WEST POINT, N.Y. Army scored on its first possession but Air Force put together a touchdown and three field goals and beat the Black Knights, 16-7, in front of a sellout crowd of more than 37,400 at Michie Stadium.
Playing at Michie Stadium for the final time this season, Army responded to the huge crowd with a touchdown less than two minutes into the game but did not find the end zone again and fell to 3-6 in a game that was a battle for field position.
Air Force improved to 7-2 overall with the win in a contest that featured 12 punts, eight of them by the Falcons.
Army led in most statistical categories but three field goals by Ryan Harrison were the difference.
The Black Knights held a 250-174 advantage in total yards, a 17-10 lead in first downs won the time of possession battle 31:50-28:10. Army ran 74 plays compared to 57 for Air Force.
Army was eight of 26 passing for 107 yards and a touchdown between two quarterbacks. Chip Bowden connected on three of 11 passes for 64 yards, including a career-best 47-yard touchdown to Damion Hunter. Carson Williams was five of 15 for 43 yards. Each quarterback threw an interception.
Collin Mooney led the rushing game with 22 carries for 92 yards while Bowden picked up 44 yards on 19 carries.
Todd Newell was Air Force’s leading rusher with eight carries for 42 yards and Tim Jefferson ran 12 times for 25 yards and a touchdown. Jefferson completed three of eight passes for 32 yards.
John Plumstead paced the Army defense with 14 tackles while Josh McNary had 12 and Stephen Anderson 10 tackles, including three tackles for loss.
Army won the opening toss and elected to receive the kick. Mooney carried for 13 yards on his first two carries and then Bowden connected with Hunter on the visiting sidelines for the 47-yard touchdown. Matthew Campbell made it a 7-0 contest with the PAT with 13:42 remaining in the first quarter.
Following an Army fumble, Air Force got three points back. Ty Paffett rushed for 12 yards to open the eight-play, 24-yard drive that culminated with Harrison’s first field goal, this one from 20 yards, with 6:51 left in the first quarter.
The Falcons took the lead late in the first half. After an Army punt and personal foul penalty, Air Force took over needed four plays to cover the 34 yards. Jefferson hit Paffett for a 21-yard gain to move the ball to the one and Jefferson bulled in for the touchdown. Harrison’s kick gave the Falcons a 10-7 advantage with 1:30 left in the second quarter/
Harrison kicked his second field goal late in the third quarter. Following Army’s second punt of the half, the Falcons moved 32 yards in nine plays before Harrison converted from 29 yards for a 13-7 lead with 18 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Black Knights had three possessions but two punts and a turnover on downs gave Air Force the ball back with two minutes left. Three rushing attempts gained three yards before Harrison added insurance points with a 48-yard field goal.
Army had one final possession but it ended in an interception.
The Black Knights will travel to Rice on Saturday for a 3 p.m. Eastern kickoff.