Tulane’s 19-play drive late secures 21-17 win over Army
NEW ORLEANS – Junior quarterback Jonathan Banks scored from four yards out with 0:23 remaining to push Tulane past Army West Point, 21-17, Saturday in front of a crowd of 16,643 at Yulman Stadium.
Trailing 17-14 with 5:32 remaining, the Green Wave (2-2, 0-1 American Athletic Conference | West) drove 75 yards in 5:09 to take the lead, converting three fourth downs along the way. Banks was forced to leave the game after the fourth play of the possession with an injury, but returned after one play to resume leading the game-winning drive. He accounted for 29 rushing yards and 22 passing yards on the possession after re-entering the game.
Banks finished with 103 yards passing and 40 yards rushing, while senior running back Dontrell Hilliard, who picked up eight yards on the final drive, finished with 134 rushing yards for his seventh career 100-yard rushing performance.
On the first offensive snap, Hilliard bolted 75 yards up the middle to give the Green Wave a 7-0 lead. He broke off a 30-yard run in the second quarter to go over 100 yards for the second consecutive game.
The Green Wave led 7-0 after the first quarter, holding its opponent scoreless in the opening period for the second time this season, also doing so against Grambling State in the opener.
Army cut Tulane’s early lead to 7-3 on a 46-yard field goal by Blake Wilson with 13:39 left in the second quarter. The Black Knights then took a 10-7 lead on a one-yard rush by Bradshaw, set up by a 42-yard run by Andy Davidson.
Two plays after Army scored to take a 10-7 lead, senior running back Sherman Badie turned on the jets for a 72-yard touchdown run to put Tulane back in front, 14-10, with 3:45 left in the second quarter.
The Green Wave held onto its four-point lead until the fourth quarter when the foes traded touchdowns. Army drove 71 yards in 15 plays, eating 8:07 off the fourth-period clock, and scored on a five-yard run by Connor Slomka to go ahead 17-14 with 5:32 remaining. The Wave then embarked on their 19-play, game-winning drive capped by Banks’ touchdown run.
Tulane totaled 356 yards of offense, including 253 rushing yards. Junior wide receiver Terren Encalade caught four passes for 38 yards, while junior wide receiver Jabril Clewis had two catches for 29 yards, none bigger than his 13-yard reception on fourth and three on the final drive.
The Black Knights (2-2) finished with 371 yards of total offense, all on the ground. Redshirt junior linebacker Zachery Harris and senior linebacker Rae Juan Marbley recorded career highs of 14 and 13 tackles, respectively. Redshirt junior cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr. and redshirt senior cornerback Parry Nickerson each recorded interceptions.
The Tulane defense came through on multiple occasions against Army. Near the end of the first half, senior defensive end Quinlan Carroll stopped Black Knights quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw for a one-yard loss on fourth and one at the Tulane 32 to end a 42-yard drive. On the first possession of the third quarter, Nickerson tackled Bradshaw for a loss on fourth down to end a drive that had gone 53 yards.
Junior cornerback Donnie Lewis Jr. intercepted a Bradshaw pass in the end zone on the following possession, ending a 65-yard drive with no points. Army held the ball for 12:31 in the third quarter without scoring and scored one touchdown in 21 minutes of possession in the second half.
Much of the Green Wave offense was accumulated on the three scoring drives of 75, 76 and 75 yards. Tulane converted its first two third downs of the game on its final drive and added the three fourth-down conversions.
On fourth and eight from its own 27-yard line, Banks scampered 10 yards for the first down, and then left the game taking a hit on the play. He came back and completed a 13-yard pass to Clewis on fourth and three from the Tulane 44, then scrambled 15 yards on third and 10 to keep the drive alive. He rushed for four yards on third and one from the Army 19, then handed off the Hilliard for two yards on fourth and one at the six-yard line, before scoring on the four-yard run.
The Green Wave are off next week with a bye, before returning to action on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Yulman Stadium against Tulsa for Hall of Fame Weekend. Kickoff time is set to be announced on Monday.
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14:49 – TLN – HILLIARD, D. 75 yd run (GLOVER, M. kick ), 1 plays, 75 yards, TOP 0:11
13:39 – ARMY – Wilson, Blake 46 yd field goal 13 plays, 69 yards, TOP 7:39
04:33 – ARMY – Bradshaw, Ahmad 1 yd run (Wilson, Blake kick ), 8 plays, 77 yards, TOP 3:40
03:45 – TLN – BADIE, Sherman 72 yd run (GLOVER, M. kick ), 2 plays, 76 yards, TOP 0:41
05:32 – ARMY – Slomka, Connor 5 yd run (Wilson, Blake kick ), 15 plays, 71 yards, TOP 8:07
00:23 – TLN – BANKS, J. 4 yd run (GLOVER, M. kick ), 19 plays, 75 yards, TOP 5:09
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