EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Junior running back Joe Martinek (Hopatcong, N.J.) entered the end zone on a one-yard carry in the first overtime to provide Rutgers (4-2, 1-0) with a come-from-behind 23-20 victory over Army (4-3) Saturday afternoon at the New Meadowlands Stadium. The Scarlet Knights scored 14 fourth quarter points to send the game into extra time and set the stage for the dramatic win.
“The best part is our players were able to take instruction and adjust during the game,” said Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. “It really is a tribute to them…the players and the coaches.”
True freshman signal-caller Chas Dodd (Lyman, S.C.), now 2-0 in as many collegiate starts, engineered 77 and 93-yard drives that culminated in fourth quarter touchdowns en route to 251 passing yards. His four leading receivers were a true freshman and a trio of sophomores. Mohamed Sanu (South Brunswick, N.J.) had six catches for 50 yards, Jeremy Deering (Tampa, Fla.) hauled-in four aerials for 76 yards, Mark Harrison (Stratford, Conn.) had three grabs for 51 yards and a score and D.C. Jefferson (Winter Haven, Fla.) made two catches for 56 yards. Dodd connected with six receivers overall, including four sophomores and one freshman.
“(Chas) really came on, the whole group of them did,” added Schiano. “They fought and they battled. It wasn't pretty at all. Even in the end it wasn't pretty, but sometimes even not your prettiest day, you find a way to get it done.”
The Rutgers offense, hampered by injuries and penalties in blustery conditions, persevered and scored on three of its four ventures into the red zone. On its final two touchdown series, the Scarlet Knights converted first downs all three times when faced third-and-13 situations.
Defensively, linebacker Antonio Lowery (Miami, Fla.) turned in a monster performance. The senior totaled a career-high 19 tackles (seven solo) and recovered a fumble. He was joined in double-digit stops by sophomore defensive back Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.), who had 10 total tackles.
Army benefitted from favorable field position to post the afternoon’s first points. After blocking a punt, the Black Knights had a first-and-10 at the RU 12-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Trent Steelman crossed the plane on a three-yard keeper to provide the visitors a 7-0 lead with 2:45 remaining in the opening quarter.
The Scarlet Knights trimmed the deficit at the 10:46 mark of the second stanza. Junior San San Te (Conover, N.C.) split the uprights from 19 yards out to cap a 13-play, 60-yard drive and RU trailed 7-3. The series was highlighted by a 20-yard pass from Dodd to Deering that brought Rutgers inside the red zone.
The Black Knights extended their advantage to double digits on their ensuing possession. A 50-yard rush gave Army a first-and goal at the home seven yard line. Fullback Jared Hassin then carried-in from the three-yard line to provide the visitors a 14-3 lead with 8:02 remaining before halftime.
Army tacked on a 21-yard field goal as time expired to take a 17-3 advantage into the locker room at the midpoint.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Scarlet Knights entered the end zone on the first play of the final stanza. Faced with a fourth-and-two at the Army three-yard line, Rutgers decided to go for it. Dodd found running back Kordell Young (West Deptford, N.J.) on a quick aerial just inside the left pylon to culminate a 15-play, 77-yard drive. Te converted the extra point and RU trailed 17-10 with 14:57 showing on the clock.
The Scarlet Knights forced an Army punt and the home squad assumed possession at its own seven-yard line with 9:18 remaining in the game. With 93 yards ahead of them, Dodd engineered an eight play drive to pay dirt that consumed 4:02 off the clock. A 53-yard Dodd pass to Jefferson got RU into Army territory. The Black Knights were then flagged for a personal foul, moving Rutgers 68 yards in two plays. Once inside the red zone, the Scarlet Knight would not be denied. Dodd found Harrison in the end zone on a 16-yard strike and the score was tied, 17-17, with 5:16 remaining in regulation.
The score remained 17-17 as the clock wound to zero, sending Rutgers into its first overtime contest since a 41-39 triple overtime defeat at West Virginia in 2006.
The Scarlet Knights won the coin toss and deferred, electing to go on defense. Army moved the initial series of overtime to the seven yard line before kicking a 26-yard field goal.
Rutgers assumed possession and immediately gained 12 yards off the legs of Sanu. Five plays later, Martinek plunged over the plane to close out the second come-from-behind win in as many games for the Scarlet Knights.
The Scarlet Knights return to the gridiron next Saturday (Oct. 23) at Pittsburgh in a 12 noon kickoff. The contest will be televised live on SNY.
Rutgers Post-Game Notes vs. Army
Rutgers improved to 4-2 with a 23-20 overtime victory over Army at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
After trailing 17-3 to start the fourth quarter, Rutgers scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime and earn the victory over the Black Knights. The 14-point fourth quarter deficit was the largest Rutgers’ has rallied from for a victory since trailing at Vanderbilt 34-16 on Oct. 9, 2004. Rutgers responded with a 37-34 victory at Vandy for the largest fourth quarter comeback in school history.
The Scarlet Knights moved to 2-4 all-time in overtime games. Today’s game marked the first overtime encounter since Rutgers dropped a 41-39 game in triple overtime at West Virginia on Dec. 2, 2006. The OT win vs. Army was the first for the Scarlet Knights in extra time since a 24-21 victory over Syracuse (11/13/99).
The Scarlet Knights extended their winning streak to seven against the Black Knights. It was RU’s 10th victory in its last 12 against Army.
Rutgers is 6-0 against Army under head coach Greg Schiano.
Rutgers took a one-game advantage in the all-time series against Army. The Scarlet Knights are now 19-18 in the series with the Black Knights.
It was the 37th matchup between the teams and 10th at the Meadowlands. Rutgers improved to 8-2 against Army at the Meadowlands.
The Scarlet Knights are now 21-28 all-time in games at the Meadowlands.
The Rutgers defense held Army, which came into the game averaging 32.3 points per game, to a season-low 20 points. The Scarlet Knights held the Black Knights scoreless in the second half until Army converted on a field goal in overtime.
Rutgers gained two turnovers in the contest and is plus five on turnovers for the season. The Scarlet Knights have gained 12 turnovers and lost seven in 2010.
Senior LB Antonio Lowery (Miami, Fla.) recorded a career-high 19 tackles against Army. Lowery, who owns a team-leading 65 tackles through six games, has posted 42 tackles in the last three contests. His previous career best tackle total was 13 against Tulane on Oct. 2. Lowery also collected his third fumble recovery of the season and assisted on a tackle for loss.
Senior RB Kordell Young (West Deptford, N.J.) recorded his first career receiving touchdown with a three-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter against Army. It was his first touchdown since he had a rushing score against Syracuse on Nov. 8, 2008.
Sophomore DB Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) registered a career-high 10 tackles against Army. His previous career-high tackle total was eight against Connecticut in the Scarlet Knights’ last contest.
True freshman QB Chas Dodd (Lyman, S.C.) threw a career-high 30 passes and tied his career-high completion total with 18. Dodd is a combined 36-for-59 for 573 yards with four touchdowns and one interception in his two starts against Connecticut and Army.
The South Carolina native finished the game 18-of-30 for 251 yards and two touchdowns. He rallied Rutgers in the fourth quarter with two touchdown drives to erase a 17-3 deficit to begin the fourth quarter.
Dodd is 16-of-22 (72.7%) passing for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the last two games in the fourth quarter and overtime. Dodd was 7-of-9 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown vs. UConn in the fourth quarter on Oct. 8 before going 8-of-12 for 128 yards and two scores vs. Army in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Senior DE Jonathan Freeny (Tampa, Fla.) collected his second fumble recovery of the season and third of his career.
Sophomore LB Steve Beauharnais (Saddle Brook, N.J.) posted a career-best nine tackles against the Black Knights. His previous career-high tackle total was eight at FIU on Sept. 11, 2010.
Sophomore DT Scott Vallone (Central Islip, N.Y.) had season-high nine tackles in the contest.
Junior PK San San Te (Conover, N.C.) recorded a field goal and two extra points to give him 215 career points and pull him within one of Homer Hazel (1916, 23-24) for fifth place on the Rutgers all-time in scoring list.
Sophomore DB Duron Harmon (Magnolia, Del.) recorded his first career start as Rutgers opened the game with five defensive backs against Army.