WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) -- Air Force head coach Fisher DeBerry
wanted quarterback Adam Fitch to energize his sputtering team.
Fitch, a junior making his first career start, did just that,
running for 115 yards and a touchdown to lead Air Force to a 31-22
win over Army on Saturday.
Darnell Stephens added two TDs for the Falcons (4-5, 2-3 MWC),
who amassed 345 yards rushing and snapped a two-game losing streak.
Fitch, previously relegated to a backup role for most of the season
because of an injury, finished 7-of-8 passes for 84 yards.
"Adam Fitch did a good job today," DeBerry said. "He was is
control. He did give us a spark. Our players certainly believe in
"Our football team has bled for him all year long because they
know how competitive he is. ... Nobody has ever worked to come off
an injury like he did."
Carlton Jones ran for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead Army
(2-6, 2-4 Conference USA). Jones, with 1,057 yards this year, is
now the ninth Army running back to rush for more than 1,000 yards
in a season.
The Black Knights have dropped 15 of the last 16 to Air Force,
including eight straight. They last beat the Falcons in 1996.
"You've got to give Air Force a lot of credit," Army coach
Bobby Ross said. "We jumped on them early and they came back, held
their poise and played very well."
Air Force still needs to win its two remaining games to avoid
its first losing season since 1993. It would be only the second in
DeBerry's 21 seasons as head coach.
"This is just a step," Fitch said. "We are still 4-5 right
now ... we've got to get out there the next couple weeks and finish
Army took a 6-0 lead when Jones broke a 69-yard TD run on the
third play of the game. Austin Miller's 47-year field goal on the
next possession gave Army a nine-point lead.
Air Force, held to just 50 total yards in the first quarter, got
the board in the second when Fitch capped a seven-play drive with a
Chris Sutton's interception of Zac Dahman set up the Falcons'
next score. Stephens scored from 5 yards out to put Air Force up
14-9 with 8:23 left in the half.
After exchanging touchdowns, Army took a 22-21 lead with 17
seconds left in the half on Dahman's 16-yard TD pass to Jacob
Murphy. Dahman completed 20 of 38 passes for 192 yards and one TD.
DeBerry made some changes to his defense at halftime and the
Falcons were able to keep Jones under control from then on,
limiting him to just 11 yards rushing in the second half.
Meanwhile, the Air Force offense secured its footing, holding
the ball for almost 20 minutes after intermission as Fitch piled up
Stephens scored his second TD on a 5-yard run to cap an 11-play
drive in the third, giving Air Force a six-point lead with 5:03
remaining in the quarter.
Michael Greenaway added a 25-yard field goal with 5:48 remaining
to seal the victory for the Falcons.