1:00 PM ET, November 6, 2004
Michie Stadium, WEST POINT, NY
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 him."
"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 strong."
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 16-yard touchdown.
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 the yards.
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.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-12||7-16|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-2|
|TD||14:07||CARLTON JONES 69 YD RUN (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 77 yards.
|FG||7:58||JUSTIN KOENIG 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 27 yards.
|TD||14:03||ADAM FITCH 16 YD RUN (MICHAEL GREENAWAY KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||8:23||DARNELL STEPHENS 5 YD RUN (MICHAEL GREENAWAY KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 40 yards.
|TD||6:10||CARLTON JONES 5 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT RUSH)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 78 yards.
|TD||3:06||JACOBE KENDRICK 4 YD RUN (MICHAEL GREENAWAY KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||0:17||JACOB MURPHY 16 YD PASS FROM ZAC DAHMAN (JUSTIN KOENIG KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||5:03||DARNELL STEPHENS 5 YD RUN (MICHAEL GREENAWAY KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 74 yards.
|FG||5:48||MICHAEL GREENAWAY 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 57 yards.