A victory at last! After seven weeks of the regular season, the Eastern Michigan University football team defeated the Army Black Knights 48-38 for their first win of the 2012 campaign.
Both teams now have a record of 1-6 on the season. This is EMU’s first victory over the Black Knights in the past five years.
“This win was huge for the program’s development,” EMU coach Ron English said. “We have been saying all year we need execution, and this week we got the results we have been looking for.”
The Eagles started the first quarter with a bang, after Bronson Hill took the second play of the game 23-yards to the Army 39-yard line. EMU then capped off the opening drive with a Tyler Benz 39-yard touchdown pass to Javonti Greene for an early 7-0 lead.
EMU’s next possession received assistance from Army. After a three-and-out forced by the defense, Army’s punter Chris Boldt fumbled the snap and was tackled back at their own 13-yard line, where the Eagles took over on downs. Five plays later, Benz found tight end Garrett Hoskins for a one-yard touchdown pass for the Eagles’ first double digit lead of the season at 14-0.
Army tightened the score with 10 points at the end of the first quarter with a Malcolm Brown 55-yard touchdown run.
On the first drive of the second quarter, Benz found Hill for a 41-yard touchdown pass to regain a double digit lead. But this was short lived after Army quarterback Trent Steelman ran for a 74-yard touchdown on the ensuing drive. Neither team scored again until the final drive of the first half, where Benz found tight end Christian Menet for a one-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds remaining to take a 28-17 lead at halftime.
Army tightened the game again with Steelman rushing for a 70-yard touchdown in the middle of the third quarter to make the score 31-24. EMU went on a 14-0 run to put them up 45-24. Army did outscore EMU 14-3 the rest of the game, and had a chance to win by recovering an onside kick with two minutes remaining with the score at 48-38. But the Eagle defense stood strong and held off the Black Knights on four straight plays to seal the victory.
The Eagles had two standouts in their performance, Benz and Hoskins. Benz completed 19 of 31 passes for 369 yards and five touchdowns. Hoskins, caught seven of those passes for 158 yards and one touchdown.
“It was fun on offense,” Benz said. “Coach says if we execute, we will score more often. It feels like we are starting to gel together on offense as a whole.”
“I knew we could [get] more opportunities in the passing game,” Hoskins said. “I knew if I would block and open up the running game I would get some passes to me, and that is exactly what happened.”
EMU will travel to Bowling Green for their next game Oct. 27. The game is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.