Army rallies past VMI, 22-17

Staff Report

Army junior slotback Patrick Mealy’s 17-yard touchdown run with 8:58 remaining in the fourth quarter helped Army rally past VMI, 22-17, Saturday afternoon at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.

The Black Knights held off VMI’s upset bid and snapped a three-game losing skid while moving to 4-6. The Keydets, who had knocked off Army just once in the 14-game series history, fell to 2-8 on the year.

“These two schools are awesome in what they stand for,” VMI coach Sparky Woods said. “What these young men are all about is awesome. I hope the competitiveness of both teams shows through. I love playing (Army), because you have such great respect for West Point. We have a lot of pride in our school and we are working hard to make some people recognize us, and be proud of what we are doing at VMI as well.”

VMI had taken the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter when senior running back Howard Abegesah rumbled 44 yards for a touchdown and Jeff Sexton’s extra point lifted the Keydets to a 17-16 lead. The score culminated a second half that saw the VMI offense come to life while the special teams produced a crucial takeaway that led to another score.

Abegesah led VMI in rushing with 111 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown and produced his 13th career 100-yard game. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Cam Jones entered the game in the third quarter and rushed for 100 yards on three carries and tossed a touchdown pass.

Mealy led all ground gainers with 136 yards on 16 attempts with a touchdown. Army freshman quarterback Trent Steelman completed 11 of 14 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown, and 6-10 senior wide receiver Ali Villanueva hauled his seven receptions for 119 yards and a score.

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