Scores

Final

Army 28

(3-6)

Air Force 42

(2-7, 0-5 MW)

Coverage: ESPNU

12:00 PM ET, November 2, 2013

Falcon Stadium, Usaf Academy, CO

1 2 3 4 T
ARMY 14 7 0 728
AFA 7 14 7 1442

Top Performers

Passing: N. Romine (AFA) - 111 YDS

Rushing: A. LaCoste (AFA) - 23 CAR, 263 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: G. Brown (AFA) - 4 REC, 78 YDS

Air Force controls Army to end 7-game skid

Associated Press

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Finally given the opportunity to separate himself from the other Air Force tailbacks, Anthony LaCoste ran with it.

And ran and ran and ran.

LaCoste rushed for a career-high 263 yards and scored three touchdowns, helping the Falcons snap a seven-game skid by holding off Army 42-28 on Saturday.

It was the second-most yards rushing for a program that's known for its ground game. He was just shy of the school record held by Chad Hall, who had 275 yards against Army in 2007.

The elusive LaCoste also had long TD runs of 73 and 78 yards, along with a 1-yard burst early in the fourth quarter to give the Falcons (2-7) a two-touchdown lead over the Black Knights (3-6).

"It was a beautiful day for football and I just went off," LaCoste said, smiling.

LaCoste has had quite a roller-coaster career, tearing his ACL his sophomore year and being switched to defensive back last season.

Returned to tailback this season, he's been splitting carries with a host of other runners. He made a compelling case for even more action as he shattered his previous career-best of 109 yards set against San Diego State on Oct. 10.

"I want to be the feature back," LaCoste said. "I've been waiting for my opportunity to make it happen."

In an injury-filled season that's spiraled downward for Air Force, beating a fellow service academy eases some of the sting.

A lot of it, actually.

"This is the best 2-7 has ever felt, I'm sure," Falcons safety Christian Spears said. "To get a win, get it here at home and against Army, it's an amazing feeling."

This was a costly loss for the Black Knights in their quest for the Commander in Chief's Trophy. Even if they were to beat Navy in the season finale next month, the Midshipmen will retain the crown, courtesy of being the defending champions and having already beaten the Falcons earlier this season. A three-way tie keeps the trophy with the past winner.

"They do some things that are tough on your eyes, and we didn't handle that well," Army coach Rich Ellerson said. "We practiced for it, but we didn't handle it."

Angel Santiago scored three touchdowns on a sore ankle and Terry Baggett had 121 yards rushing and a score for Army, which was trying to beat Air Force for a second straight season.

"This is a big rival, so it definitely hurts," Santiago said.

Down 35-21 midway through the final quarter, Army caught a break when Falcon returner Garrett Brown muffed a punt. Four plays later, Baggett scored on a 10-yard run to trim the deficit.

But Broam Hart sealed the win -- and ended the team's longest losing streak since 1979 -- on a 3-yard scamper with 3:41 remaining.

The Black Knights struggled on special teams as kicker Daniel Grochowski had a field goal blocked and missed on another. They also couldn't find a way to stop LaCoste, who averaged 11.4 yards a carry.

"He's a hard guy to get on the ground," Ellerson said.

Air Force used a big play on special teams to the swing the momentum midway in the second quarter. With Army up 14-7 and attempting a 48-yard field goal, Nick Fitzgerald stuck his hand up and blocked Grochowski's attempt. Gavin McHenry caught the ricochet on the fly and raced 24 yards to set the Falcons up good field position.

Deep in Army territory, Air Force gambled by going for it on fourth-and-2 at the 14, with Brown taking a pitch from Nate Romine and outracing the Black Knights around the corner for the game-tying score.

Soon after, Army retook the lead on Santiago's 1-yard run, his third TD of the half.

But it wouldn't last as Air Force quickly struck again, Romine rushing for a 1-yard score with 11 seconds left in the first half.

There was a scary moment just before Romine's score, when Army linebacker Julian Holloway was carted off the field with his right leg in a splint after being hurt trying to tackle LaCoste on a run up the middle. Ellerson didn't have a specific update after the game, but said Holloway would likely spend the night in Colorado Springs.

Once the final horn sounded, the Air Force cadets streamed out of the stands to celebrate with the team on the field.

"It's a horrible taste in your mouth, to have to go through losing seven games in a row," Fitzgerald said. "To win today, it brings that taste out and you get to enjoy and feel the emotion of what it feels like again to win. Not only that, but against a service academy team? I couldn't say it feels any better. "

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ARMY
AFA
1st Downs2817
Total Yards417454
Passing109111
Rushing308343
Penalties5-304-31
3rd Down Conversions5-137-12
4th Down Conversions1-31-1
Turnovers01
Possession37:3222:28

Passing Leaders

ArmyC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Santiago8/141097.800
Air ForceC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Romine7/811113.900

Rushing Leaders

ArmyCARYDSAVGTDLG
Baggett201216.1120
Dixon17824.8016
Air ForceCARYDSAVGTDLG
LaCoste2326311.4378
Romine7314.4120

Receiving Leaders

ArmyRECYDSAVGTDLG
Moss33511.7019
Baggett23316.5026
Air ForceRECYDSAVGTDLG
Brown47819.5029
Griffin22814.0019

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERARMYAFA
TD10:48Angel Santiago 4 Yd Run (Daniel Grochowski Kick) 70
TD09:51Anthony LaCoste 73 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick) 77
TD03:23Angel Santiago 1 Yd Run (Daniel Grochowski Kick) 147
SECOND QUARTERARMYAFA
TD06:30Garrett Brown 14 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick) 1414
TD01:58Angel Santiago 1 Yd Run (Daniel Grochowski Kick) 2114
TD00:11Nate Romine 1 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick) 2121
THIRD QUARTERARMYAFA
TD08:37Anthony LaCoste 78 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick) 2128
FOURTH QUARTERARMYAFA
TD14:45Anthony LaCoste 1 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick) 2135
TD05:58Terry Baggett 10 Yd Run (Daniel Grochowski Kick) 2835
TD03:41Broam Hart 3 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick) 2842

Research Notes

Anthony LaCoste had 263 rush yards, the 2nd most in Air Force history.
Air Force now has 2 rushing TD of 70+ yards vs Army. They are the first FBS team this season with 2 70-yd rush TD in a game.

ESPN Stats & Information