Defensively, it was senior linebacker Cole Christiansen pacing the Cadets with 10 tackles in his final game at Michie Stadium. Sophomore defensive back Malkelm Morrisson, sophomore defensive back Cedrick Cunningham Jr. and junior linebacker Jeremiah Lowery each came away with five tackles apiece.
Sophomore defensive lineman Kwabena Bonsu found his way into the VMI backfield several times and he tallied a team-best two sacks.

How it happened
• The Keydets elected to go for an onside kick to start the game and came up with the ball. The Army defense held its ground though and VMI could only generate 22 yards before being held to three points after a 47-yard field goal sailed through the uprights.
• The lead didn’t last for long as Army responded on its first drive of the game with a touchdown at the 7:17 mark of the opening quarter. The nine-play drive was highlighted by a 23-yard scamper by Laws before he later punched one in from the 4-yard line to put the Black Knights ahead, 7-3.
• The Keydets had possession of the ball on their own 20-yard line with 12:31 remaining in the half before working their way 60 yards down the field to set up another field goal. This time, the kick was from 37 yards out and made it a one-point game, 7-6.
• Once again, the Cadets had a quick counter and charged ahead 14-6 after gaining 64 yards in just seven plays. Hopkins sparked the scoring drive with a 42-yard rush up the right sideline. Army then turned to Slomka and he went into the end zone from three yards out, marking his first touchdown of the afternoon.
• Army dominated the third quarter and outscored the Keydets, 19-0.
• On Army’s first drive of the second half, Walker capped a 10-play, 99-yard drive with a 59-yard run to the end zone to put the Black Knights ahead, 21-6.
• VMI turned the ball over on downs on its following possession and gave the Black Knights possession on the Keydets’ 27-yard line. Army took advantage of the favorable field positioning and Slomka rushed one in from three-yards out to extend the lead.
• With 1:33 on the clock in the third frame, Hopkins scored for the Black Knights after a 63-yard rush. It was the second play of a drive that lasted just 54 seconds.
• Army kicked off following the score and junior kicker Landon Salyers forced a fumble and recovered it. The Cadets then marched 39 yards into the end zone after Slomka took one in from eight-yards out to give Army a 40-6 advantage with 14:14 left to play.
• The Black Knights had one final score in them, and it came with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Anderson opened the scoring drive with a 48-yard rush before capping it with a four-yard score.