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Black Knights Pound Bucknell in Return To West Point

by Erin Summers

The Army Black Knights were back at Michie Stadium in week eleven, after their thrilling victory over Air Force in the Commanders' Classic, and they logged 428 rushing yards and put up 63 points on their way to an easy 63-10 victory over the Bucknell Bison of the Patriot League.

Nine different Black Knights found the endzone and Army scored 42 points in the first half, while holding Bucknell scoreless through two quarters. The victory, Army's sixth of the season, makes the Black Knights Bowl-eligible for the fifth time in six years under Head Coach Jeff Monken.


"College football games are hard to win, and I'm glad we won that one," Monken said following the blowout win, "I'm proud of our guys for getting bowl-eligible and having that opportunity to play in the postseason, which is one of the great rewards of playing college football."


The Cadets worked quickly, racking up a 21-0 lead after just one quarter of play, and scored six touchdowns on seven first-half possessions. Of the nine Black Knights that found pay dirt, for three running backs -- Markens Pierre, a senior, and sophomores Shacori Williams and Ay'Jaun Marshall -- it was the first touchdowns of their careers.

Members of the Army Black Knights football team celebrate their success during the second half of the game against the Bucknell Bison on November 13, 2021 at Michie Stadium on the campus of the US Military Academy at West Point
Members of the Army Black Knights football team celebrate their success during the second half of the game against the Bucknell Bison on November 13, 2021 at Michie Stadium on the campus of the US Military Academy at West Point

"That was an amazing experience," Pierre said. "Honestly, the offensive line did it all - the blocking schemes up front, and just getting in the end zone, the guys there embraced me."


The only thing that stopped the Army offense was Mother Nature. A rain delay halted play between halves for nearly 90 minutes.


Defensively, Army held Bucknell scoreless until four minutes in the third quarter thanks to some aggressive play. For the fourth time this season, the Black Knights forced a takeaway on their opponents' opening drive as junior linebacker Andre Carter, II picked off a pass from Bison quarterback Ethan Grady.


"It was a great first half," Carter said, "All three phases, offense, defense, special teams, were all able to have success and we were able to get the job done."


However, for Coach Monken, it was the play of the players who've seen limited action this season that left a mark.


"Really proud of the younger guys," Monken said, "and the more inexperienced guys, I should say. They got a chance to get in there and play and defensively just hold them off the scoreboard for the entire first half, really with the guys that are the travel squad players."


When it was all said and done, Army put up 486 yards of offense, 428 on the ground, versus the FCS Bison and had 18 different rushers gain yardage -- the most by Army in a single game in 21 years.


"Our run game," Monken said, "is not just the offensive lineman. It's the receivers and the tight ends, slots and B-backs. Everybody gets involved in it and I thought they did a good job. You know, we had very few plays where we didn't go three or four or five yards. So it was a good day running the football, for sure."


The win over Bucknell takes the Black Knights to 6-4 on the season, with just two more games on the schedule before they take on the Navy at MetLife Stadium on December 11.


Bucknell falls to 1-9 and finds themselves in last place in the Patriot League.


Next up, the Black Knights have one more game at Michie Stadium, Senior Day, to close out their two-game homestead against Massachusetts. The Minutemen are 1-9 on the season and coming off a 35-10 loss to Maine.



edited for web by Joe Harman