WEST POINT, N.Y. — With intermittent rain at Michie Stadium, and gusts of wind blowing the American flags hovering close to the Hudson River, Saturday’s showdown with Boston School seemed to be paradise for Military soccer.
There was only one downside for the Black Knights: The Eagles had Thomas Castellanos.
The shifty, dual-threat quarterback scored on a 1-yard run to punctuate a signature drive with 25 seconds on the clock, lifting the Eagles to an exciting, 27-24 triumph. Castellanos (31 carries, 142 yards, 4 dashing touchdowns), with loads of assist from BC’s sturdy offensive line, did basically no matter he desired and took over the sport within the clutch.
Defensive again John Pupel recovered a fumble with seven seconds left to seal the victory. The Eagles (3-3), unfazed and undeterred by the weather or the opponent, confirmed their psychological and bodily toughness by outlasting the Black Knights (2-3).
With an off week on the horizon, BC has tangible momentum for the primary time because the 2021 season.
“I really feel like we’re rolling now,” Castellanos mentioned. “We acquired our groove.”
Castellanos is the primary BC quarterback to hurry for 4 touchdowns. The final Eagle to attain 4 occasions on the bottom was working again AJ Dillon in 2017.
BC struck first when Castellanos discovered a gap and zigzagged into the top zone from 20 yards with 7:35 left within the first quarter. The additional-point failed, however the Eagles constructed a 6-0 lead via one quarter whereas holding the Black Knights to 21 complete yards and no first downs.
The Eagles exceeded Military’s physicality and self-discipline early, and their offensive and defensive traces dominated. Jack Conley crammed in seamlessly for Ozzy Trapilo at proper deal with, and linemates Logan Taylor, Kyle Hergel, Drew Kendall, and Christian Mahogany proved unflappable.
BC stymied a group that got here in having outscored its opponents, 36-0, within the first quarter.
Military acquired on the board after Quindrelin Hammonds intercepted a floating Castellanos move early within the second quarter. The Black Knights sliced the deficit in half on a 22-yard discipline aim from Quinn Maretzki.
BC didn’t flinch, answering with an overwhelming, 17-play, 75-yard drive that spanned 8:44. In the course of the drive, Castellanos appeared to have a free path to the top zone earlier than working into the referee and stumbling to the bottom.
“He was a giant man,” Castellanos mentioned. “I used to be speaking to him on the sideline after. I used to be like, ‘How a lot you raise, man?’ ”
The miscue ended up as a blessing in disguise, as BC used extra clock and transformed on fourth and three. Castellanos finally wiggled in from 4 yards with 1:24 left to offer the Eagles a 13-3 halftime benefit (Liam Connor transformed his remaining three PATs).
Military, which entered 14th within the nation with 208 dashing yards per recreation, totaled simply 47 yards on the bottom within the half and 78 total. BC in the meantime, had 103 yards dashing (69 from Castellanos) via two quarters and 168 complete.
BC dominated possession, beating the Black Knights at their very own recreation and holding the ball for 18:25 of the primary half. The Eagles ran the ball 61 occasions within the recreation, in comparison with 33 for Military.
Eagles coach Jeff Hafley famous the rain made each groups one-dimensional, which negated the Eagles’ velocity benefit. He was pleased with his group for adjusting seamlessly.
“This wasn’t going to be fairly,” Hafley mentioned. “We’re going to run the ball as a lot as we have to.”
The Black Knights closed the hole early within the second half, as a 53-yard kickoff return from Zach Mundell arrange a 10-yard TD run from Tyrell Robinson. That made it 13-10 Eagles with 10:48 left within the third, and momentum favored Military for the primary time.
It didn’t final lengthy, although, as a 50-yard rush from Pat Garwo arrange a 10-yard dashing landing from Castellanos. His third TD pushed the margin to 20-10 with 7:36 remaining within the third.
Military trimmed its deficit to 20-17 via three on a 6-yard rush from Hayden Reed, then took a 24-20 edge on a 9-yard move from Bryson Day by day to Tyson Riley.
“It’s like a boxer,” BC linebacker Vinny DePalma mentioned. “They lull you, they lull you to sleep, then they arrive in with a giant haymaker. If you happen to don’t have nice eyes, in case you’re not sound on each play, then they’ll get you.”
The Eagles moved downfield on the following drive, however Castellanos got here up brief on fourth and a couple of from the Military 42 with 7:19 remaining.
The Black Knights discovered the top zone once more, however the name was overturned as a replay overview clearly confirmed Day by day threw a ahead move fairly than a lateral. The Eagles acquired the ball again at their 38 with 5:24 remaining.
Castellanos, working backs Kye Robichaux and Alex Broome, and the offensive line helped the Eagles advance deep into Black Knights territory. After his 17-yard achieve superior the ball to the three for a primary and aim, Castellanos took care of the remaining.
“At that time, I’m telling you, the stadium, the cadets, our guys might have simply tapped it in,” Hafley mentioned. “We cease them, we get it again, we run the ball, we drive down, and we end in the long run zone to win the sport.”
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