Navy Football 2008 No. 6

Observations from an Olde Poolie October 4, 2008 Navy 33 Air Force 26.

Before over 46,000 fans in Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, on a partly sunny, warm and windy day that turned to light rain in the fourth quarter, Navy scored two touchdowns on blocked punts, Matt Harmon was 4 - 4 in field goals, the defense gave up lots of yards but made crucial stops, the offense - without Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada - sputtered, but the Midshipmen pulled out a big win that stunned the Air Force faithful. This was a hard fought game that had nine fumbles.

Navy took the opening kick-off and drove 62 yards in 14 plays with QB Bryant and FB Kettani carrying the load to the Air Force 18 where Harmon kicked a 35 yard field goal. Navy 3 AF 0 midway through the first quarter. After one first down Air Force was forced to punt from their own 37. Greg Shenego (a slot-back) broke through and blocked the punt which Blake Carter scooped up and ran in from the 25 for a TD. Navy 10 Air Force 0 with six minutes left in the quarter. Air Force answered with a 57 yard drive and a 24 yard FG. Navy 10 Air Force 3. After the kick-off Shun White fumbled on first down and Air Force recovered on Navy's 7. On fourth down the Falcons scored to tie the game 10 - 10.

Early in the second quarter Bryant fumbled at midfield and Air Force recovered. The Falcons moved to the 10 but had to kick a FG and took the lead 13 - 10 with 2:43 left in the half. Navy started on the 30, moved to midfield - then QB Bryant had the wind knocked out of him - and Soph. Ricky Dobbs came in. On fourth down at the AF 34 Harmon booted a 48 yard FG as time expired to tie the game 13 - 13 at the half.

Air Force started the second half by bobbling the kick-off and started on their own 8. On first down LB Pospisil caused a fumble and the Midshipmen were in business at the 10. Three plays later Bryant scored through a big hole on the left side. Navy 20 AF 13 with over 13 minutes left. The Falcons then put together a 61 yard drive and tied the game on a 19 yard pass with 9:45 left. AF 20 Navy 20. The Midshipmen covered 53 yards in eight plays and Harmon kicked a 44 yard FG to give Navy a 23 - 20 lead. Late in the quarter AF had the ball at it's own 15. A solid tackle by free safety Middleton caused a fumble and DE Nechak recovered for Navy at the AF 18. On fourth down Harmon kicked his fourth FG (32 yds) to give Navy a 26 - 20 lead with 11:20 left in the game. After the kick-off the Midshipmen held and forced a punt. This time Blake Carter blocked the punt and Bobby Doyle fell on the ball in the end zone. Navy 33 AF 20 with 10 minutes to go. The Falcons fought back and made a 85 yard drive to score with 2:32 left on the clock. Navy 33 Air Force 27. Eric Kettani leaped high and caught the on-side kick off. On fourth down and one, Kettani dove over the pack to get a first down and allow Navy to run out the clock before a disappointed Air Force crowd.

The Midshipmen primarily ran between the tackles with Bryant gaining 101 yards and Kettani 75 yards. The slot backs had a total of 38 yards. Navy completed one of two passes. AF outgained Navy 411 yards to 244. AF was 12-21 184 passing. Bryant was 1-2, a 38 yard reception to White.

Both teams lost two fumbles. Navy possessed the ball three minutes more than AF. Navy's defense played very well and stopped the Falcons on critical downs and caused fumbles. Two blocked punts for TDs were the difference.

The Midshipmen take next Saturday off then take on the Pittsburgh Panthers at homecoming on October 18. Pittsburgh was ranked as high as 25 in pre-season. They lost their first game to Bowling Green but have won four games since then upsetting number 10 South florida Thursday night 26 - 21 in Tampa. It will be a tough game for the Midshipmen. Army ended a 10 game losing streak by beating Tulane 44 - 13 in New Orleans.

Pittsburgh Record (4 - 1)

Aug. 30 Bowling Green 27 Pittsburgh 17.

Sept. 6 Pittsburgh 27 Buffalo 16.

Sept. 20 Pittsburgh 21 Iowa 20.

Sept 27 Pittsburgh 34 at Syracuse 24

Oct. 2 Pittsburgh 26 at So. Fla, 21

Oct 18 At Navy 3:30 pm (CBS CSN)

2008 Navy Schedule ( 4-2)

Aug. 30 Navy 41 Towson13

Sept. 5 at Ball State 35 Navy 24.

Sept. 13 at Duke 41 Navy 31.

Sept. 20 Navy 23 Rutgers 21Sept. 27

Navy 24 at Wake Forest 17.

Oct. 4 Navy 33 at Air Force 26.

Oct. 18 Pittsburgh 3:30 pm (CSN) Homecoming

Oct. 25 SMU 3:30 pm (CSN)

Nov. 1 Temple 3:30 (CSN)

Nov. 15 Notre Dame (Balt.) 12:00 Noon (CBS)

Nov. 25 at Northern Illinois (Tues) 7 pm (ESPN2)

Dec. 6 Army (Phil.) 12:00 Noon (CBS)

GO NAVY BEAT Pittsburgh!





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