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12/2/07

Observation from an Olde Poolie.



December 1, 2007 No. 12 NAVY 38 ARMY 3.

On a sunny but cool day (42 degrees, but it felt colder for Navy fans in the shade.) before over 70,000 fans in the Baltimore Ravens stadium Navy’s defense and specialty teams, in combination with a tremendous game by captain Reggie Campbell, embarrassed an inept Army team and won for the sixth time in a row - an academy record. Army’s defense did a good job of containing Navy’s triple option attack and forced six punts. Navy had only punted 12 time in the first 11 games. This summary is primarily for those who missed watching the game on TV.

Navy kicked off. Army proceeded to move down to the ten yard line in a six minute drive but missed a field goal. Navy moved to midfield and punted to Army’s 8. After making two first downs the Black Knights punted and the Midshipmen returned the punt to the 48 yard line. On the fourth play SB Zerbin Singleton took a pitch out on the right side, got some good blocks, and raced 38 yards for a TD. Navy 7 Army 0 with 48 seconds left in the quarter.

Both teams punted on their next possessions. Then Army started on their 38 and mounted a good drive but settled for a 28 yard field goal midway through the quarter. Navy 7 Army 3. Reggie Campbell (5-6, 165 lbs) then fielded the kick-off at the two, found a hole in the middle, then weaved and outran the Army defenders for an exciting 98 yard TD. Navy 14 Army 3. On their first play after the kick-off Irv Spencer made a big hit and the Army ball carrier coughed up the ball. Navy recovered on the nine. On third down Shun White ran to the right for the TD. Navy 21 Army 3. Near the end of the half Army punted and Reggie Campbell again made a great return to Army’s 40 yard line. With one second left Paul Johnson sent in Joey Bullen to try a 51 yard FG. The kick - more of a line drive - hit the cross bar and bounced through. Navy 24 Army 3 at the half.

Third Quarter. Army contained the Midshipmen. After Navy’s second punt of the quarter Army started on their own 48 and drove to the Navy 5. On second and goal from the two Army’s ball carrier tried to dive over the line but was met by Navy defenders and fumbled the ball and the Midshipmen recovered at the two.

Early in the fourth quarter Navy stopped Army on fourth down and started on their own 48 yard line. The offense - staying on the ground - moved to the 12 then Reggie Campbell scored on a 12 yard pitch to the right. Navy 31 Army 3 with 10:18 remaining. On Army’s next possession the Midshipmen sacked the QB for a 15 yard loss then blocked the punt and recovered at the Black Knights 8. Back-up QB Jerod Bryant carried twice and scored. Navy 38 Army 3 with 7:50 remaining. At this point Paul Johnson began substituting. Several seniors who toiled on the scout team got to play as well as many third stringers.

Slot back Reggie Campbell returned a kick-off for 98 yards for a TD, returned a punt 46 yards to set up a FG, scored on a 12 yard run and had a total of 227 all-purpose yards. He was named Offensive MVP. After the game Reggie, usually a quiet individual, climbed onto the podium grabbed the baton, and led the Drum and Bugle Corps in Navy Blue and Gold. The Midshipmen had 287 yards rushing. Their average for the year was 357 per game. Army was held to a total of 227 yards of offense. The Black Knights lost two fumbles. Navy did not turn the ball over. Navy was penalized once and Army twice.

At this time of year Paul Johnson’s name is mentioned for various coaching vacancies. Thus far 13 Div. I schools are looking for new coaches. Johnson says such rumors are a credit to the success the Navy program has enjoyed the past five years. “I hope there is talk because it means we are doing something right here. Really, all of this is a tribute to our coaches and Players,” Johnson said. “I don’t pay any attention to all that and I don’t think our players do either”.

Coach Johnson will probably give the players a few days off before preparing for the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 20. Meanwhile several of the coaches will hit the recruiting road. Hopefully the defensive coaches can find some players like the ones that a former coach at Florida A & M Rattlers used to recruit. He used to say, “I like players that are Ad-gile, Mo-bile and Hos-tile”. Navy needs some of those on defense. It would also help if they are good students.

Navy will likely play a school out of the Mountain West Conference in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 20. The opponent might be Utah. Olde Poolie will send out a pre-bowl game preview a few days before the bowl game.

Navy’ 2008 Schedule

Aug. 30 Towson
Sept. 6 @ Ball State
Sept. 13 @ Duke
Sept. 20 Rutgers
Sept. 27 @ Wake Forest
Oct. 4 @ Air Force

Oct. 18 Pittsburgh (Homecoming)
Oct. 25 SMU
Nov. 1 Temple

Nov. 15 Notre Dame (Balt.)
Nov. 22 @ Northen Illinois
Dec. 6 Army (Phil.)

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