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Commander-in-Chief’s trophy secured by Falcons

U.S. MILITARY ACADEMY, N.Y. — The Air Force Academy Falcons defeated the Black Knights of West Point 42-22 Nov. 6 at Michie Field here. The teams have now battled on the gridiron 45 times with the Falcons leading the series 31-13 with one tie. This is the fifth-straight Air Force victory against Army.

The Black Knights were on fire to start the game, dominating the Falcons on defense and showing strength on the ground on offense. They had two good, clock-eating drives in a row, each resulting in field goals from junior kicker Alex Carlton, and took a 6-0 lead into the second quarter.

The Falcons finally woke up, scoring 21 points in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Tim Jefferson put the first points on the board for the Falcons following his 3-yard touchdown run. The run capped an 11-play, 67-yard drive. After the Falcons stopped the ensuing Black Knight drive, Jefferson struck again. After emphasizing his running ability with a 33-yard run, he followed it up with a 53-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Jonathan Warzeka.

Later, Army answered with an 18-yard touchdown run from senior fullback Jacob Bohn to cap an eight-play, 60-yard Black Knight drive.

Air Force took the 21-13 lead into the locker room at the half.

After a pair of punts from the Falcons and one from the Army, the Black Knights finally put the first points of the second half on the board following another Carlton field goal taking the score to 21-16.

Jefferson answered the challenge immediately with another huge touchdown pass to Warzeka, this one for 63 yards. Warzeka finished the game with two receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns. The Falcons led the Knights by 12 at the end of the third quarter.

The Falcons added to the Black Knight woes as Army sophomore fullback Jared Hassin fumbled the ball right into the arms of Falcon junior linebacker Jordan Waiwaiole. Waiwaiole took advantage of the Army mistake running the ball back 52 yards for another Falcon score. It was Waiwaiole’s first career touchdown.

This forced the Army to try and take to the air, not usually a strong point for a triple-option team. Steelman finished the game with five completions on 10 attempts with 72 yards. The Black Knights cut the Falcon lead to 13 when Steelman connected with junior wide receiver Austin Barr on a 9-yard touchdown strike, but the Knights failed to convert their two-point attempt.

That would do it offensively for the Knights. The Falcons answered with another Jefferson touchdown run. Jefferson finished with three completions on seven attempts for 124 yards and two touchdowns through the air and 11 rushes for 57 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Jefferson was named the player of the game for his efforts.

The victory clinched the Commander-in-Chief trophy for the Falcons. The trophy is awarded to the military service academy that defeats the other two during the regular season. The trophy was first awarded in 1972 by President Richard Nixon. It was the brainchild of Gen. George B. Simler, the then-commander of Air Training Command and former Air Force Academy athletic director.