WEST POINT, N.Y. — After two straight narrow losses, Army got back on track Saturday — halfway through its most promising season in years.
Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 109 yards and a touchdown, fellow quarterback Chris Carter threw for two scores and Army beat Lafayette 62-7.
Against a Lafayette team facing its first FBS squad since a 41-14 loss to the Black Knights in 1997, Army’s triple option returned to form after last week’s 13-6 loss at Duke, with a season-high 671 yards of offense, 379 in the first half.
The Black Knights’ rushing attack — which came in ranked No. 2 in the nation — was good for 537 yards as Army (4-2) racked up 31 first downs.
“If we can’t run the ball effectively, we’re not going to do much on offense,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “We certainly were able to do that today.”
The Leopards, who never led, gained just 10 rushing yards on 17 carries and dropped to 1-18 all-time against Army. Coming off a 58-34 loss to Fordham in which it gave up 516 yards on the ground, Lafayette (1-6) had no answers in its first look at an option offense.
The Leopards had to punt on their first five possessions, and Army kept capitalizing with touchdowns thanks to strong blocking up front.
The Black Knights scored first when Bradshaw sprinted down the right sideline for a career-long 60-yard touchdown run. Soon after, Jordan Asberry ran it in off a pitch from the 20 to give Army a 14-0 lead with 2:30 left in the first.
“Jordan’s a very good player. All of our slots have very good speed and make the game easier for me when I hand it to them,” Bradshaw said.
Carter ran for a 19-yard touchdown before Bradshaw found Jeff Ejekam inside the right edge of the end zone to put Army up 28-0 midway through the second quarter. Perhaps the prettiest play was Carter’s 59-yard touchdown heave over the middle to Asberry on the first play of Army’s next series.
Drew Reed was back under center after missing most of Lafayette’s past two games with a head injury. The Leopards’ offense mostly relies on the pass, and Reed completed four of his first five attempts before finishing 21 for 36 for 205 yards and two interceptions.
Lafayette coach Frank Tavani said it was the worst he had ever felt after a game.
“It looked like we didn’t want to play. It was disgusting and embarrassing,” the 17-year Leopards coach said.
Blaik Field featured a painted “28” at each 28-yard line in honor of sophomore corner Brandon Jackson, who died in a car crash a day after the Black Knights’ last home game on Sept. 10.
Lafayette: Since beating Central Connecticut State in the opener, Lafayette has now dropped six straight — five of those defeats by double digits. The loss also clinched a seventh straight losing season for Lafayette.
Army: The fact that Lafayette’s only victory in the series came 76 years ago meant this was a game the Black Knights had to have as they seek their first bowl game berth since 2010.
BY THE NUMBERS: Army’s offense had 31 first downs and its defense kept Lafayette to 10 rushing yards.
BACK AT IT: After being dormant for nearly two decades, the Lafayette-Army series, which dates to 1893, continues in 2018.
Lafayette: The Leopards have a conference matchup at Bucknell on Saturday.
Army: The Black Knights stay home to face North Texas on Saturday.