Army football’s momentum was no match for Bucknell. In their second-to-last home game of the season, the Black Knights stretched a first-half lead the Bisons couldn’t come back from, ending the afternoon with a 63-10 victory.
With the victory, Army improved to 6-3, and the Black Knights are bowl-eligible for the fifth time in Jeff Monken’s eight-year tenure as head coach.
The Black Knights returned home to Michie off a high of last week’s 21-14 OT win against Air Force, setting them up for a chance to secure the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy.
Before Bucknell (1-9) even had a chance to drain the clock in the first quarter, an interception by Andre Carter eluded to how the game would play out.
Unlike Army’s textbook elongated touchdown drives that wear out their opponents, the Black Knights scored on drives of three and five plays in the first quarter. Three players — quarterbacks Christian Anderson and Tyhier Tyler, and running back JaKobi Buchanan — all found the end-zone. Together, the team put up its highest first-quarter points this season with 21.
Ahead of halftime QB Jabari Laws connected with sophomore RB Ay’Juan Marshall for a 22-yard touchdown pass. That marked Laws’ first pass attempt of the afternoon.
Army outscored Bucknell 42-0 in the first half, allowing them to coast in the second half. Army still outscored its FCS opponent 21-10 after halftime. On the day, eight different Army rushers scored touchdowns.
With a 1-hour weather delay, both teams had some more unexpected time in the locker room during the half, but the Black Knights returned to the field without a missed step in the third quarter.
“Building that big lead in the first half it gave us some breathing room to get some of our other guys in that don’t typically get a lot of time into the game,” Monken said.
Sophomore quarterback Cade Ballard took the reins of the offense in the third quarter, guiding Army on a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ate up more than eight minutes of clock. Markens Pierre capped off the drive with a four-yard rushing score.
By the end of the match-up, Army clocked in an overwhelming 428 rushing yards, with 18 different players sharing rush attempts for positive gains. Bucknell eventually made a space for themselves in the second half to end the shut-out and put up 10 points. But closing the score gap was far out of reach.
Army will face UMass (1-9) for their last home game of the season on Nov. 20 at noon EST. The Minutemen are coming off a 35-10 loss against the University of Maine of the FCS. UMass fired head coach Walt Bell on Nov. 7.