EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Joe Martinek’s one-yard touchdown run in overtime gave Rutgers a 23-20 victory over Army at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Army led 17-3 at halftime, but Rutgers scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to force the extra session.
The loss dropped the Black Knights to 4-3, while Rutgers improved to 4-2.
Army committed five penalties for 59 yards after halftime, including several that gave the Scarlet Knights first downs and one that wiped out an interception on their game-tying drive. For the game, Army was flagged eight times for 94 yards, while the Scarlet Knights committed 12 penalties for 63 yards. Five of Rutgers’ 17 first downs were by penalty.
The Black Knights gained a season-high 404 yards and outgained Rutgers by 154 yards, including a 289 to minus one advantage on the ground.
Army registered an Academy-record eight sacks in the game. The previous mark was seven versus Dartmouth on Sept. 24, 1983. Senior DE Josh McNary had 2.5 sacks, extending his all-time Academy record to 27.5 Junior LB Steve Erzinger and sophomore LB Jarett Mackey each registered a career-best 1.5 quarterback sacks. Erzinger had a career-best 14 tackles to pace the defense.
Offensively, sophomore FB Jared Hassin recorded his second straight 100-yard game, running for 118 yards and a score on 16 carries. It marks the first time an Army player has had consecutive 100-yard rushing games since Collin Mooney at Rice and versus Rutgers in 2008.
Sophomore QB Trent Steelman had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season with 102 yards and a score on 27 rushes. It was the first time Army had two 100-yard rushers in the same game since the 1999 season.
Steelman completed eight of his 14 pass attempts for 115 yards.
The Scarlet Knights shut out Army in the second half, marking the Black Knights’ first scoreless half of the season. The Black Knights had scored at least 24 points in each of their first six games and a minimum of 35 points in their last three outings.
Rutgers’ QB Chas Dodd led the Scarlet Knights offense with 251 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He completed 18 of his 30 passes. Mohamed Sanu was Rutgers’ top rusher with 33 yards on seven attempts. Martinek gained 30 yards on 10 carries.
Antonio Lowery led the Scarlet Knights with a game-high 19 tackles. Jonathan Freeny had two tackles for loss and recovered a fumble.
Army lost the turnover battle for the first time this season, fumbling twice while intercepting Dodd once. The Black Knights are now 5-22 in the last five seasons when losing the turnover margin.
The Army defense forced a three-and-out on the opening possession, and the Black Knights offense was able to move into scoring position on its first drive. After getting stopped on 3rd-and-2, Alex Carlton’s 40-yard field goal attempt missed wide left.
The Army special teams made the first big play of the game when Zach Watts blocked Teddy Dellaganna’s punt and Sean Westphal recovered, returning it to the Rutgers 15-yard line. The Rutgers defense appeared to get the ball right back, however, forcing an apparent Steelman fumble on second down and recovering at its own 1-yard line. The replay officials reviewed the play and overturned the call on the field, giving Army a third down on the 3-yard line. Steelman did the honors on the next play, going over left tackle for the game’s first touchdown. Carlton’s PAT gave Army a 7-0 lead with 2:45 left in the first quarter.
Rutgers quickly responded with its first scoring drive of the game. The Scarlet Knights moved the ball to the Army 4-yard line, but the Black Knights’ defense kept them out of the end zone on two straight plays. San San Te drilled a 19-yard field goal to cut the Army lead to 7-3 with 10:46 left in the second quarter.
After a muffed kickoff pinned the Black Knights at their own 11-yard line, the Army offense overcame the tough field position to go 89 yards on just seven plays. After an initial first down on two carries by Hassin, the sophomore fullback broke through the line and rumbled 50 yards to give the Black Knights a 1st-and-goal at the Rutgers 8-yard line. Two players later, Hassin scored his seventh rushing touchdown of the season, a six-yard tote, to put Army ahead by two scores. Carlton’s PAT made it 14-3 with 8:02 left in the first half. Hassin rushed four times for 69 yards on the drive.
The Black Knights’ defense forced another three-and-out, highlighted by a sack from Erzinger, but Dellaganna boomed a 58-yard punt to flip the field position and push Army back to its own 16-yard line. Steelman broke a 22-yard run on second down to get Army out of the hole, but an errant option pitch was recovered by the Scarlet Knights at the Army 42-yard line.
Rutgers was not able to take advantage of the miscue, but Dellaganna again pinned the Black Knights deep, checking his punt up out of bounds at the Army 2-yard line. Army drove the ball to the Rutgers 2-yard line, but stalled before they could reach the end zone. Carlton booted a 21-yard field goal on the last play of the half to push Army’s lead to 17-3 at the half. The Black Knights moved the ball 94 yards on 13 plays on the drive with Steelman completing four of his seven passes for 61 yards on the drive. Cobbs caught two of the passes for 47 yards.
The Army defense held Rutgers to just 65 yards of offense in the first half, including only 24 rushing yards. The Black Knights registered three sacks in the first half, 1.5 each by Erzinger and McNary.
The Black Knights rushed 28 times for 196 yards and two scores in the opening half. Hassin posted 92 yards on eight carries, while Steelman ran 10 times for 56 yards.
Army received the second half kickoff, and moved the ball to the Rutgers’ 23-yard line The Black Knights went for it on 4th-and-3, but Steelman’s pass attempt was off the mark and Rutgers took over on downs.
Rutgers started their comeback with a 77-yard drive that took 15 plays. After another sack by McNary, the Scarlet Knights faced a 3rd-and-23, but a horse collar tackle penalty gave Rutgers a first down on its 47-yard line. Army again forced Rutgers into a third-and-long, but an 11-yard pass on third down and a nine-yard completion on third down moved the chains. Back-to-back sacks made it 3rd-and-31, but a 23-yard completion and a defensive holding call on fourth down again gave the Scarlet Knights a first down at the Army 24-yard line.
A pass interference penalty on 2nd-and-12 moved the ball to the Army 11-yard line. Rutgers had the ball 3rd-and-13 from the Army 14-yard line. An 11-yard completion set up Rutgers’ third fourth down try of the drive, and the offense converted again with a three-yard touchdown pass from Dodd to Kordell Young. Te’s extra point cut the Army lead to 17-10 with 14:57 left in the fourth quarter. The Rutgers scoring drive wound eight minutes, 51 seconds off the clock.
Army moved the ball into Rutgers’ territory on the next drive, but was forced to punt. Jonathan Bulls angled a 40-yard kick out of bounds at the Rutgers 7-yard line.
The Scarlet Knights took over with 9:18 on the fourth-quarter clock and went 93 yards to score the game-tying touchdown. On 2nd-and-13 from the Rutgers’ 4-yard line, Dodd nearly went down for a safety, but was able to heave the ball to D.C. Jefferson for a 53-yard gain.
Two plays later, Army appeared to take the ball away on an interception by Donovan Travis, but a personal foul penalty for helmet-to-helmet contact on the quarterback