Back-up QB leads late comback as Army beats Tulane in OT on 25-yard field goal
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP)—It was Kevin Dunn’s first 2-minute drill at Army. It was also his first touchdown pass.
Dunn completed a deflected 36-yard pass to Mike Wright as time expired to send the game into overtime, and Owen Tolson kicked a 25-yard field goal from the left hash to complete a 20-17 comeback over Tulane on Saturday night.
Dunn, Army’s third-string quarterback and a former walk-on, was subbing for Carson Williams, who took a hit to the head earlier in the fourth quarter. Williams had started four consecutive games for Army (3-3) in place of the injured David Pevoto.
“Oddly enough, that was my first two-minute drill at Army,” Dunn said. “You take the mental reps, you sit behind everybody, you watch the practice.”
Dunn went 6-for-7 for 80 yards on three Army drives, including its game-winning overtime possession.
Trailing 17-10 and starting from the Army 20-yard line with 29 seconds remaining, Dunn completed passes of 27 and 17 yards to get to the Tulane 36 before spiking the ball with 4 seconds remaining.
On the next snap, Dunn lofted a high pass to the back of the end zone. As the West Point cannon sounded signifying the clock reaching 0:00, the ball was deflected by two defenders and Wright came racing in to make a diving catch, dragging his feet just inside the end line. It was Wright’s first career TD reception and only his second catch of the game.
“Once Mike made that catch in the end zone I was just going ecstatic like everyone else on the sideline,” Tolson said.
After Tolson kicked his OT field goal, the Green Wave (1-4) then took over, but Charlie Rockwood and Victor Ugenyi prevented Matt Forte from gaining more than a yard on two rushes. Then Ross Thevenot’s 34-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left, missing the upright by a few feet.
The Corps of Cadets rushed the field to join the celebration of Army’s second overtime win this season.
“I just ran out and wanted to celebrate and jump up and down,” Dunn said.
The Black Knights improved to 3-3, matching their win total from last year. The Green Wave dropped to 1-4.
Tolson had hit a 36-yard field goal with 1:40 remaining to bring Army to within 17-10. On their next possession, the Green Wave went three-and-out, giving the Black Knights their opportunity.
“I actually felt a lot more pressure on the 36-yard field goal … because I realized, if I miss this one, we don’t have a shot at all,” Tolson said.
Army’s win spoiled an outstanding performance by Forte. The senior tailback ran 32 times for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He added another 37 yards on four receptions.
Forte scored on a 33-yard touchdown on a fake reverse, to give Tulane a 17-7 lead with 7:48 remaining in the third quarter. Forte carried four times for 58 yards during the scoring drive.
It was not the first big game Forte had against Army. As a freshman in 2004, he ran for 216 yards and scored four times. Last year in New Orleans, Forte ran for 124 yards and scored twice.
“I’m pretty disappointed with the loss,” Tulane coach Bob Toledo said. “Forte did a great job, but we didn’t throw the ball as well as we probably needed to throw it, and we didn’t make plays when we needed to make them.”
Army won consecutive games for the first time since 2005, when the Black Knights won four in a row. It was the Black Knights’ first win over a Conference USA team since leaving the league in 2004.