THROGGS NECK, N.Y. – Army sprint football began its 2012 campaign on Sunday afternoon against the junior varsity squad of SUNY Maritime. Despite a 10-month absence from the playing field, the Black Knight offense picked up right where it left off in 2011, totaling just shy of 500 yards in a 42-0 rout of the Privateers on their home turf at Reinhart Field.
Army, which averaged 487 yards of offense per game a season ago, accomplished that feat to the “T” against Maritime with 282 yards passing and 205 gained on the ground.
Senior signal caller Javier Sustaita was 19-of-32 in pass attempts while throwing for four touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Tom Jeffers caught two of those scores, while seniors Cody Nyp and Lucas Hornick snagged one apiece. Senior Marquis Morris registered a game-high 70 yards rushing to go along with one TD.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Black Knights attacked Maritime quarterbacks Andrew Madden and Zach Chilcott, sacking each of them three times while picking off two of their passes. Junior Thomas White and senior Kiandre Pratt-Chambers were each credited with interceptions, while Tyler Peterson and Cliff Hodges added sacks to their resumes. Junior Jake Steckler totaled a team-best 11 tackles.
After the Army offense failed to gain any ground on their first possession, special teams did the work as Maritime fumbled the punt and the Black Knights’ John Egan recovered on the Privateers’ 41-yard line. Sustaita responded immediately, connecting with Jeffers on the first play for a 41-yard score. Senior kicker Kevin Scruggs put the ball through the uprights for the first of six extra-point kicks on the afternoon.
Morris extended the lead two minutes later with his rushing score, pushing Army’s lead to 14-0 at the 11-minute mark of the first quarter. Sustaita threw scores to Jeffers and Nyp as time dwindled in the second quarter, as Army took a 28-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Sustaita continued to pass around the Maritime defense in the third stanza, keeping the ball out of the Pioneers’ hand through most of that quarter. Late in the third, Sustaita hit Ross for an 11-yard score to push the lead to 35-0.
Sophomore James Wartski took over quarterbacking duties for Army in the fourth, tallying his first career touchdown with an eight-yard pass to Hornick for the Black Knights’ final score of the game. The completion to Hornick was Wartski’s only of the game.
The Black Knights will have just short of two weeks to prepare for their next contest when they travel to the Allegiance Bowl in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Sept. 22. Army will face CSFL rival Post for the first time in the neutral-site contest. The Black Knights defeated the Eagles 57-43 in 2011’s shootout at Shea Stadium at West Point.