Army West Point shuts down Middle Tennessee State in opener

September 10th, 2020 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
Sophomore running back Anthony Adkins dodges a tackler and races upfield for a 22-yard touchdown run to cement Army West Point’s 42-0 victory over Middle Tennessee State Saturday at Michie Stadium. Adkins finished the day with 34 yards rushing on four carries and a touchdown. Photo by Dustin Satloff/Courtesy of Army Athletic Communications

By JJ Klein
Army Athletic Communications

The Army West Point football team held nothing back in its 42-0 home-opening victory against Middle Tennessee State Saturday at Michie Stadium.
It was the Black Knights’ first home opening shutout since blanking Colgate on Sept. 11, 1993, by a 30-0 score.
The defense stood strong in the contest intercepting two passes and forcing a pair of fumbles. Army scored three times thanks to defensive turnovers.
Senior captain running back Sandon McCoy led the Black Knights’ offense with three rushing touchdowns. Freshman running back Tyrell Robinson made his collegiate debut in the contest and led both sides with 94 rushing yards.

How it happened
• The Black Knights pressed the Blue Raiders early on, scoring off a turnover in the first quarter to go ahead 7-0.
• Junior defensive back Cedrick Cunningham forced a Middle Tennessee State fumble two minutes into the game at the opponent’s 44-yard line. Senior linebackerJon Rhattigan recovered the ball to set up the first Army touchdown of the season.
• McCoy punched the ball through on a one-yard run to cap a nine play, 43-yard, four-minute drive.
• After putting up another defensive stop, the Black Knights took over for the next nine minutes.
• McCoy notched his second touchdown of the day at the 14:06 mark of the second quarter thanks to a two-yard conversion.
• The Cadets were poised for a field goal attempt at 7:56, but a roughing the kicker call by the Blue Raiders enabled another Army touchdown by McCoy.
• Army led 21-0 at the half and all of its drives in the first 30 minutes of the game resulted in rushing touchdowns.
• The Black Knights didn’t slow down in the second half and scored back-to-back touchdowns in a 4:15 span.
• Senior quarterback Christian Anderson scored his first of the year off a 24-yard rush to cap a seven play, 71-yard drive.
• The Cadets’ defense caused another turnover which resulted in an Army touchdown at 6:33 in the third quarter.
• Rhattigan intercepted a pass for a 43-yard pick six to help Army to a 35-0 advantage.
• The Black Knights continued to control the pace of the game well into the fourth quarter thanks to a 99-yard march up the field in a 12:26 minute span.
• Sophomore running back Anthony Adkins charged up the Army sideline, shedding would be tacklers for a 22-yard touchdown carry to increase Army’s lead to 42-0.

Game notes
• Head Coach Jeff Monken is 6-1 in home-openers at West Point and has won five straight.
• This was Army’s first shutout at Michie Stadium since it blanked Fordham, 55-0, on Oct. 29, 2011.
• Dating back to last season, Army’s last 11 drives that did not result in the end of regulation at Michie Stadium have resulted in touchdowns.
• The Black Knights’ defensive unit limited the Blue Raiders to 184 yards of total offense.
• The Cadets have seen 142 minutes and 17 seconds of action since their last punt at Michie Stadium. Army’s last punt on its home turf occurred at the 7:17 mark of the third quarter against UMass on Nov. 9, 2019.
• The Cadets only had two offensive plays go for negative yardage, both of which were losses of just one yard.
• McCoy recorded his fourth career multi-touchdown game, finding the endzone three times in the first half.
• McCoy tied his career high, scoring his third rushing score of the afternoon at the 7:14 mark of the second quarter.
• Rhattigan’s 43-yard pick-six was Army’s first since Max Regan took an interception 48 yards to the house at Rice on Oct. 7, 2017.
• Cunningham registered his first career forced fumble in addition to leading the team with seven tackles (5 solo).
• Robinson led all rushers with 94 yards in his collegiate debut on nine carries. He had a long rush of 37 yards on the first drive of the second half.

Up next
• The Black Knights continue their homestand Saturday at Michie Stadium with a 1:30 p.m. game against Louisiana Monroe.