Oct 13, 2001
By DON MITCHELL
Associated Press Writer
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. - Air Force is typically known for itsdiscipline.
While the Falcons beat Mountain West Conference rival Wyoming 24-13Saturday, they committed 10 penalties for 102 yards, and two of thoseinfractions negated touchdowns.
The Falcons averaged five penalties for 43 yards coming into the game.
"Obviously we were our own enemies today," coach Fisher DeBerry said."That was very uncharacteristic of an Air Force football team with all ourpenalties. We may not have been on the ropes near the end of the game had thosetouchdowns been allowed."
Air Force (4-1, 2-0 MWC) appeared to be in for a big day when quarterbackKeith Boyea took the first snap from scrimmage 73 yards for an apparenttouchdown. A holding call brought the play back.
Another holding call prevented a 26-yard scoring pass to Leotis Palmer inthe third quarter that would have extended Air Force's lead to 24-10.
The 10 penalties were the most by an Air Force team since it committed 13against Army on Nov. 4 of last year.
Halfback Tom Heier said the penalties were "just a lack of concentration.That's something we've got to work on."
Air Force managed to overcome its miscues thanks to Boyea, who ran for acareer-high 196 yards and effectively mixed in the passing game to hand Wyoming(2-4, 0-3) its 10th straight loss in the Mountain West.
Air Force, last in the league with just 119.2 passing yards per game comingin, produced 168 yards and one touchdown through the air against the Cowboys.
Last week at Navy, the Falcons managed just 78 yards passing.
"They're to be commended because their players made the plays," Wyomingcoach Vic Koenning said. "Their quarterback avoided some tackles today when wehad him surrounded."
Wyoming, averaging just 100.6 yards rushing in its first five games, had 189against Air Force, including a season-high 148 by running back Nate Scott.
The last time a Wyoming runner had more than 100 yards was in 1999, when JonJennings had 115 against Weber State.
Despite the Cowboys' ground success, the Air Force defense held Wyoming tojust three second-half points and forced two turnovers, including a keyinterception by Joel Buelow in the fourth quarter.
Buelow's play stopped Wyoming at the Air Force 32 with 9:40 to play,preserving the 24-13 lead.
"I thought Joel Buelow's interception was probably as key a play as therewas today," DeBerry said.
Wyoming quarterback Casey Bramlet, who led a no-huddle offense all day, was21-of-47 for 327 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
The Falcons, who have allowed just six points in third quarters this year,have induced at least one turnover in 10 straight games.
Boyea, 10-of-22 for 168 yards and one touchdown, set up Air Force's firstscore with passes of 27-, 20- and 17-yards.
Fullback James Burns capped the seven-play, 80-yard drive with a 1-yard divethat gave the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
Air Force went to the pass again midway through the second quarter whenBoyea threw 43 yards to Brian LaBasco for a touchdown and a 14-7 Falconadvantage.
Wyoming, which lost a fumble on the Air Force 10-yard line in the thirdquarter, scored just two field goals in four trips inside the 20.
"Offensively, we've got to put the ball in the end zone," Koenning said."We dropped some balls today and we're probably going to find out when wewatch the film that we could have done a better job of protecting Casey."
Kicker Jarvis Wallum, ranked No. 1 in the nation with 14 field goals madeentering the game, missed a 27-yard attempt in the first quarter.
He converted a 30-yard attempt late in the first half that pulled theCowboys to 14-10, and he hit a 19-yarder with 34 seconds to play in the thirdperiod to draw Wyoming to 17-13.
Before Wallum's final field goal, Air Force's Brooks Walters capped a41-yard drive with his career-long 48-yard attempt, giving the Falcons a 17-10lead.
Air Force finished the scoring with its bread-and-butter, using its optionand one pass to go 74 yards in eight plays, capped by senior Tom Heier's 2-yardscoring run.
"It took me four years to score, but it was worth it."