West Point, NY (Sports Network) - Trent Steelman ran for a game-high 101 yards and two touchdowns, as the Army Black Knights notched a 41-21 win over fellow service academy Air Force at Michie Stadium.
Larry Dixon added 89 rushing yards and a TD, while Raymond Maples ran for 73 yards and a score to help the Black Knights (2-7) snap a six-game slide in the head-to-head series.
Despite the return of star running back Cody Getz, the Falcons (5-4) spoiled a chance to become bowl eligible as they saw their three-game win streak come to a halt. Getz, who missed the previous two games with an ankle injury, was held to 23 yards rushing on 14 carries. He entered the weekend averaging 132.6 rushing yards per tilt, fourth-best in the nation.
Army opened the game with a 13-play drive that covered 66 yards and lasted more than six and a half minutes. Steelman finished off the possession with a four-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead.
Air Force answered with a one-yard touchdown plunge by Wes Cobb to tie the score at 7-7 with 4:30 to play in the opening frame.
The Black Knights began to take control in the second quarter. Dan Grochowski capped an 11-play, 96-yard drive with a 20-yard field goal with 10:05 to play until halftime.
Later in the second quarter, Steelman scored his second TD of the day on a one-yard run to put Army on top, 17-7 with 1:39 remaining in the half.
On the ensuing possession, Army's Geoffery Bacon intercepted a Connor Dietz pass at the Army 22 and returned it just across midfield. The Black Knights moved into field goal range thanks to a 24-yard completion from Steelman to Trenton Turrentine on first down, and Grochowski knocked a 36-yard field goal through the uprights just before the half.
The Black Knights continued to add to their lead in the third quarter. Dixon scored on a six-yard run midway through the frame, and Maples scored on a one- yard run at the 2:52 mark. Steelman converted a two-point attempt following Maples' TD, as Army entered the fourth quarter with a comfortable, 35-7 advantage.
However, Air Force narrowed the gap a bit in the final quarter. Jon Lee scored on a four-yard run with just under nine minutes remaining in regulation, and Dietz added a 13-yard TD scamper to make it a 35-21 game with 6:28 to play.
The Falcons' comeback hopes dissipated when they lost a fumble deep in their own territory, and Army's Nate Combs recovered it in the end zone for the game's final score.
With the victory, Army snapped a 13-game losing streak in service academy games and remains eligible for its first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 1996.