AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for a career-high 265 yards and Army ended Air Force’s 306-game scoring streak with a 21-0 win on Saturday.
Air Force had the fifth-longest scoring streak all-time in the FBS before Army’s swarming defense ended it. The last time the Falcons were held scoreless was by Mississippi in the 1992 Liberty Bowl. It was the first time the Falcons were shut out at home since Nov. 1, 1980, according to the school.
“That was our mentality going in — just stuffing them on ‘O’,” Army senior defensive lineman John Voigt said.
In addition, the Black Knights (7-2) took a big first step in their quest to capture the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 1996. The winner of the Army-Navy game on Dec. 9 will take home the honor in the annual round-robin competition between service academies. Air Force was beaten by Navy earlier this season.
Army kept the Air Force (4-5) off the board midway through the fourth quarter when the defense stopped the Falcons on downs deep in Army territory. After the offense went on a time-consuming scoring drive, the defense finished off the shutout by forcing an Air Force punt with around 33 seconds remaining. The Falcons missed a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter.
“You could tell they wanted it more — from the first snap,” Air Force quarterback Arion Worthman said. “Army really wanted this win today. ... We got our (rears) kicked today. They brought it to us.”
Kell Walker scored twice for the Black Knights, who earned their first win at Falcon Stadium since 2005.
Bradshaw appeared to get sick near the sideline in the first quarter and sat out a play. He made Air Force sick the rest of the afternoon, scoring on a 21-yard run to help Army win its fifth straight game. He didn’t attempt a pass all afternoon in the windy conditions.
The Falcons finished with 95 yards rushing, which is well below their season average (350.2). They had 190 total yards.
Worthman rushed for 34 yards and was 6 of 11 through the air for 95.
The game changed tenor in the second quarter after Worthman missed a wide open Ryan Reffitt for what looked like a sure touchdown. After a punt, Bradshaw led the Black Knights on a nine-play drive that culminated with a 27-yard TD run by Walker to make it 14-0.
“We gave up some big plays against them a year ago,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “We didn’t give up the big plays this year.”
Not only that, but Army’s defense was on point all afternoon in bottling up the Falcons’ triple-option offense.
“They were stuffing us pretty well,” senior tailback Tim McVey said. “We did not play the way we wanted to.”
Army: That bye week was put to good use as the Black Knights frustrated the Falcons. It was only their second win against Air Force in the last 12 games.
Air Force: The Falcons have to win two of their final three to become bowl eligible for a 10th time under coach Troy Calhoun. The Falcons lead the series with Army 36-15-1.
Army: Host Duke next weekend.
Air Force: Host Wyoming on Saturday. “We have to go back in the workshop,” linebacker Grant Ross said, “and work out the kinks for Wyoming.”
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