Saturday, December 23, 2017

Army's Bradshaw, SDSU's Penny impressive in Armed Forces Bowl contest

Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw (17) rushed for
184 yards and four touchdowns in the
15th Annual Armed Forces Bowl.
Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (December 23, 2017). In a game that saw five unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and only 31 yards in total passing, the Black Knights of the United States Military Academy downed the Aztecs of San Diego State University in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl by the score of 42-35 in front of 35,986 fans at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. The win pushed Army's bowl record to 5-2, including their 38-31 win over North Texas in last year's Heart of Dallas Bowl. However, the real story of the game came down to the performance of two seniors; San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny and Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw.

Both were selected as co-MVP's of the bowl game and achieved impressive statistics during the give-and-take performance in Fort Worth. Bradshaw became the single-season rushing leader among the three service academies with 1,746 yards. He tallied 3,038 yards in his career and is fifth all-time on the career rushing list at Army, in addition to rushing for his 14th touchdown of the season. The Chicago, Illinois native scored the 27th rushing TD of his career and is now sixth in program history. His four rushing touchdowns was the fourth time in 2017 that he rushed for multiple touchdowns and the fifth time in his career. 

Photo by Darla S Tamulitis, La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved
Penny (No. 20, shown left) carried the ball 14 times for 221 yards; averaging 15.8 yards-per-carry. He set a career high with four rushing touchdowns and matched his career high with four touchdowns overall. He passed Donnel Pumphrey for the most rushing yards in program history (2,133 yards in 2016). In addition, he became the fourth player in FBS history with at least 200 yards rushing is five straight games; joining Marcus Allen (USC 1981), Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State 1988) and Jamario Thomas (North Texas, 2004) on the elite list.

Team-wise, both schools established notable achievements in their historic match-up. Army raised their bowl game record to 5-2 with the win; with three of them coming in Texas. The Black Knights won back-to-back bowl games in consecutive season for the first time since 1984 and 1985. They also tied a program record with wins in a season with 10, tying the 1986 squad. Head coach Jeff Monken became only the second Army coach to earn two bowl victories, joining coach Jim Young. Monken is also the only Army coach to have two bowl victories in his first four seasons at West Point. The Aztecs finished the season with a 10-3 record while ending the season by scoring in 20 consecutive quarters. They also have gone 144 games with suffering a shutout which is the second-longest streak among current Mountain West schools. 

No comments: