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Kim Black / Gavel Media

Eagles Win a Close Battle Against Army

On Saturday October 7th, Boston College football (3-3) defeated the United States Military Academy (2-3) 27-24 at Michie Stadium. Quarterback Thomas Castellanos had a historic afternoon, leading the team to a comeback victory in dreary weather conditions.

Before each game at West Point, paratroopers from the school’s parachute team deliver the game ball from 1,000 feet, parachuting into the historic stadium. However, officials canceled such festivities, as high winds and constant rain set the stage for an intense, gritty battle on the ground. Army famously runs a triple-option offense, featuring barreling fullbacks and an elusive RPO. Coach Jeff Haffley knew the Eagles had to beat Army at their own game, and sophomore quarterback Thomas Castellanos did just that.

The Eagles scored quickly. Castellanos and Pat Garwo III marched into Army territory in four plays. At Army’s 20, Castellanos broke through the line and into the endzone to put BC on the board. With such slippery conditions, kicking the football seemed impossible. Kicker Liam Connor missed the extra point, keeping the score at 6-0. 

Despite holding up the charge in the first half, the Eagles struggled to contain Army’s fast-paced run-game. The team is accustomed to Air Raid offenses in the Power 5, so adjusting to Army’s old-school tactics proved difficult. Despite these troubles, Linebacker Vinny Depalma produced another outstanding performance. The grad student racked up six solo tackles, tallying nine total on the day. 

Halfway through the first half, Castellanos and the Eagles realized the offense should strictly remain on the ground. An elusive Castellanos escaped the collapsing pocket but chucked it downfield right into the hands of Army cornerback Quindrellon Hammonds. Army promptly put themselves on the board with a short field goal, making the score 6-3. Castellanos only attempted nine passes on the day, but he made his presence felt on the ground.

Army special teams struggled to pin the Eagles back, as they consistently shanked punts across the hashes. The Eagles took advantage of Army’s lackluster special teams near the first half’s conclusion. After another botched punt, the Eagles made it into Army’s red zone after a grueling drive of fourteen plays. With four yards to go, Castellanos strutted into the endzone for his second touchdown of the match, putting the Eagles up 14-3.

The Eagles dominated the entire first half. However, an invigorated Army team set the tone for a tenacious second half. Army started the half with a 53-yard return by Zach Mundell, immediately putting the Black Knights into scoring position. Army rushed into the endzone in a mere six plays, making it a one-score game at 13-10. The energy suddenly shifted in the stadium. Despite most of the crowd leaving at halftime due to the influx of rain, the cadets in the student section let out a revitalizing roar. 

On the next drive, Garwo III responded by rumbling 50 yards to the Army red zone, putting the team in scoring position. Castellanos completed the Hat Trick next play, rushing 10 yards into the end zone to make the score 20-10.

Army’s offense suddenly flipped the switch. The Black Knights scored two drives in a row, ramming the ball through BC’s defensive line. The Eagles seemed to tire as the Knights pushed downfield. After the Eagles kicked off, Army shuffled down to the Eagles six yard line. Then, Army running back Hayden Reed rushed into the endzone to cut the score to 20-17.

The Eagles tried to match the momentum, but failed to overcome Army’s solid defensive front. Army then drove into Eagle territory, setting up a ten-yard passing touchdown for Bryson Daily. Army now led the game 24-20.

With only 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Eagles needed to make up some ground. After a nine-play drive, Castellanos was sacked on 4th and 2, giving Army the chance to seal the game. From the 50-yard line, Daily lateralled the ball to Reed for what would have been a 50 yard touchdown. After review, officials determined the play was an illegal forward pass, so the game remained 24-20, Army. The Eagles then stopped the Knights on 3rd and 6.

Castellanos, to cap off an already historic performance, led a clutch, game-winning drive. He rushed for 27 yards, chewing the clock and advancing the Eagles’ ball position. Suddenly, 48 seconds remained on the clock, and the Eagles were four yards away from the endzone. After two rushing attempts from running back Kyle Robichaux, the Castellanos sealed the deal with his fourth touchdown of the afternoon, winning the game for BC 27-24.

The Eagles are now .500 on the season. They enter a bye week and hope to get some rest before an in-conference matchup against Georgia Tech (3-3).

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