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LaCoste scores 3 TDs, Air Force beats Army 42-28

AP - Sports

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) -- Anthony LaCoste rushed for a career-high 263 yards and scored three touchdowns, helping Air Force snap a seven-game skid by holding off Army 42-28 on Saturday.

LaCoste finished with the second-most yards rushing for a program that's known for its ground game. He was just shy of the school record held by Chad Hall, who had 275 yards against Army in 2007.

The elusive LaCoste also had long TD runs of 73 and 78 yards, along with a 1-yard burst early in the fourth quarter to give the Falcons a two-touchdown lead.

In an injury-filled season that's spiraled downward for Air Force (2-7), this win over a fellow service academy eases some of the sting.

It was a costly loss for the Black Knights (3-6) in their quest for the Commander in Chief's Trophy. Even if they were to beat Navy in the season finale next month, the Midshipmen will retain the crown, courtesy of being the defending champions and having already beaten the Falcons earlier this season. A three-way tie keeps the trophy with the past winner.

Angel Santiago scored three touchdowns on a sore ankle and Terry Baggett had 121 yards rushing and a score for Army, which was trying to beat Air Force for a second straight season.

Down 35-21 midway through the fourth quarter, Army caught a break when Air Force returner Garrett Brown muffed a punt. Four plays later, Baggett scored on a 10-yard run to trim the deficit.

But Broam Hart sealed the win - and ended the team's longest losing streak since 1979 - on a 3-yard scamper with 3:41 remaining.

Once the final horn sounded, the Air Force cadets streamed out of the stands to celebrate with the team on the field.

The Black Knights struggled on special teams as kicker Daniel Grochowski had a field goal blocked and missed on another. They also couldn't find a way to stop LaCoste, who wasn't doing anything fancy, just getting around the corner time after time. He averaged 11.4 yards a carry.

Air Force took the lead for good on a 78-yard run by LaCoste midway through the third quarter. He was hardly even touched on the play.

Santiago had a big first half, rushing for three short TDs and showing no ill effects from a bothersome left ankle that's caused him to leave two games early this season.

Air Force used a big play on special teams to the swing the momentum midway in the second quarter. With Army up 14-7 and attempting a 48-yard field goal, Nick Fitzgerald stuck his hand up and blocked Grochowski's attempt. Gavin McHenry caught the ricochet on the fly and raced 24 yards to set the Falcons up good field position.

Deep in Army territory, Air Force gambled by going for it on fourth-and-2 at the 14, with Brown taking a pitch from Nate Romine and outracing the Black Knights around the corner for the game-tying score.

Soon after, Army retook the lead on Santiago's 1-yard run, his third TD of the half.

But it wouldn't last as Air Force quickly struck again, Romine rushing for a 1-yard score with 11 seconds left in the first half.

There was a scary moment just before Romine's score, when Army linebacker Julian Holloway was carted off the field with his right leg in a splint after being hurt trying to tackle LaCoste on a run up the middle.

While Holloway was down, Army coach Rich Ellerson walked onto the field to check on him. Air Force coach Troy Calhoun came over, too, patting Holloway in a show of support.

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