WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army Black Knights put on a show before 24,245 at Michie Stadium to kickoff the Labor Day Weekend.
The Black Knights utilized 396 yards of offense on its way to a 28-12 season-opening victory over the Morgan State on Friday evening at Michie Stadium.
Junior quarterback Angel Santiago accounted for four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing), Larry Dixon ran for 107 yards as Army coasted past Morgan State on Friday.
Against Morgan State, Santiago rushed for 120 yards on 16 carries with TDs covering 33, 3 and one yard.
The game got off to an auspicious start for the Bears (0-1), who found itself in a 14-0 hole within the first 15 minutes of the contest. After Morgan State’s opening drive was stalled due to penalties and a sack, it took Army just eight plays to find the endzone as Santiago raced 33-yards on an option play. Following another drive by the Bears that was ended due to penalty, the Black Knights quickly doubled their lead as Santiago had runs of 38, 14, and scored on a one-yard touchdown run.
Special teams had a breakdown early in the second quarter when Lawrence Forbes tried to get off a punt and fumbled the ball away to Army. The Black Knights wasted little time in lighting up the scoreboard when Santiago tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Chevaugn Lawrence to help lift Army to a 21-0 advantage.
The Bears had a hard time making the game competitive during the early going due to a number of penalties. Morgan State had eight penalties for 60 yards in the first half, but settled down in the second half and was only penalized once. Meanwhile, Army finished the game without a single penalty.
Morgan State refused to let its early woes have an affect as it made its way onto the scoreboard with 2:50 left in the second quarter. Robert Council engineered an 18-play, 82-yard drive that chewed up over 9 minutes of clock and was capped by his one-yard plunge. The Bears suffered another miscue on special teams by muffing the point after attempt, and trailed Army 21-6.
The Bears went into the intermission with momentum following a goal line stand to end the half after Cody Acker stuffed Santiago on 4th and goal.
The momentum was short-lived as it took Army just five plays to notch their fourth touchdown of the night as a 30-yard run by Dixon helped setup a 3-yard TD run by Santiago to open up a 28-6 advantage.
Morgan State responded when Council connected with senior wideout Chris Flowers for a 22-yard TD to trim the lead to 16 points (28-12) with 8:09 remaining in the 3rdquarter.
The Bears could get no closer the rest of the way as Army finished with a 28-12 victory.
The Bears will continue its road swing when they return to action next Saturday against Robert Morris. The game is set for a noon kickoff on September 7 at Joe Walton Stadium. It will mark the second meeting between Morgan State and Robert Morris since 2011. The Bears won the matchup 13-12 at Hughes Stadium. The Bears are in search of its first win since Oct. 6, 2012 when they defeated Savannah State 45-6.