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Associated Press
Ball State wide receiver Jamill Smith catches a touchdown pass in front of Army linebacker Tyler McLees during the first quarter of the Cardinals’ 40-14 victory Saturday in Muncie.

Wenning, Cardinals rout Army

– Keith Wenning did what he does best.

The senior quarterback passed for two touchdowns and 325 yards and Ball State defeated Army 40-14 on Saturday.

Wenning, who was 23-of-32 passing, had 15 throws for 10 or more yards and three passes for a gain of 30 or more. And it was too much for the Black Knights to keep pace.

“We have a lot of weapons on offense,” he said. “I don’t look to one guy to throw the ball to. I’ll throw the ball to whoever’s open, if that’s the running back, if that’s any of the receivers. Army, they did some good things, (but) they couldn’t stick with some of our receivers sometimes, so it opened them up and I just got them the ball.”

On the Cardinals’ first drive, Willie Snead caught passes of 11, 15 and 13 yards. Horactio Banks, who had two touchdowns and 51 yards rushing, had a 7-yard rush and later a 10-yard run to tie the game at 7.

On the next drive, Jamill Smith, who had 83 yards receiving and a touchdown, scored the go-ahead TD on an 8-yard reception to make it 14-7.

Ball State’s Scott Secor kicked a career-best 47-yard field goal to give the Cardinals (2-0) a 17-7 lead.

Larry Dixon, who had 107 yards rushing and two scores for Army (1-1), broke away for a 71-yard run to give the Black Knights the lead 56 seconds into the game.

Army’s Angel Santiago had 49 yards on 3-of-11 passing.

The Cardinals, who have won three straight against Army, start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2008 when Ball State went 12-2 and lost in the GMAC Bowl.

“Well, if you would have told me three years ago when we got here that we’d be sitting here and our first three games against Army would all be wins, and two of the three being in convincing fashion, I would have told you that’s probably a bit of a dream,” coach Pete Lembo said.

After 42 scoring unanswered points in the season opener Aug. 29, the Cardinals scored 37 straight Saturday after Army went up 7-0.

The Cardinals go on the road to North Texas on Saturday, then to Eastern Michigan to start the MAC schedule.

Ball State’s opener nine days ago gave the Cardinals an abnormally long week.

“Moving forward, everything is going to be so much more conventional,” Lembo said. “This coming week will be much more telling because we’re going back to playing a much more conventional team.

“I’ll say this: I think we’re going to be playing a very, very good opponent this week that is going to be very physically challenging. This week will be very revealing.”

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