Fullbacks answer call

Army fullbacks took the challenge personally.

Sean Saturnio, their position coach, was stressing running hard all week long in preparation for Eastern Michigan.

Junior Aaron Kemper, senior Matt Giachinta and freshman Drue Harris entered Saturday’s game with a combined 139 yards on just 3.2 yards per carry in Army’s 0-3 start.

Fullbacks are the key to Army’s triple-option. Inside runs open up outside lanes with pitches and quarterback keepers.

Kemper said the fullbacks answered “the bell,” against Eastern Michigan. The trio combined for 295 yards on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns.

“We know it’s on the fullback position,” Kemper said. “We haven’t produced much in the last three games. We played four different fullbacks and everybody went in and did well. That’s promising. I’m proud of our young guys who stepped up as well.”

The fullback dive is a staple of the triple option. But, Army coach Jeff Monken said the offense added some inside veer, midline and trap plays.

The final totals for the fullbacks were: Kemper 13 carries, 147 yards, 56-yard touchdown; Giachinta 13 carries, 88 yards, career-long 34-yard run on a fake punt; Harris 8 carries, 60 yards, two fourth-quarter touchdowns of 10 and 27 yards. Harris had 55 yards on seven carries in the fourth quarter.

“The one thing they did that I was so proud of is that they broke a lot of tackles,” Monken said. “Coach Saturnio has been talking to those guys all week about really driving through tackles, driving their knees and not letting one guy bring them down. They really took that to heart and played with a sense of pride and not getting tackled by one guy. I hope it will continue. We need it to.”

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter @salinterdonato

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