Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Remembering some Army games; media day notes


1992 – A 9-yard touchdown pass from the late Tom Kirchhoff to Craig Roubinek give the Leopards a 36-35 lead over the Cadets with just 1:04 left in the game. But Army quickly moves to the Lafayette 36, where Patmon Malcom kicks a 43-yard FG with 4 seconds left to produce a 38-36 victory … a flu bug did what lots of linebackers couldn’t do and hit Erik Marsh so hard he had to miss the game … Roubinek account for 20 points with three TDs and a 2-point conversion … Kirchhoff was 24-for-32 for 294 yards and four TDs … Mark Wogenrich, who currently covers the Penn State beat for The Morning Call, covered Lafayette in 1992 … Who subbed for Marsh that day?  It WAS indeed Jarrett Shine, who was a freshman and ran 12 times for 70 yards against the Cadets.

1989 – Army wins 34-20, but Ted Meixell writes in The Morning Call that the Leopards played their best football of the season … Frank Baur was 22-for-39 for 222 yards but no touchdowns … Tom Costello carried 30 times for 107 yards … Tom Moncman, who went on to be a Lafayette assistant coach and then head coach at both Liberty and Parkland high schools, recovered a fumble … Daryl Boich and Dwayne Norris and 24 and 22 tackles, respectively … Army gained 417 yards rushing in the game with its wishbone offense …

1988 – Army wins 24-17, gaining 450 yards on 76 running plays … Cadets had two 100-yard rushers in the game and would have had a third had he not took two clock-killing knees at the end of the game … Baur was 24-for-42 for 286 yards. He passed for one TD and ran for another, but he also was intercepted four times …

1987 – Army wins 49-37, but Baur throws 32-for-45 for 400 yards and five touchdowns … for some reason I couldn’t find this game in the Morning Call archives at the library …

1986 – Army wins 56-48, and Keith Groller’s lead in the Sunday paper was, “It's a good thing the Cadets only blast the cannon when Army scores in Michie Stadium. If they had done it for both teams yesterday afternoon, then some 40,088 people would have certainly left with splitting headaches … The teams combined for 104 points, which was the highest total in one game in Army history at the time … Army QB Tory Crawford ran for 208 yards and four touchdowns, but for the game the Leopards had 482 yards of offense to Army’s 458 … Paul Struncius was 23-for-33 for 319 yards and five TD passes …

And now, some notes from Tuesday’s media day.

Trent Crossan, a 5-9, 195-pound  sophomore defensive, was picked to run from the quarterback spot in the scout team that attempted to simulate Army’s triple option offense. Crossan ran that offense n high school and, according to defensive end Dante Lonardo, “looks natural in it and is helping the defense get ready.” Tavani chimed in that, “There were tryouts and competition (for the scout QB slot) and there’s still some argument from a couple that they can run it better.

Coach Tavani said Franklin and Marshall ran the triple option when he was the featured back there, “but a little differently. The first thing you try to do is establish that fullback, and disciplined option teams will keep doing it even though at first it might not succeed. Keep going after it and pound it in there, and about the time the defense starts leaning toward that, bing, out comes the ball. The triple is a lot different than it was many years ago, a little more wide open, more formations, some split zone.”

Logan Grieser, who sat out last week’s game, was running on the sidelines this week. But he may not be ready for the pressure of the offensive line this weekend. “I would say he would be limited,” Tavani said.

The news on Robin Cepeda is not encouraging. He injured an elbow on Saturday and had an MRI on Monday, and Tavani said the defensive tackle looks like [he’ll be out] long term.” He probably won’t get back until the 10th or 11th game of the season, Tavani thought.

Quarterback Drew Reed  was actually cleared to play last week, butt Tavani, trainer Matt Bayly and Dr. Jeff Goldstein put their heads together and decided to err on the side of caution and hold Reed out of the game at Fordham. “He was disappointed and not happy,” Tavani said, “but the question I asked myself is, why, and I couldn’t find a good reason. But he’s fine. I fully expect him to play.” He didn’t say, however, that Reed would be the starter.

Matt Mrazek on he importance of every offensive possession when playng a ball-control team like Army that can run clock with its ground game: “We talked about it this this past week; when we get red-zone possessions, they can’t just end in points, we need to end with touchdowns; so I think that will be a big emphasis this week, finishing in the red zone, capitalize on our possessions.”

Mrazek on the improvement of the offense:  “ We have absolutely nothing to lose this week, and seeing the offensive line kind of give us some push to give yards on the ground last week, it’s contributed to what we’ve seen all year, improvement and growth. Our record might not show it, but this is an improving and much better team than we were last year. So offensively, we’ve been able to score points, and that’s a huge improvement. I think it’s been great to see the offense move the ball, especially well through the air, all year.”

Dante Lonardo, on when the game of football began feel comfortable to him again after sitting out the 2015 season:  “I think summer camp in August was a big step toward getting acclimate. Practices set aside periods where we try to replicate a full game tempo and that was huge for me, not only for speed of the game but also learning that you’re not going to make every play in college football.  You can’t simulate your first college football game. There’s no better feeling than being able to help your team. When you make a tackle for loss as a defensive lineman it’s an exciting feeling. You’re banging heads with 300-pound guys all day and you get to come off and make an athletic play and get excited and bond with your team, that’s a big step in calming down and taking the game in.”

Lonardo is listed in the media guide at 270 pounds, but said: My weight fluctuated like crazy since I got here, but I think I finally found my niche. I’m a 245-250-pound defensive end. I like the athleticism I’m able to put forth at this weight. I got heavier over winter break; I was 270 and I just didn’t like how it felt. I worked my way back down the right way. Maintain muscle mass, not just starving myself to get skinny. I definitely think this is a good weight to play at.”


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