Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pictures from the Fordham Game

Emma and I took Sally's cousins Donna and Jay up to Michie Stadium for yesterday's triumphant win against Fordham.  The Army team is now 4-7 and poised for a breakout game against our arch-rival Navy.

Go Army, Beat Navy!
We got there early, for once.  Emma and I left the house at 7:45, got to Jay and Donna's right at 9:00, loaded up the car, and were on the road by 9:30.  Jay and Donna live in Hopewell Junction, NY, which is right across the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge from the Academy.  That's the way we went, driving over and then down 9W to Washington Gate.  I thought we'd wind up waiting in traffic at the gate, but it wasn't bad at all, except that we were then on the wrong side of the Academy from where I wanted to park.  We drove around--and around and around!--eventually getting to Ike Hall, up around Trophy Point, and onto Thayer roof, my preferred parking destination.  

The parking lot is never crowded there.  I don't know why.

We crossed the Apron, walked up the hill, and arrived at Knights Alley in time to play.  Emma hit the bouncy house and the climbing wall while Jay and Donna did their best to support Army Athletics via the souvenier shops. 

On behalf of Army Athletics, thank you Donna and Jay!

Emma considers her line prior to the climb.
Rough start.  She relied on the ropes too much initially.
She wound up heading up the right side, climbing
to the center, and finishing like a champ.  Onlookers
congratulated her afterwards.
Waiting in line was actually a highlight for me.  The woman in front of me was also an Army Swimming alum, class of 2000.  After they both got out of the Army, she and her husband settled in Highland Falls!

By the time Emma finished on the climbing wall, the march-on was nearly over.  We headed inside, sat down, and almost immediately the parachute demonstration began.

All five jumpers were cadets from the Parachute Team.
On the approach
...and stick the landing!
You never really know with Army Football.  On any given Saturday, the parachutists may be the best thing you see all day.

After that, it was time for some football.

Me, Emma, and Donna during the game.
The game itself was a good one.  Neither team could get much offense going early, but Fordham played a decidedly better first half.  Amidst a long series of futile drives and exchanged punts, Fordham scored a field goal.  Army could do nothing, but their defense held steady, eventually forcing a 4th-and-16 from the Army 30.  Fordham lined up to go for it but then called time out and ran the punt team onto the field.  Fake punt!  For the second week in a row, we saw a team score a touchdown on the Army defense via Hail Mary.

AJ Shurr came on in relief of Angel Santiago shortly afterwards, and suddenly the Army team had life.  In three plays, Shurr led Army to the Fordham 5, but then he went out with an injury.  Santiago came back in, punched it in, and we were back in the game, Army 7, Fordham 10.  

Army tackled Fordham's return man down close to his own end zone on the ensuing kickoff, got a sack, and suddenly Fordham was punting from their own 5.  Emma and I sat there yelling "Monkeys!  Bad Snap!", and that's what happened!  The punter muffed it, and Army wound up with a blocked punt for a touchdown right before the half.

At the break, the score was Army 14, Fordham 10.

Army's offense was working in the second half yesterday.
Army got the ball to start the second half, marched right down the field, and after that, the route was on.  Fordham could not stop the Fullback Dive, and as a result, the Black Knights went on several extended, clock-eating drives that broke the Rams' backs.  Fordham's quarterback played well, and they have some very good players at the skill positions, but Army's triple-option offense kept their defense on the field way too long, and that was that.  It was the perfect way for Army to finish their season at home, and it looked like the players could feel it.

Army celebrates a score in the second half of yesterday's game.
Final score: Army 42, Fordham 31.

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