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Hilltoppers’ fourth-quarter rally falls short at Army in 38-35 loss

Hilltoppers late rally falls short
Hilltoppers late rally falls short(Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics)
Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football team’s second-half rally against the Army Black Knights fell short Saturday afternoon in a narrow 38-35 loss in West Point.

Down 35-14 with 8:05 left in the game, the Hilltoppers found new life when graduate transfer quarterback Bailey Zappe threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Tinsley. WKU scored another unanswered touchdown just over three minutes later when Zappe hit Jerreth Sterns for a 14-yard touchdown catch. Sterns finished the afternoon with nine catches and a career-high 171 yards, along with another touchdown earlier in the first half.

However, Army later recovered a Western Kentucky offside kick and answered with a field goal with under two minutes left in the game to secure the win.

Zappe’s performance provided a silver lining for the Hilltoppers as he threw for 435 yards and three touchdowns while completing 70 percent of his passes. However, he threw an interception early in the first quarter as WKU watched Army run for 339 yards with their triple-option offense. Jakobi Buchanan helped lead the way on the ground for the Black Knights, rushing for two touchdowns on 61 yards rushing.

This is the first-ever loss for the Hilltoppers against Army after defeating the Black Knights in their last three meetings. WKU (1-1) enters the open week preparing to host the Indiana Hoosiers back at Houchens Industries-L.T. Stadium on Saturday, September 25 at 7 p.m. CT.

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