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 gave the impression 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 exhilarating, 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 for the reason that 2021 season.
“I really feel like we’re rolling now,” Castellanos stated. “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 operating again AJ Dillon in 2017.
BC struck first when Castellanos discovered a gap and zigzagged into the tip zone from 20 yards with 7:35 left within the first quarter. The additional-point failed, however the Eagles constructed a 6-0 lead by 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 stuffed in seamlessly for Ozzy Trapilo at proper sort out, and linemates Logan Taylor, Kyle Hergel, Drew Kendall, and Christian Mahogany proved unflappable.
BC stymied a staff 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 go early within the second quarter. The Black Knights sliced the deficit in half on a 22-yard subject objective from Quinn Maretzki.
BC didn’t flinch, answering with an overwhelming, 17-play, 75-yard drive that spanned 8:44. Through the drive, Castellanos appeared to have a free path to the tip zone earlier than operating into the referee and stumbling to the bottom.
“He was an enormous man,” Castellanos stated. “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 general. BC in the meantime, had 103 yards dashing (69 from Castellanos) by 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’ pace benefit. He was happy with his staff for adjusting seamlessly.
“This wasn’t going to be fairly,” Hafley stated. “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 by three on a 6-yard rush from Hayden Reed, then took a 24-20 edge on a 9-yard go from Bryson Day by day to Tyson Riley.
“It’s like a boxer,” BC linebacker Vinny DePalma stated. “They lull you, they lull you to sleep, then they arrive in with an enormous haymaker. If you happen to don’t have nice eyes, in the event you’re not sound on each play, then they will get you.”
The Eagles moved downfield on the following drive, however Castellanos got here up quick on fourth and a pair of from the Military 42 with 7:19 remaining.
The Black Knights discovered the tip zone once more, however the name was overturned as a replay evaluation clearly confirmed Day by day threw a ahead go relatively than a lateral. The Eagles acquired the ball again at their 38 with 5:24 remaining.
Castellanos, operating 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 objective, Castellanos took care of the remainder.
“At that time, I’m telling you, the stadium, the cadets, our guys might have simply tapped it in,” Hafley stated. “We cease them, we get it again, we run the ball, we drive down, and we end ultimately zone to win the sport.”
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