Backup quarterback Kelvin Hopkins found Jermaine Adams in the corner of the end zone with one second remaining to tie the game in regulation, and a missed field goal by the Temple Owls in overtime gave the Army Black Knights a 31-28 win on Saturday.
Blake Wilson kicked a 29-yard field goal field goal in the first possession of overtime to get Army the advantage, and Aaron Boumerhi missed from 27 yards out to make Army bowl-eligible for the second consecutive season. The Black Knights accepted an invitation to the Armed Forces Bowl after the game.
Boumerhi’s miss came after making the first attempt in overtime, but Army head coach Jeff Monken called timeout just before the snap. Icing the kicker worked as the sophomore second attempt sailed wide left to allow Army to complete late game heroics in front of a ecstatic crowd at Michie Stadium.
It was a contest in which Temple was the better bunch offensively. Frank Nutile made the start for an injured Logan Marchi, and was efficient on the afternoon, completing 20-of-29 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown. More importantly, he did not turn the ball over for the Owls, and it will be interesting to see which quarterback is under center the next time they take the field.
The Owls posted 506 yards of total offense compared to 389 for Army. The more impressive statistic is they nearly matched them on the ground - 217 yards for Temple, compared to 248 for Army - but special teams haunted the Owls throughout the game as they also had a punt blocked and Boumerhi missed a 32-yard field goal earlier in the contest as well.
Temple lead for most of the second half on the legs of Ryquell Armstead, who rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns. It was by far the best Armstead has looked this season, with both scores coming in the fourth quarter. Many felt the 21-yard touchdown with 1:38 remaining looked to be the game-winner for the Owls as Army typically doesn’t have the style of offense to make that kind of comeback.
That’s when Hopkins entered the game and engineered a 14-play, 79-yard drive to tie the ballgame for Army. All five of his completed passes came on the final drive, including the game-winner to Adams, who entered the contest with just one reception on the season.
The Owls are 3-5, having lost four of their last five, and must go 3-1 in their final four games to become bowl-eligible. Army (6-2) extended its winning streak to four games.
Both teams will enjoy a bye week this upcoming week before taking on the other two service academy teams. Temple will square off against Navy on Thursday, Nov. 2 in a rematch of last year’s American Athletic Conference championship game. Army will travel to Colorado Springs for a Nov. 4 meeting with Air Force.