ANNAPOLIS, Md.-Senior linebacker Caleb King recovered sophomore quarterback Hayden Maples' fumble in the back of the end zone with 10:15 left in the fourth quarter to give the Blue a 7-6 victory over the Gold Friday night in the annual spring game.
The game was played in miserable conditions with temperatures in the low 40s and a steady rain that increased in intensity as the night wore on. Both offenses were also hampered by the fact that the quarterbacks were not live.
"The conditions were tough tonight, but they might be tough in the fall too," said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. "That being said, we were pretty vanilla on both sides of the ball and we got out of here with nobody getting hurt. I was really impressed with the young kids on the Gold team. They played like a Navy team was supposed to play. They were the underdogs and played with a lot of fire. The Blue team did not play with the same intensity."
The game was scoreless at the half thanks to three missed field goals by senior kicker Jon Teague of the Blue team. Teague, who had a great spring camp, missed field goals of 52, 35 and 33 yards.
"That was a little bit surprising," said Niumatalolo. "Jon had been kicking really well this spring."
The Gold took a 6-0 lead late in the third quarter when sophomore quarterback Jarvis Cummings hit junior wide receiver Jonathan Gazaille with a 44-yard pass down to the Blue two-yard line.
"Ricky Dobbs called that play," said Cummings. "It was a great play call and Jonathan was wide open. All I had to do was get it to him."
Sophomore fullback Rob Lombardo bulled his way in on the next play to give the Gold the six point lead. Sophomore Brynmor Hughes missed the extra-point, which would end up proving costly.
Junior punter Justin Haan set up the game winning touchdown for the Blue with a coffin corner punt of 30 yards that landed out of bounds at the Gold 7 early in the fourth quarter.
Maples fumbled the ball on first down, but was able to jump on his own fumble. On the next play he wasn't as fortunate as King fell on the loose ball in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Teague nailed the extra-point to put the Blue up by 1.
The Gold team had three more possessions in the game, but the Blue defense rose to the occasion and held the Gold to -16 yards of total offense and came up with another turnover, this one a pick by sophomore safety Wave Ryder of a Cummings pass.
The Gold managed just 94 yards of total offense in the game, including just 20 yards rushing. The Blue had 212 yards of total offense, including 120 on the ground.
Junior fullback Kevin Eckel led the Blue with 39 yards rushing on 11 carries, junior slot back John Howell had 23 yards rushing on one carry and junior quarterback Kriss Proctor rushed for 22 yards on five carries.
Proctor completed two of his four pass attempts for 43 yards, while Trey Miller, who was named the winner of the Admiral Mack Award for the most improved player in the spring, completed five of his 12 pass attempts for 49 yards.
Junior fullback Austin Beaty led the Gold team with seven carries for 29 yards. Cummings completed four of his 10 pass attempts for 63 yards, while Gazaille had two catches for 55 yards.
The Blue defense had a whopping 10 sacks on the day, with junior outside linebacker Keegan
Wetzel coming up with three and senior outside linebacker Jarred Shannon recording two.
Junior safety Jordan Fraser had a forced fumble, King had a fumble recovery and Ryder and
junior safety Tra'ves Bush had interceptions.