ND’s Covington Stops Two-Point Attempt, Army Rallies As Irish Nip Cadets, 28-27

Sports Editor
The Observer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.–Autry Denson and Marc Edwards each had two touchdowns as No. 17 Notre Dame survived a late Army rally in a 28-27 victory.

Trailing 28-21, Army recovered a fumble on a sneak byquarterback Ron Powlus on a fourth-and-one play at the NotreDame 42 with 2:33 remaining in the game. They proceded to scoreon a seven-yard pass from Ronnie McAda to Leon Gantt with 39seconds left.

On the two-point conversion attempt to win the game, McAdarolled out right and hit tight end Ron Leshinski on the 1-yardline, but he was hit immediately and stopped by cornerback IvoryCovington.

“We were in a cover-two and I saw the wing and then the tightend come into the flat,” said Covington. “The quarterbackreleased the ball and I broke in on it. I just stayed low. Thecoach always tells us that the low man wins.”

“I didn’t want to give Army the ball back,” said Notre Dame headcoach Lou Holtz on the Powlus fumble. “I’m screaming, ‘let theclock run.’ The problem was I had a headset on that was on thewrong switch. Somehow the switch was on defense, not offense. Iwanted to call timeout, run the clock down and think about it. Iwas shocked when the ball was snapped.”

Denson and Edwards each had two-yard touchdown runs in the firstquarter to build a 14-7 Irish lead. Denson added anothertwo-yard scamper with 1:45 left in the second quarter for a 21-7halftime advantage. Denson gained a career-high 111 yards on 23carries.

Edwards scored his second touchdown two minutes into the thirdperiod when he was on the receiving end of a screen pass fromPowlus that turned into a 46-yard score. John Conroy answeredwith a five-yard scoring run 5:20 later to cut into the lead.

“Great game, both teams played real hard,” Army head coach BobSutton said. “In the second half we executed real well. NotreDame never really stopped us in the first half, we stoppedourselves. Notre Dame is a very good offensive team. We didn’ttackle well in the first half. In the second half we executedwell. The defense came up with a great game.”

Conroy scored again on a three-yard dive with 4:17 left in thefourth quarter to narrow the deficit to 28-21. The touchdown wasset up by an interception of Powlus at the Irish 33-yard line.Conroy carried the ball 36 times on the day for 104 yards.

“We knew this was not going to be an easy game,” Covington said.”They’re a great team and they never quit.”

“They did some things we were not ready for on defense,” Holtzsaid. “We didn’t gain control of the line of scrimmage. Wenormally do that. Army deserved a better fate. I can’t rememberthe last time a team dominated us like that. The big play killedus just like it’s done all year.”

Notre Dame (5-2) has won the last 11 meetings over Army (1-3-1).It was the first game between the schools in 10 years and themost points scored by the Cadets since its last win in theseries in 1958.

McAda and Leshinski hooked up for Army’s first touchdown in thefirst quarter, a 1-yard toss.

Game Statistics

At Giants StadiumOctober 14, 1995Attendance: 74,218Notre Dame (17)       14  7  7  0 - 28Army                   7  0  7 13 - 27ND--A. Denson 2 run (Kopka kick)ARMY--Leshinski 1 pass from McAda (Parker kick)ND--Edwards 2 run (Kopka kick)ND--A. Denson 2 run (Kopka kick)ND--Edwards 46 pass from Powlus (Kopka kick)ARMY--Conroy 5 run (Parker kick)ARMY--Conroy 3 run (Parker kick)ARMY--Gantt 7 pass from McAda (two-point conversion failed)                        ND        ARMYFirst downs             17          26Rushes-yards        38-166      73-365Passing yards          189          42Sacked-yards lost      0-0         1-2Return yards           145          84Comp.-Att.-Int.     8-19-1      6-11-0Punts               3-38.0      4-52.0Fumbles-lost           2-2         1-1Penalties-yards       3-39        4-30Time of possession   23:10       36:50RUSHING:Notre Dame-A. Denson 23-111, Edwards 10-44, Powlus 4-10, Spencer 1-1.Army-Thomas 15-157, Conroy 31-104, McAda 17-77, Perry 2-9, Short 1-7, Young 2-6, Hodge 1-4, Brizik 1-3, Carpenter 3-minus 2.PASSING:Notre Dame-Powlus 8-19-1-189.Army-McAda 5-9-0-42, A. Thompson 1-2-0-0.RECEIVING:Notre Dame-Chryplewicz 3-40, Mayes 2-78,Edwards 1-46, Mosley 1-13, A. Denson 1-12.Army-Thomas 2-10, Leshinski 2-1, Short 1-24, Gantt 1-7.