Black-Gold Game Recap

Kelvin Hopkins and Army’s offense were in mid-season form early in the Black-Gold Game.

A steady diet of fullback dives, a couple keeper by Hopkins, Army’s sophomore quarterback, and a few fourth-and-short conversions highlighted a 17-play drive that ate up the majority of the first quarter. Fullback Connor Slomka finished the march with a 3-yard touchdown run.

“That exactly how I pictured it,” Hopkins said of the drive. “That’s what we like. I think we got off the field with maybe four minutes left on the clock. It was a real grind-it-out drive. The offense was moving. We made two fourth-down conversions. That’s Army football right there.”

Army broke down the teams into Black (including the first-team offense) and Gold (including the first-team defense).

Hopkins, Kell Walker and Christian Anderson quarterbacked the Black team participating in that order. Cam Thomas and Luke Langdon were the Gold quarterbacks. Langdon led White on its only touchdown drive in the second quarter.

Here’s coach Jeff Monken’s assessment of the quarterbacks after spring football: “I would be difficult to make a decision on who are quarterback is going to be based on tonight. I thought all of those guys did some good things. Kelvin Hopkins has had a good spring and I think really earned the respect of his teammates. He was outstanding high school quarterback that won a lot of football games. He’s gotten so much better this spring running the football and running the offense.

“We used Kell Walker at the quarterback position all spring and that was an interesting project to be able to get the ball in his hands. With all of the different things that we did with the quarterback last fall, it makes sense to have a really good runner in that position. I don’t know if he’s going to stay there but he may play there some.

“With the two young guys, I was really encouraged to see Cam Thomas and Christian Anderson make some plays tonight. I think they still have some growing to do to be able to lead this offense and lead this team and then you have a veteran like Langdon that has been around the program. He makes good decisions. He’s tough and we have a lot of confident in him in his knowledge of the offense.

“It will be interesting to see how it (starting quarterback) plays out. We probably in our minds have an idea of what we think might happen but it’s a little bit early.”

Monken said he will continue to approaching the 2018 season as if Army will not have three-year starting quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw’s graduation date is said to be still in question.

The game was stopped with 11:36 left in the fourth quarter with Black leading 21-7. Monken said he didn’t want to change for any more injuries to occur. The game was stopped a few times due to players being banged up.

The first-team offense: QB Kelvin Hopkins, FB Andy Davidson; SB Jordan Asberry; SB Fred Cooper; WR Cam Harrison; WR Kjetil Cline; LT Nick Stokes; LG Jaxson Deaton; C Bryce Holland; RG Peyton Reeder; RT Austin Schuffert.

Scoring plays: Black – Connor Slomka 3-yard run; Kelvin Hopkins 1-yard run; Rashaad Bolton 2-yard run. Gold – Calen Holt 3-yard run.

Play of game: Slotback Fred Cooper’s jump cut made linebacker Christian Gomez and Jack King miss in the backfield and the freshman was off on a 35-yard run, which set the final touchdown for Black. Read my story on Cooper here.

For a photo gallery of the game featuring Kell Walker, Calen Holt, Cam Thomas and Christian Anderson, click here.

2018 captains were announced by Monken when he met on the field with the team after the game. Players selected sophomore linebacker Cole Christiansen, senior center Bryce Holland and junior fullback Darnell Woolfolk as captains.

Monken revealed that sophomore defensive end/linebacker Amadeo West, a projected starter, sustained an injury while rehabbing from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that caused him to miss the 2017 season. It’s unlikely that West will play this season.

Woolfolk, junior linebacker James Nachtigal were among the players that didn’t participate in the game. Christiansen’s reps were limited.

Miscellaneous notes: Neither defense forced a turnover. Freshman cornerback Javhari Bourdeau tackled Kell Walker for a loss. Freshman defensive lineman Emmanuel Ukhueligbe knocked down a pass. Cam Thomas completed passes to Ke’Shaun Wells and Christian Hayes. Nick Schrage booted a 54-yard punt…Freshman Sean McNulty missed a 37-yard field goal to end the first half.

VIDEO: Rashaad Bolton leaps into the end zone for touchdown

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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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