WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Fullback Darnell Woolfolk rushed for three touchdowns, the 10th time in his career with multiple scores, and Kelvin Hopkins Jr. ran for another score as Army held off Championship Subdivision foe Colgate 28-14 on Saturday to snap the Raiders’ 14-game winning streak.
Army (9-2), which just missed breaking into the AP Top 25 this week, has won seven in a row and 13 straight at Michie Stadium over two seasons. The last time the Black Knights accomplished back-to-back unbeaten seasons at home was in the mid-1980s.
“I think it’s really important to win at home,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “When we play here, we’re going to be hard to beat.”
This one wasn’t so easy against the sixth-ranked Raiders, who had dominated in winning their first nine games with a stalwart, gang-tackling defense that had allowed only 29 points in nine games.
Colgate tailback James Holland rushed for 166 yards and scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it a one-possession game, but Army’s triple option never gave the Raiders the chance to tie. Woolfolk secured the victory with a 3-yard score with 2:06 left, his 37th career TD rushing to tie Mike Mayweather for third all-time at West Point.
“They played us tough, but we were able to weather the storm,” Hopkins said. “We were able to bounce back, thankfully.”
Holland averaged 9.2 yards per carry against the ninth-best run defense in the Bowl Subdivision. Army was allowing just under 100 yards a game.
“We just couldn’t get the stop,” Colgate coach Dan Hunt said. “That’s what they do.”
The Raiders had the top defense in the FCS and had not allowed a point in the first quarter all season. That changed the first time the Black Knights got the ball.
After forcing Colgate into a three-and-out on the first possession of the game, Army drove 49 yards in eight plays. Hopkins had four carries for 37 yards, scoring on 3-yard run for a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
After forcing another punt, the Black Knights drove 76 yards in 16 plays to score again. Hopkins kept the drive going with a fourth-down conversion, Army’s 30th in 33 tries, and Kell Walker’s 10-yard gain off a pitch left set up Woolfolk’s first touchdown.
Unfazed by the step up on competition and playing with a senior quarterback making just his second career start, Colgate proved a stubborn foe. The Raiders looked like they might finally break through early in the third quarter after Holland ripped off a 34-yard run up the middle of the Army defense. The drive stalled and the Black Knights took over on downs when Thomas Ives was forced out of bounds just short of the first down on a pass from Sage Attwood in the right flat.
The Raiders’ defensive prowess showed up five plays later. Safety Alec Wisniewski slammed Hopkins on a run right, forcing a fumble that was scooped up by Tyler Castillo and returned 35 yards for a touchdown to cut Army’s lead in half with 5:52 left in the third. It was the first lost fumble by the Army offense since the season opener at Duke.
Attwood, who was 9-of-15 passing for 177 yards and a score in a 48-6 victory last week over Lehigh, finished 11 of 16 for 63 yards.
Woolfolk tacked on his second score with a 1-yard run early in the fourth.
Colgate: The Raiders excelled in a down year for the Patriot League. The other six teams behind Colgate were a combined 16-44 before Saturday and ranked at the bottom of the national statistics offensively. Still, the Raiders acquitted themselves well against Army and Holland is a real force in the backfield. He boosted his season total to 1,065 yards rushing with 12 TDs.
Army: The Black Knights managed to hold off the Raiders and now have a nice respite to get healthy before the season finale against Navy.
Colgate held its own statistically in the first half despite trailing 14-0 at the break. Army outgained the Raiders just 138-128 and Colgate held the ball for 13:35, netting 4.92 yards per play to 4.6 for the Black Knights. The Raiders were hurt by two big penalties. In the first quarter, a third-down reception by Owen Buscaglia that gave the Raiders a first down at the Army 40 was nullified by a pass interference penalty and a 58-yard catch-and-run by Thomas Ives off a flanker screen was wiped out by a holding call.
Colgate LB T.J. Holl, the team leader with 76 tackles, and Wisniewski each had seven tackles in the first half and finished with 18 and 13. The defense held Army to 261 yards rushing, 46 below its average. Overall, Army only outgained Colgate 286-251.
Army honored 25 seniors in pregame ceremonies, including the late Brandon Jackson, who was killed in a single-car crash after a big home victory two years ago. Jackson’s mother, Morna Davis, was on the field to represent him. Jackson’s locker remains just how he left it before his death on Sept. 11, 2016.
Colgate awaits the announcement of the NCAA FCS playoffs on Sunday.
Army has three weeks off until it meets archrival Navy in Philadelphia. The Black Knights have beaten the Midshipmen two straight times after suffering a demoralizing 14-game losing streak in the heated rivalry.
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