by Ben Ennis
Going into the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Army was slightly favored to win and if they did would set a record for the most wins in Army football history. Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins, jr. said, “Our goal at the beginning of the season was to be the winnest team in football history.” And his record setting five touchdown effort did not disappoint.
The Black Knights were first on the board with 3:58 remaining in the first quarter after Hopkins scored on a one-yard run. Then with 50 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Hopkins broke off a 77-yard run for touchdown to make the score 14-0 after successfully point-after-attempts (PAT). In the second quarter Army Linebacker James Nachtigal delivering a crushing tack on Houston’s quarterback to force a fumble that Cameron Jones scoped up and took in for a touchdown with PAT to make the score 20-0. Houston finally got on the board when Romello Brooker caught a three-yard pass from quarterback Clayton Tune with PAT good to make the score 21-7 in favor of Army. Then Hopkins went to work again scoring on two runs with PAT good to make the score 35-7. With 51 seconds left in the half, Army’s Artice Hobbs IV scored on a 11-yard run and the half ended 42-7. In the third quarter, Hopkins run for his fifth touchdwon and Connor Slomka scored on a three-yard run to extend the lead to 56-7.
In the fourth quarter Army replacement quarterback Cam thomas threw a 15-yard strike to Jordan Asberry. Tune responded for Houston with a six-yard touchdown run. Then Thomas capped off Army’s scoring record with a 20-yard touchdown run with PAT good to end the game 70-14.
Afterward, Hopkins said “I think this is the most complete game we played as a team were both offense and defense were clicking.”
Army Head Coach Jeff Monken said, “ I’m incredibly proud of our team and the things we have accomplished as a football team this year. This senior class endured a 2-10 season with seven losses by seven points or less was agonizing to go through that. I knew we had something special going in our program. Just the fight week after week to be sure a young team.”
Monken added, “We certainly aren’t the most talented football team in the country but I think we are one of the best teams that I have ever been a part of.”
Photos By Ben Ennis