The Army offense defeated the defense by a score of 56-38 in the program's 2016 spring game. Chris Carter, Army's sophomore quarterback, has improved his ability to roll out of the pocket in an option play. The Black Knights' offense started the first drive in the option, highlighted by a pitch from Carter to running back, Nicholas Black, who ran it for 19 yards.
The defense, anchored by senior linebacker Jeremy Timpf and Gibby Gibson, made consecutive stops when senior quarterback Matthew Kaufmann took some snaps. Gibson recovered a fumble off Kaufmann and returned it to the end zone. Ahmad Bradshaw, Army's third quarterback, connected with Edgar Poe on an 11-yard touchdown pass. Bradshaw was effective in throwing on the run, as he found running back Aaron Kemper open for a 6-yard pass in the second quarter.
Overall, the Black Knights' offense was successful in throwing the long ball. Chris Carter threw a 61-yarder to Christian Poe, the younger brother of senior receiver Edgar, who caught it in stride for a touchdown.
Paul Andrew Rhoden, a senior running back, was in for a total of 9 snaps. Rhoden was not utilized as much last season, but could see an increase in snaps come September. He rushed for over 60 yards. "I fit well in the rotation" Rhoden said. "I'll embrace the role [the coaches] want."
On the defensive side, junior linebacker Tyler L'Hommedieu played an aggressive game. He sacked Chris Carter in the third quarter and forced multiple stops. "[Defense] did a solid job stopping the run" L'Hommedieu reflected. "Obviously, we know how we can improve moving forward." Overall, the defense put consistent pressure on Army's quarterbacks. The "war in the trenches" was won by the defensive linemen, as they attacked their assigned offensive guards and tackles with persistence.
"I thought our guys competed hard" Coach Monken said following Army's spring game. "Lot of things [the team] needs to work on, but the energy was apparent."
Coach Monken was especially impressed with the execution of the Black Knights' offense. "Our drives were kept alive because of our running backs who were inserted in short yardage situations." Some running backs utilized in short yardage situations included sophomores Tyler Campbell and Darnell Woolfolk. Campbell found gaps to the right of the offensive line, enabling him to average around 4 yards per carry. Woolfolk stayed in for five consecutive snaps, including a good fourth down conversion.
Army fans will wait in anticipation for their Black Knights' opening game at Temple in the City of Brotherly Love on Friday, September 2nd.
Army Spring Recap : Rich DeMarco of Army Vision breaks down the spring game with interviews from select players and Coach Monken.