Mids Beat Falcons 16-13 in OT
Navy kicker Joe Buckley (16) celebrates hitting a field goal during the first half. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
Oct. 3, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Navy got a leg up on winning another Commander-In-Chief's Trophy, holding Air Force without an offensive touchdown and using a field goal in overtime by Joe Buckley to pull out a 16-13 victory Saturday.
After Buckley kicked a 38-yarder to end Navy's first possession in the extra period, Erik Soderberg was wide left from 31 yards for Air Force (3-2).
With its seventh straight win over Air Force, Navy (3-2) put itself in excellent position to win the coveted trophy awarded annually to the service academy with the best record in games between Air Force, Navy and Army.
Navy has won a combined 14 straight over the two other academies; of its seven consecutive wins over Air Force, six have been by seven points or fewer.
The Falcons forced overtime when Soderberg kicked a 39-yard field goal as time expired. The frantic 54-yard drive was extended when Navy's Tony Haberer was called for roughing the passer after Wyatt Middleton intercepted a pass by Tim Jefferson.
Jefferson injured his right ankle late in the third quarter and missed several plays while receiving treatment. He returned in the fourth quarter with the Falcons trailing 13-10 and promptly took Air Force to the Navy 44 before a botched handoff on fourth down was recovered by the Midshipmen.
But Navy gave it right back on a fumble at midfield by quarterback Ricky Dobbs with 7:15 left.
Down 10-7 in the third quarter, Air Force got the ball at the Navy 37 following a 27-yard punt. Three plays later, Jefferson hurt his ankle on a 6-yard run. Although the Falcons converted a fourth-and-1 from the 16, they ultimately settled for a field goal.
Navy answered with a 14-play, 52-yard march that consumed nearly 8 minutes and ended with a 37-yard field goal by Buckley. During the drive, Dobbs threw for 21 yards on a third-and-10 and ran for 5 yards on fourth-and-3.
Both defenses dominated a first half that ended with Navy up 10-7.
The game started ideally for the Midshipmen. After stopping the Falcons inside the 10, Navy used a 17-yard punt return by Mario Washington to start at the Air Force 35. Seven plays later, Dobbs ran in from the 13 for a 7-0 lead.
Air Force went three-and-out on its next possession, and its third drive ended with an interception.
After the Falcons punted again, Navy ran 11 plays and got to the Air Force 37 before Anthony Wright picked off Dobbs' pass and took it 67 yards down the left sideline for the tying score. It was the fifth defensive touchdown for the Falcons this season, the second by Wright.
Buckley kicked a 47-yard field goal with 8 seconds left in the half.