Falcons set records in 63-24 rout of Tennessee State

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Vann Miller
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs
The U.S. Air Force Academy Falcons emerged as the victors in their battle against the Tennessee State University Tigers Sept. 24 at Falcon Stadium here.

The Tigers hoped to make good after their 27-58 loss against Murray State, but this game would prove another upsetting afternoon with the Falcons thumping them 63-24.

The game opened with the Ronald Reagan Centennial National Football Coin Toss, in honor of Reagan's 100th birthday, and at game start, the Falcons kicked off to Tennessee, but quickly turned the tables with running back Mike Dewitt scoring a touchdown. Later, running back Asher Clark added another seven points to the board with a 7-yard rush for a touchdown.

The Tigers gave enthusiastic plays to move the ball as they made their presence known on the gridiron. With the contributions of quarterback Mike German and wide receiver Calvin McNairl, Tennessee managed to stay in the game with an 80-yard pass completion and touchdown, closing the gap to 14-7.

But those attempts did not make the difference. Tiger Coach Rod Reed said his team's inability to play the perimeter was a decisive factor in their performance.

However, if there were some indication of how Tennessee would fair during the second half, it may have been the chaotic way Matt Moseley punted the ball which set the pace for the continued rushing of Clark and passing by quarterback Tim Jefferson to wide receiver Mikel Hunter for what ultimately lead to the 34-yard touchdown.

 "I see why they're defending our country," Reed said about the Falcons. "They're a very disciplined group. They played hard and deserved to win the game today."

One of the most notable plays before the half was the 67-yard pass completion by Tennessee to wide receiver Devin Wilson, placing the Tigers at the Air Force's 30-yard line. But, a blocked field goal attempt handed the Falcons another turnover. Two plays later, a pass completed to wide receiver Jonathan Warzeka gave the Air Force a 34-yard touchdown.

In the third quarter the Air Force kept up the momentum with tight end Joshua Freeman scoring on a 7-yard touchdown reception. Though the two teams were nearly matched at this point in their passing game, the Falcons controlled the turf with more than 590 offensive yards halfway through the third quarter, including a 23-yard touchdown run by third-string running back Darius Jones.

With a 1:33 left in the third quarter, Tennessee's running back Trabis Ward pushed through for a 1-yard touchdown run, bringing the score to 17-49.

The fourth quarter included two more Falcon TDs, including rushing touchdowns from DeWitt and Jonathan Lee. The Tigers had a last minute Calvin McNairl touchdown reception from Jeremy Perry to bring the final to 63-24.

Receiver Zack Kauth had a career high four catches and Asher Clark lead the game in rushing with a total of 148 yards. Air Force broke records with more than 792 total yards of offense, a new school and Mountain West record, 37 first downs and 66 rushes. 

The Falcons head to Maryland Oct 1. where they face off against the Navy Midshipmen. This is the first match up in the Falcons' attempt to maintain possession of the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy. Both Air Force and Navy are 2-1 on the season.