Temple hangs on to beat Army 27-13
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Temple has its longest winning streak in 24 years. The Owls can thank their defense—and a well-timed replay challenge.
Temple stopped Army on fourth down at the Black Knights’ own 24, then had an interception overturned by replay, then scored the go-ahead touchdown three plays later to beat Army 27-13 Saturday.
“With third and eighteen inches, and two snaps, if you can’t get eighteen inches, what makes you think we’re going to win a football game?” Army coach Rich Ellerson said. “What type of magic is going to happen out there that you’re somehow going to manufacture points?”
The Owls (4-2) overcame the loss of running back Bernard Pierce to win their fourth straight, their longest winning streak since in 1985. Army (3-4) missed out on taking a winnable game as the Black Knights seek to return to a bowl for the first time since 1996.
Vaughn Charlton found tight end Steve Maneri for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 7:25 left, shortly after the Owls stopped Army on 4th-and-inches on their own 24. Charlton’s pass on the next play was picked off and a flag for pass interference was picked up because the ball appeared to have been tipped.
But a review showed that the ball hadn’t been touched, so the penalty stood and Temple kept the ball.
The Owls added an insurance score after recovering a fumble by Army quarterback Trent Steelman deep in Black Knights’ territory. One play later, Kee-arye Griffin ran up the middle for a one-yard touchdown.
“It could’ve been a train wreck late in the fourth quarter, but they held it together and Steve made a big play down on the goal line with that catch,” Golden said.
Temple led 13-0 after a 37-yard touchdown pass from Charlton to Jason Harper early in the second quarter, but Army tied the game when Trent Steelman found Alejandro Villaneuva for a four-yard strike, though the Black Knights never led.
Army also was penalized 14 times for 100 yards.
The lack of precision and the lack of attention to detail were stunning,” Ellerson said. “Don’t let anybody tell you that it was the officials. It was not. That game was within the grasp of our coaches and players, and we don’t have to be bigger, faster or stronger. We just have to be right.”
Pierce entered the day as the Mid- American Conference’s leading rusher. With 1:36 remaining in the first half, Pierce took a hit from linebacker Andrew Rodriguez near the Black Knights’ sideline. He was taken for X-rays and didn’t return.
He had run for 65 yards on 11 carries, including a 23-yarder on the Owls’ first play from scrimmage, and ended his streak of three-straight 100-yard games.