The Army West Point Black Knights capped off their spring football season with the Black & Gold Game. The Black team defeated the Gold 14-10 in a come from behind defensive slug fest. In the spring, the defense is always ahead of the offense. If the offense carves up the defense, then defense is in for a long season ahead.
Coach Monken seemed thrilled:
The Black Knights offense was no different than the year before, dominant. Fullback Andy Davidson will be expected to carry the load in 2017 after his breakout season a year ago. The Army offense revolves around the B-Back even more than Navy’s triple option does as Davidson ran for 961 yards and 12 TD’s in 2016.
A real positive considering how intricate and timing dependent the triple option is, was that the offense only turned the ball over once. When you’re running a timing based pitch offense like Army, that’s impressive in the spring.
Strong defensive stance by the black team pic.twitter.com/vAjWwRLIEu— Army WP Football (@ArmyWP_Football) April 15, 2017
The defense was ahead of the offense without a doubt and it showed on the scoreboard and in the aggressiveness from the videos we were lucky enough to see.
Linebacker Cole Christiansen was flying around and making plays in the scrimmage. Cole was a reserve in 2016 but will be a sophomore they have high hopes for in 2017. In their 3-4 defense Army needs big, tough inside linebackers and Cole will be asked to replace two seniors who graduated from West Point this year.
Above, Christiansen flies into the backfield. When a good linebacker has done their homework on the offense, they can make plays that seem like they blitzed but really just read the play that quickly.
Above, you can see the tenacity Christiansen displays
Above, Christiansen flashes his athleticism chasing an athletic QB and getting pressure
Per the official Army West Point Athletics site:
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army West Point football team concluded its spring practice with its annual Black-Gold Spring Game here Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium.
The black team earned a thrilling 14-10 come-from-behind victory after trailing 10-0 midway through the third period.
Christian Poe got the comeback started on a reverse pitch from Kelvin Hopkins Jr.. The sophomore then dashed down the sideline leaving nearly the entire gold team in his tracks for the 40-yard score. David Cooper converted on the point after to pull the black team to within 10-7.
Then with time winding down in the fourth quarter, Hopkins teamed up with Kell Walker to register the go-ahead touchdown. Hopkins handed the ball off to Walker just inside their own half before the rookie broke free up the middle for the impressive 61-yard score. Malik Hancock tried to trip Walker up from behind just shy of the end zone but the quick-footed running back broke the threat and crossed the goal line safely. The point after handed the black team their only lead in the game, which they would eventually not relinquish.
A few plays later, Chris Carter connected with Jeff Ejekam for the game's opening touchdown. After receiving the short pass, Ejekam broke two tackles before tip-toeing down the sideline for the score. John Abercrombie finished off the point after to make it a 7-0 black team advantage with six minutes to play in the first period.
Then just after halftime, the gold team added a field goal in which Caleb Watkins drilled one through the uprights from 25-yards out.
Unfortunately for the gold team, the black team stepped up its defensive pressure late in the game and did not allow them anymore potential scoring chances.