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Penn State forces numerous fumbles; tops Army in rain soaked contest

Penn State survives Army

UNIVERSITY PARK – Coming into Saturday’s meeting with Penn State, the Army football team came in under the radar and looking for an upset, sporting a 1-3 record on the season.

With “Mother Nature” evening the playing field of sorts with the windy and rainy weather, the Lions looked to have a possible challenge on their hands from the very beginning of its noon start at Beaver Stadium.

However, the Nittany Lions didn’t get the notice, as the Nits improved to a record of 4-1 on the season, inching closer to a bowl eligible status with the 20-14 victory.

Army drove down on their second possession of the half and got the ball deep into Penn State territory.

A.J. Schurr put his team on the board scoring a touchdown running the ball from 3-yards out, cutting the Nittany Lion lead to 13-7.

Penn State didn’t help themselves on its next possession, going three and out and giving the ball back to the suddenly simmering Army offense.

The Black Knights continued to roll as it confused the Penn State defense.

A chop block penalty put the Army momentum on stand still momentarily, putting them back on their own 40.

Penn State dodged a bullet as the defense held onto to force an Army punt.

Facing the ball on their own five, Penn State was able to get the ball out to the 18.

Godwin put Penn State out of harms way when Hackenberg hit him on a long pass, putting the Lions on the Army 34.

One play later, Mike Gesicki caught a 33-yard TD catch from Hackenberg, putting the Lions up 20-3 with no time left in the third.

Shurr’s 56-yard run, put the Black Knights back within striking distance as his touchdown run cut into the Penn State lead at 20-14.

Penn State needed another strong performance on offense to take back the momentum.

Things did not start so well at first as Hackenberg was sacked on a second down to force a crucial third down.

Facing a third and long, Hackenberg found a wide open Scott for a middle drop off pass moving Penn State out of their end zone area to their 38.

However, Hackenberg found himself on his back one more time, pushed back to the PSU 29.

The running game failed to work for the Lions as they found themselvesin another crucial third down. Another questionable running play on third down, sent the ball back the Black Knights with plenty of time left on the clock to tie or go ahead with a touchdown.

After the punt, Army started with the ball on its own 15 and went right back to its potent ground game.

Penn State failed to catch Schurr on a crucial 3rd down and one. Army continued to roll down the field as the game ticked down under three minutes.

Despite seven fumbles on the day, Army still continued its chance for the upset win.

Facing a another 3rd and five, this time Penn State stopped Army cold, forcing the Black Knights to go for it.

Cabinda provided a rare sack for the Nits, pushing the ball back to the Army 47. Most importantly, the sack gave the Lions the ball back with 1:30 left to go, securing the win.

The Lions opened their day at the 20-yard line, thanks to a touchback on the kick off.

Army’s defense started out strong, getting to Hackenberg and forcing the Lions to punt the ball.

Army’s first possession was a short one as Penn State recovered a fumble on the first platy from scrimmage. Garrett Sickles put the Lions on Army’s 42 with the recovery.

With the good field possession, Penn State was inching into field goal range.

Running back Nick Scott picked up six yards on a third down to take the ball down to the 29.

The drive stalled at the Army 27 so the Lions went for the first down. Hackenberg found DaeSean Hamilton for a 12-yard gain and a first.

One play later, Scott got the call and took it untouched in the end zone for the 11-yard Touchdown, making it 7-0.

In its second possession, the Army ground game tried to get started.

Jason Cabinda forced Army’s second fumble of the game. However, a Black knight teammate recovered.

Despite the recovery, Army was forced to punt the ball at their own 11, giving the ball back to the Penn State offense.

Jonathan Thomas got the third offensive series going for Penn State getting the call on four consecutive hand offs, taking the ball to the 35.

A holding penalty put the ball back to the 45-yard line of Army, giving the Lions a large 3rd and 25.

Starting the second quarter, the Nits were starting at their own 15 in hopes of getting a long scoring drive started.

Leading off, Hackenberg found Chris Godwin for six. Hackenberg then found Brent Wilkerson for the first down, putting the Lions on the 27.

Godwin got another call early on, taking the ball to the 32 after the catch.

But the drive stopped there and Penn State had to punt for the third time in the game.

Von Walker ended a potential serious Army drive, falling on and recovering the third Army fumble of the afternoon.

With the ball on their own 47, Penn State looked to take advantage of another Army miscue.

Bradon Polk broke loose on the first play from scrimmage and got into Army territory.

Hackenbeurg hooked up with Godwin on second and 10 and got the ball to the 38.

But another drive stalled for PSU as Coach James Franklin chose to run on third and six.

Army fumbled again on the following punt but it was able to recover their own miscue but suffered the consequences, having to start on its own eight.

PSU recovered its third fumble of five chances on the following Army possession, putting the Lions back in scoring position.

Hackenberg got the fans into it, rushing for a 19-yard first down run, putting the Nits in on the 27.

Joe Julius came into the game to kick a 37-yard field goal with :25 left in the half. His kick went through, putting his team up 10-0.

Entering the second half, Penn State forced another funble and then held the Black Knights at their own 10, the Lions got the ball back in great shape starting at Army’s 29 to start the first drive of the second half.

From there Penn State rolled down to the Army nine and faced a third and 2.

It would be Julius to the rescue as he plastered a 27-yard field goal, upping the lead to 13-0.

Penn State will take its 4-1 record into next Saturday’s game against Indiana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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