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Army takes care of business in home-opening win

Will it go down, as senior co-captain Leo Lowin hopes, as a stepping stone to a successful
season, the much-needed turnaround win after a devastating defeat that boasts morale as the
team gets ready for the toughest stretch of the season?

Or was Army’s 57-0 victory, its biggest margin in a shutout victory in 67 years, over an
outmanned Delaware State football squad at Michie Stadium on Saturday, just an outlier to an
otherwise difficult season for the Black Knights.

Of course, no one knows that answer quite yet. What they do know is the Black Knights,
individually and collectively, put up a stellar offensive performance in its first home game of the
year and the 100th anniversary of Michie Stadium.

Army scored 36 points in the first half and dominated the lower-level Football Championship Subdivison (FCS) Hornets, now 0-2, from start to finish. Army collected 525 total yards in the game, its first 500-plus yard team performance since the 2021 season.

Individually, junior quarterback Bryson Daily, starting only his second game, registered three
passing touchdowns and two rushing scores, threw for 193 yards on eight-for-11 passing and
ran for 65 rushing yards.

Also, junior wide receiver Isaiah Alston posted a career-high 135 yards with two long
touchdowns becoming the first Black Knight to register 130-plus receiving yards and two
touchdowns in a game since Jeremy Trimble in 2007.

And, maybe most importantly, Army managed to cut its turnovers from five in last week’s last-
second loss to Louisiana-Monroe to just one this week, a fumble by running back Ay’Jaun
Marshall after a long run in the third quarter that blunted an Army drive deep in Delaware State

“Use this (game) as a stepping stone,” said Lowin, a senior linebacker from Austin, Texas. “We have
a lot of football in front of us. We definitely made some improvements today and (want to) keep going in the right direction. We have a lot of big games this year and a lot of tough opponents. Use this as a stepping stone and get ready for those games.”

Daily, whose 59-yard pass to Alston in the second quarter, was his first career passing
touchdown of his college career, backed that up.

“Momentum, momentum going into the next one,” he said. “We played well and the guys played tough and I thought we executed a lot better. We just have to continue the momentum, keep rolling, and get that to the next game and that will help us a lot.

“We just want to put this behind us. The first game and this game are all behind us now. Now,
we are looking to UTSA (on Friday night in San Antonio) and what we can do to beat them.”

Daily, who completed a 70-yard scoring pass to Alston late in the second quarter, said that
practice was intense during the week.

“It always is but coming off a loss it is always amplified,” he said. “The guys practiced hard and responded how they are supposed to after a loss and that was good to see and that showed up on the field today.”

Army’s defense played its second strong game of the season. While the Black Knights gave up
219 yards to the Hornets, they stopped Delaware State from scoring several times, once on a
long missed field goal, once by blocking a field goal attempt and the third time when junior
defensive lineman Kyle Lewis strip-sacked the Hornets quarterback and recovered the ball
inside the red zone.

“I thought we did pretty well overall,” Lowin said of the defensive play. “There is definitely
room for improvement. They had a couple of long drives that we could have stopped. We had
some penalties early that extended those drives. Going forward and when we play some better
teams, (we need to) avoid penalties and keep the drives as short as possible, I think we will be
better off.”

While Army coach Jeff Monken is always pleased with a win, he cautioned that he expects – and
needs – his team to play better if they hope to win many more games this season.

“I glad we won and proud of the guys for the fourth quarter,” he said. “I thought we played a good fourth
quarter after, frankly, a disappointing third quarter.

“You win 57-0 and I kind of feel a little ungrateful coming in here and feeling like we can play a
lot better, but I know that we can play a lot better. I’m happy for our guys that we won and winning at home is really important for us. But I know who we are getting ready to play and I look at the stretch of games coming up and I know we are going to have to play a lot better than we played today and certainly better than we did last week if we are going to have a chance to win. I am excited for our guys to celebrate a victory. That is a great feeling.

Monken added, “Last week did not feel so good. It feels a lot better today. We still have a lot of things that we have to do better. Fortunately, we did not have to lose a game to find that out.”

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