The Buffalo Bulls (0-2, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) were riding high in the banks of the Hudson River late in the game, but unfortunately, they gave way to the tide at the final gun, dropping a heartbreaker to the homestanding Army West Point Black Knights (2-0 overall) 21-17.
Army scored 14 points unanswered late in what was an entertaining game for both sides, especailly if you love good defense.
First quarter: Army 7, Buffalo 3
Buffalo received the opening kickoff to start the game and Tyree Jackson heaved the ball 52 yards to Anthony Jackson to put the Bulls in the red zone early. Unfortunately for Buffalo, they couldn’t convert on the goal line, and had to settle for an Adam Mitcheson field goal to go up 3-0.
Army took over from their own 27, but stalled a bit until quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw broke for 52 yards to the Buffalo 10. The triple option paid off on 3rd and goal from the 1 as Bradshaw pushed his way into the end zone for the score. The converted PAT made the score 7-3 in favor of Army.
The Bulls could not advance past midfield on their next possession, and were forced to punt. The Black Knights elected for a fair catch and took over at about their own 20. Army completed their first pass of the season as Bradshaw connected with Jordan Asberry for 18 yards to the 50. However, the first down quickly became 4th and 20, and the Knights punted.
Second quarter: Buffalo 17, Army 7
On the first play of the second quarter, when it looked like the Bulls would go three and out, Tyree Jackson found paydirt from 75 yards out to put Buffalo up 10-7. To continue the fireworks, Army’s Kell Walker returned the kickoff into Bulls territory, to the 45. The nights attempted a conversion on 4th and 2 from the 35, and Bradshaw went for a pass. A wide-open Jermaine Adams was overthrown, and the Bulls took over.
Jackson hit K.J. Obsorn for 17 immediately, and, 48 yards later, a just-as-open Antonio Nunn took the ball to the end zone to bring Buffalo’s lead to ten. Penalties killed the Black Knights on the ensuing drive and a 3rd and 19 conversion couldn’t hit, forcing a 23-yard punt from their own end zone that went out of bounds.
Army caught a break immediately as linebacker Alex Aukerman recovered a fumble at the Army 41. The Knights kept the drive alive into the red zone, muscling their way to the 17 on 3rd and 9. After recovering their own fumble, Army found themselves at 4th and 5. They elected to kick a field goal, which was blocked. Buffalo took over despite a personal foul driving them back half the distance to the goal. The Bulls took the ball and a 17-7 lead into the halftime break.
Third quarter: Buffalo 17, Army 7
Army started the second half with the ball, but punted after about two minutes of game time. The Bulls drove down into the redzone on their possession, but Army forced another fumble as Buffalo’s Jackson motioned to pass. Kell Walker broke past midfield for 16 yards. Bradshaw earned another first down to move the ball to about the 25. The Knights were knocking on the door of the end zone when time expired to end the scoreless third quarter.
Fourth quarter: Army 21, Buffalo 17
The fourth quarter opened with a touchdown, just as the second had, when Bradshaw punched it in. The Bulls couldn’t do anything with the ball, and gave it back to the Knights, newly down 3. A pitch to Walker was stopped at the one, and Darnell Woolfolk crossed the plane to compete the Army comeback. The PAT made it 21-17 Army at 4:53 left in the 4th.
Jackson was sacked by Auckerman for a loss of about 15 on the first play of the Bulls’ drive. Jackson escaped a sack on 3rd and 13 but was forced into an incompletion, bringing out the punt team. The Bulls forced a punt of their own at about the two-and-a-half minute mark, but were hoodwinked by a fake punt that turned into an Army first down to ice the game.
The Bulls will look to add their first win of the season at home against Colgate next week.