Air Force entered the game 108th out of 128 Division I teams in defense, allowing 486 yards per game. Saturday, it held the Black Knights to 417. Army also held the ball for 37 minutes, 32 seconds and ended with 28 first downs to only 17 for the Falcons. But that’s what happens when someone scores two of his team’s touchdowns on runs of 73 and 78 yards, as did Air Force’s Anthony LaCoste.
Playing in his final service-academy game, LaCoste ran for a career-high 263 yards and three touchdowns. The Air Force record for yards gained against Army was Chad Hall, who had 275 in the Falcons’ 35-7 victory in 2009.
Army linebacker Julian Holloway was carted off the field with his right leg in a splint after being hurt on Air Force tailback LaCoste's 43-yard run late in the second quarter. Holloway was trying to make a tackle. Trainers quickly ran onto the field to check on him as he lay on the turf. Soon after, a cart was summoned to take him through the tunnel leading to the locker room.
There was no confirmation as to the severity of the injury. However, when Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was interviewed at halftime by ESPNU, Dempsey said he was told the injury was a broken leg.
Army halfback Terry Baggett finished the game with 121 yards, giving him 1,080 for his career. That made him the 52nd Army player to reach the 1,000-yard mark. It was the fourth time this season he has surpassed 100 yards. Two current teammates have surpassed the 1,000-yard mark. Raymond Maples has 2,612 and fullback Larry Dixon has 2,063. With 82 yards Saturday, Dixon became the 11th Black Knight to surpass 2,000 yards. Maples missed his sixth straight game after suffering a groin injury against Stanford Sept. 14.
Army quarterback Angel Santiago finished with eight completions out of 14 attempts for 109 yards passing. Air Force freshman Austin Romine, making only his second start, was 7 for 8 for 111 yards.
Army’s loss to Air Force clinched the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for Navy. The trophy is awarded to the service academy that wins the round-robin series among the three teams. With Navy having already beaten Air Force, even if it were to lose to Army Dec. 14, all three academies would have a 1-1 record against each other. A tie permits the defending trophy winner to keep it. Navy is the defending winner.
The loss to Air Force left Army with a 14-33-1 lifetime record against the Falcons, including a road record of 3-20.
The Black Knights’ touchdown on its first drive was the seventh time in nine games in which they scored on their opening possession. They have scored five touchdowns and two field goals in that stretch; only twice have they punted on their first possession.