Page last updated on Mon Oct 20 04:16:13 EDT 2014
11/17/2012 6:02 PM EST
Harris scores 7 TDs as Temple beats Army 63-32
TEMPLE 63, ARMY 32
By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) -- After taking a helmet to his left knee
in a bad loss a week ago, Montel Harris barely practiced as
Temple prepared for a critical game at Army. Seems like a good
idea in retrospect.
Harris rushed for a career-high 351 yards and seven touchdowns,
Matt Brown scored twice before leaving the game with an injury,
and Temple beat Army 63-32 on Saturday for its fifth straight
win in the series.
Harris scored on a 60-yard run and a 1-yard run in the second
quarter, a 1-yard run and a 37-yarder in the third, and a
2-yarder, another 37-yarder and another 1-yarder in the fourth
to come within one of the NCAA record set in 1990 by Howard
Griffith of Illinois against Southern Illinois.
"It's a blessing to have a record like that," said Harris, who
had 36 carries. "Our goal is always to run the ball well and
have a great game. I didn't see this coming. I started off kind
of slow at the beginning of the game."
The heroics for Harris began after Brown limped off the field
with a hamstring injury after scoring on runs of 12 and 36 yards
to stake the Owls to a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
"He (Brown) said, `You've got to pick it up, it's all on you
now,' " Harris said after just the 95th 300-yard rushing game
in NCAA history. "Whenever you have a big player go down, you
know you've got to try to step it up, fill his shoes. That's
what I was just trying to do. We knew we all had to pick it up."
The Owls (4-6) scored only 54 points combined in losing their
previous four games, all in the Big East, and they stopped their
skid by beating the nation's top rushing team at its own game,
gaining 534 yards rushing on 57 carries. Army (2-9), which
finished with 407 yards rushing on 62 carries, has lost 16
straight against Big East competition.
"It was a statement win, a statement that we still fight,"
Temple coach Steve Addazio said. "The team's got a lot of fight
in them. We needed to do that. That needed to happen. It builds
confidence. It was special to do it here."
Temple, in its first season back in the Big East since 2004, has
one more game, at home against Syracuse next week, and is trying
to schedule a 12th game in Hawaii.
The loss spoiled Senior Day at Michie Stadium for Army's 22
seniors, though fourth-year quarterback Trent Steelman left
Blaik Field for the final time with more academy records in tow.
The Black Knights have archrival Navy in early December, one
final chance to finish the year on a positive note.
"I don't think it's the way you want to finish any game," said
Steelman, who scored on runs of 7, 1 and 56 yards. "At the same
time, we have one more. We can still go out on the right note
and finish the season the right way."
Steelman rushed for 139 yards, giving him five straight 100-yard
games and 44 career rushing touchdowns, both school records.
Glenn Davis held the record of 43 rushing touchdowns during his
stellar career on Army's great teams of the mid-1940s.
It also was Steelman's 12th career 100-yard game, one more than
the record held by Tory Crawford for most by an Army
quarterback, and Steelman boosted his season rushing total to
1,152 yards, a season record for an academy quarterback.
The Owls built a 28-10 halftime as Harris gained 173 yards on
just 16 carries, either bulling his way past defenders or racing
untouched as the Army defense repeatedly broke down as it did
earlier in the season in losses to Northern Illinois and Wake
"It's hard to put into words," senior defensive back Josh
Jackson said. "Being the last game I'm going to play in this
stadium, it's unfortunate. At the end of the day, hopefully,
there's a new day. We have Navy in our sights, and we have to
clear and look forward to that one."
Harris scored his first two touchdowns after Brown had begun to
reprise his performance from two years ago at Michie Stadium.
Subbing for injured star Bernard Pierce in 2010, Brown rushed
for a career-high 226 yards on 28 carries and scored four times
in a 42-35 victory.
The 5-foot-5, 165-pound Brown was unstoppable again early
Saturday, but after Army moved to 14-7 on Steelman's 7-yard run
early in the second, Brown limped off the field moments later
holding his left hamstring.
When Larry Dixon's 37-yard run set up Eric Osteen's 37-yard
field goal, the Black Knights had closed within 14-10 late in
the second quarter. That's when Harris took over, scoring twice
in the final 4 minutes. The second, a 1-yard run, came after
quarterback Clinton Granger completed a critical shovel pass to
Kenny Harper on a third-and-11 play.
Army came out in the second half with a vengeance. The Black
Knights scored in four plays that took just 63 seconds. Raymond
Maples broke a 24-yard run and Dixon followed with a 43-yard
dash down the left side to set up Steelman's 1-yard touchdown.
Maples added a two-point conversion to move Army within 28-18,
but Temple responded by driving 75 yards in 11 plays that took
6:15 off the clock. Granger's quarterback keeper for 24 yards on
a third-and-5 play kept the drive alive and Harris scored from
inside the 1 on another third down for a 35-18 lead midway
through the third.
"I don't like being stopped short, especially on the goal line,"
Harris said. "I just pride myself on trying to finish the play."
Steelman's 56-yard touchdown run gave the Black Knights renewed
hope, but Harris quickly dashed it with two more scores, his
2-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter making it
TODAY'S LIVE BETTING GAMES