MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Austin Kendall came in to replace starter Jarrett Doege at halftime. He completed eight passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the second half to lead the Mountaineers to a 24-21 win over Army on Thursday.
The Black Knights controlled the tempo for most of the game. They did what they do best. Run, run and run.
After the Mountaineers put up three points in the first quarter, Army gained control of the line of scrimmage. The Black Knights showcased their grind it out run game to take the lead 14-10 at halftime.
Army would only have 83 yards by the half, but still put up 14 points. One of those touchdowns would come after Jarrett Doege dropped back for a pass before fumbling it inside the 20.
The Mountaineer defense would start the third quarter slow, and the Black Knights rammed it straight through the gut. It seemed West Virginia was all but beat after going down 21-10 in the third quarter. That’s until the Mountaineers saw their unlikely savior take control.
Austin Kendall gave a much needed spark to the Mountaineer offense. Kendall led a West Virginia march straight downfield before beaming it into the hands of Mike O’Laughlin to cut the deficit to 21-16.
Army couldn’t hold off Kendall and the Mountaineers for too long. With five minutes remaining in the game, Kendall floated a perfect spiral to the back right corner of the end zone caught by TJ Simmons for the final score of 24-21.
“The decision was kind of a combined decision,” head coach Neal Brown said about the change at quarterback. “Jarret (Doege) has played very, very well all year. For whatever reason he didn’t see it well. He had two uncharacteristic turnovers.”
The Black Knights had a chance to tie the game with three minutes to go, but Army kicker Quinn Maretzki missed a 39-yard field goal.
“Wasn’t a thing of beauty, but it was gritty,” head coach Neal Brown said. “I thought it was really important for our guys to finish the right way.”
Jarrett Doege ended 15 of 25 for 159 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Tyhier Tyler had 76 yards on 24 carries with three touchdowns for the Black Knights.