Entering the fourth quarter at West Point on Saturday, the Army Black Knights appeared to be coasting to their second win of the season as they led the Ball State Cardinals by 17 points.
But the Cardinals battled back to draw within three points, and suddenly Army was in danger of losing the game.
Thanks to some late game heroics, the Black Knights put the Cardinals away after quarterback Angel Santiago capped off a 10-play, 75-yard drive with an 11-yard rushing touchdown to give Army a nine-point lead. Black Knights linebacker Jeremy Timpf came up with an interception on the Cardinals following drive and Army won the game, 33-24.
Army sophomore quarterback A.J. Schurr preceded Santiago's late performance by getting Army on the board early with two short rushing touchdowns in the first quarter. To build their lead heading into halftime, kicker Daniel Grochowski added two field goals in the second quarter to give the Black Knights a 10-point edge.
Black Knights' running back Aaron Kemper scored on a nine-yard run in the third quarter, and Army appeared to have the game closed with a 17-point lead. But, one more quarter remained and it appears that Army still hasn't learned how to close out a game.
Ball State put together two consecutive drives for touchdowns to start the fourth quarter and Army was suddenly in danger of losing their lead as the Cardinals closed the gap to just three points between them.
That's when Army's rushing attack went to work to put the game away. Draining nearly five minutes off of the clock, the Black Knights ran the ball 10 straight times before Santiago capped the drive off with his touchdown that put the game away. Ball State tried putting a drive together to respond, but Timpf picked off Cardinals' quarterback Ozzie Mann for a seven-yard return before handing it back to the offense to run the clock out.
Although he didn't score any touchdowns, leading the way for Army on the ground was running back Larry Dixon who carried the ball 28 times for 188 yards, as he assisted Army to pile up 425 rushing yards and helped them control possession as they held the ball for 37:54 compared to Ball State's 22:06.
Army is back in action next week, hosting Rice on Saturday, Oct. 11.