Angel Santiago

Army QB still dealing with injury, nears return to practice

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Army quarterback A.J. Schurr wasn’t with the team at the start of training camp. Despite being projected as the team’s starting signal caller, Schurr was held out of practice altogether due to a mystery injury.

In recent days, Army head coach Jeff Monken finally discussed the quarterback’s ailment. Schurr is dealing with hamstring issues.

“I wish we could get A.J. in there…It’s pretty significant (injury) obviously,” Monken told HudsonValley.com’s Sal Interdonato. “He’s been out for the last week and half or workouts and all this week of camp. He’s getting better. He wants to go. I’m just concerned if he really accelerates off of that or has to have a quick deceleration that he pulls it again and we are back to square one and another three weeks away. We are going to try and let him get healthy and when our training staff feels comfortable we’ll get him back him in there.”

Despite the severity of the injury, Monken will allow Schurr to participate in practice this week in a very limited capacity.

“He’ll probably throw the ball some this afternoon (Monday) where he doesn’t have to run down the line or sprint out,” Monken said. “A lot of shotgun which will be good for him to get in there and do that.”

While Schurr is out of the lineup, Monken tried to rely heavily on senior quarterback Angel Santiago. Unfortunately, Monken had to hold Santiago out of a few practices after “taking a shot to the outside of his thigh the other day (Friday) and it was sore and pretty swollen and bruised.”

Santiago returned to the practice field Monday, but he was also a limited participant.

Freshman Kado Brown might receive significant playing time this season if Schurr and Santiago can’t remain healthy.

“Coach Monken always talks about giving your best effort when you are out there and that’s one thing that I’ve tried to internalize since I’ve been here,” Brown told Interdonato. “Any time I get the chance, I try to make the best out of my opportunity and give it all I’ve got. I’m still in the process. I’m not going to say I’m confident but I am comfortable. Once I grasp it better, I think I will gain more confidence.”

Navy drops anchor on Army for 12th straight time

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Another year, another Navy victory over Army.

This year’s game was played in a mixture of snow and freezing rain as the game went on, but no matter what sort of wintry mix was falling from the sky, nothing Army was able to do was enough to slow down Navy’s red-hot quarterback Keenan Reynolds. Reynolds set an NCAA record while rushing for three touchdowns to power Navy to a 34-7 victory over their service academy rivals from West Point.

Reynolds tied the NCAA record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season with his 27th touchdown run of the year in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter he broke the three-way tie with former Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and another former Midshipman quarterback, Ricky Dobbs. On his first fourth quarter touchdown run, an 11-yard scamper, Reynolds rushed for his 28th rushing touchdown of the season to become the new record holder for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a single season. For good measure, he added one more from the one-yard line for his 29th of the season. Reynolds ended his day with 136 rushing yards, the fourth most rushing yards by a Navy player during Navy’s current 12-game winning streak against Army. Only running back Adam Ballard has had more rushing yards for Navy during this stretch, with 192 yards in the 2003 Army Navy Game, and Kyle Eckel‘s 179 yards in the 2004 game and 152 yards in the 2005 game.

Army seemed to struggle to adjust to the weather at times once the snow started to pick up, but this game was more about Navy’s overall advantage on the field when it comes to execution. Navy was just four of 15 on third down conversions, but Army was unable to create any momentum off of that. Army picked up just two first downs out of 11 third down conversions in the game and the Black Knights also went 0-for-2 on fourth downs. Navy was two for three on fourth down, and four for four inside the red zone.

As expected, neither team found much success throwing the football the few times they attempted to do so. Reynolds took just seven pass attempts and completed two for 10 yards.Army quarterback Angel Santiago completed half of his ten attempts for 50 yards, but he was also intercepted at midfield as Navy seemed to be putting the clamps on Army late in the first half. Amy managed just 157 yards of total offense. Navy more than doubled that production with 347 yards of offense.

Army showed signs of life midway through the third quarter when they finally got on the scoreboard with a Santiago touchdown run, but Navy answered with an 11-play drive and a field goal. In the fourth quarter, Reynolds put the game away with his two touchdown runs to earn game MVP honors.

Army’s season is now officially in the books. The Black Knights won just three games this season, and the future of the program could be in some doubt. there has been some talk floating around that Rich Ellerson may have needed this game to potentially save his job. Coaching at Army has to be one of the toughest in the country though, and by most accounts Ellerson has done all he can.With this loss, Ellerson’s record is 20-41 overall and 0-5 against Navy (1-9 against Navy and Air Force, combined).

Navy will go on to play one more game. The Midshipmen will face Middle Tennessee in the Armed Forces Bowl on December 30 in Fort Worth, Texas. Navy missed out on the postseason last year and are just 1-4 in bowl games under head coach Ken Niumatalolo.

Navy gets another year of bragging rights. Next year the Army Navy Game will travel down I-95 from Philadelphia to Baltimore, much closer to Navy’s campus.

Navy’s Reynolds ties NCAA record, Navy leads Army 17-0

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The snow started coming down as the teams were warming up, and the pace of the snowfall has picked up throughout the first half of this year’s edition of the Army Navy Game. As snow continues to blanket the city of Philadelphia in snow for the second time this week, Navy looks to keep their winning streak going. Navy, looking for their 12th straight win in the series, leads Army 17-0 at the half thanks in part to a record-tying touchdown run by Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds.

Navy failed to capitalize on a big run by 58-run by Quinton Singleton late int he first quarter. After breaking a big play Singleton was brought down at the Army four-yard line but the Midshipmen were unable to push forward for a touchdown. Red zone threat Reynolds got as far as the two-yard line but nearly lost a fumble on a short second down play. After Army came up with a big third down stop, Navy gave in and sent Nick Sloan on for a 20-yard field goal in the driving wet snow fall.

Navy would capitalize on a mental mistake by Army midway through the second quarter. After an unsportsmanlike penalty by Army’s Robert Kough, Noah Copeland broke the second big play of the game for a 39-yard run. He was able to shed some defenders on his way to the end zone to give Navy the first touchdown of the game and a 10-0 lead following the point after touchdown. It was his longest career rushing attempt and it could not have come at a better time.

Reynolds would have the next big run of the half, wasting little time to score on a late half possession. On the first play after Army punted away, Reynolds ran right up the middle fo the field for 47 yards and his 27th rushing touchdown of the season. The touchdown run tied former Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs and former Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein for the NCAA rushing touchdown record by a quarterback. Odds are pretty good he will break that record at some point in the second half, or Navy’s Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee State if needed.