Quick thoughts: 2017 Black & Gold Game blog

Army’s Black & Gold Game was an offensive struggle for more than three quarters.

Ten points were on the board before Christian Poe scored a touchdown on a 40-yard reverse with 3:03 left in the game. Kell Walker broke off a 61-yard touchdown run 44 seconds later to cap the scoring.

Sloppy game by both offenses with too many false start and holding penalties.

The Gold team was stopped twice inside the 5-yard line.

On the bright side, the offense as a whole turned the ball over just once.

Sophomore fullback Calen Holt was a workhorse, carrying the ball close to 20 times for the Gold team.

Sophomore Chris Carter threw the ball the best among the three quarterbacks that played. Carter, Ahmad Bradshaw and Kelvin Hopkins had little time to pass on the few occasions Army put the ball in the air.

Freshman linebacker Cole Christiansen recorded two sacks. Sophomore linebacker James Nachtigal, junior defensive end Matt Sannella and freshman cornerback Malik Hancock each had one sack. Hancock started out the game as a slotback but was forced to also play cornerback when Jalen Sharp left with an injury.

On the injury front, Army coach Jeff Monken breathed a sigh of relief when he got back the report on two-year starting guard Mike Houghton. Houghton was carted off the field and going down on the game’s ninth play. A severe injury was feared. Monken said Houghton twisted his ankle and should be fine.

Touched on the punting in my notebook but the struggles of 2016 season haven’t been solved this spring. Army’s first punt of the game was blocked. Hang time was not a friend to Army’s punters. Some punts struggled to get higher than a linemen’s shoulders. Don’t know if they were instructed, but some punts were kicked off to the side with the hopes of getting a favorable roll. The best punt of the game was J.D. Mote’s 55-yard boot that was downed inside the 5-yard line.

Center Bryce Holland, fullback Darnell Woolfolk, slotbacks Jordan Asberry and Malik McGue and linebacker Bayle Wolf were among the key Black Knights that didn’t play in the game. Defensive end John Voit and safety Rhyan England saw limited action.

Sophomore Tyler Campbell watched the game from the stands. Campbell, a starting slotback in 2016, left the team and didn’t participate in spring practice. When asked if there’s a chance that Campbell returns to the team, coach Jeff Monken said, “the players say yes.”  Stay tuned.

VIDEO: Junior wide receiver Jeff Ejekam’s highlight-reel catch and run that would make SportsCenter’s Top 10 in the regular season. Ejekam faked right, cut left, leaving a defensive back, who lost his footing on the turf.

VIDEO: Wide receiver Jeff Ejekam on 38-yard touchdown catch

VIDEO: Coach Jeff Monken comments on Black & Gold game

For more on Army football, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope and SoundCloud @salinterdonato. Started a Facebook page, solely for Army coverage. Here’s the link.

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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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