Moore makes an impact for Army

He's earned the nickname 'Touchdown Tony' before Army even played a game in October. Not bad for a freshman. Running back Tony Moore could make as big an impact as a first-year player has at Army since Carlton Jones led the Black Knights in rushing with 611 yards in 2002.

Jones finished that season with four rushing touchdowns season. Moore already has four this fall.

Of course, Moore is Army's short-yardage back. He's the guy Army coach Bobby Ross calls on when the Black Knights need tough yards on third and fourth-down plays.

The funny thing is, Moore, who is 5-foot-11, 223 pounds, only began playing running back two years ago at Tulsa Union High School. Moore arrived to Tulsa Union as a senior after playing three seasons at Sand Springs High School in Oklahoma.

Tulsa Union coach Bill Blakenship wasn't sure where to play Moore. He knew he was good and thought about playing Moore at quarterback, running back or linebacker. Moore actually was named a pre-season all-state linebacker - even though he never played the position before. Blakenship gave Moore a few snaps at running back, along with, Dom Franks, now a red-shirt freshman cornerback at Oklahoma. When Franks went down with cramps during a game early in the season, Blankenship summoned Moore to run the ball.

He finished the game with almost 200 yards and Blankenship had himself a new running back. Moore finished the season with 1,500 yards. "Tony was just so good," Blankenship, now retired, said. "He was so good that we put (Franks) on defense and that worked out for us well, too. It made our team so much better." At Army, Moore is now 'Touchdown Tony', but back at Tulsa Union he earned the nickname 'The Diesel'.

"His legs were just so thick," Blankenship said. "Tony was so strong and, the thing is, nobody ever caught him from behind." Moore's role for the Black Knights has become one of the most important in Ross' blue-collar offense. Tielor Robinson, who transferred to Duke last year, put up 704 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns in 2004. Scott Wesley, who graduated in May, led Army with 10 touchdowns a year ago.

Imagine how many trips to the end zone 'Touchdown Tony' can make before his career is over.

Moore's coming out party took place during Army's 17-14 overtime win over Kent State on Sept. 9. He added the game-winning touchdown, scoring on a 4-yard run, two weeks later in the Black Knights' 27-20 overtime victory over heavily-favored Baylor. Moore scored on an 11-yard pass play from David Pevoto earlier in the game.

What's even more impressive, is that a week earlier, Moore was stuffed by Texas A&M inside the 5-yard line as time expired. Moore couldn't wait for a shot the next week, and he delivered. That's why they call him 'Touchdown Tony.'


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