April 13, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md.-The Navy defense dominated the offense for the majority of Navy's second scrimmage of the spring Monday afternoon at a chilly Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, only to see the offense rally for touchdowns on three of their final four possessions.
"The defense came with great intensity to start the scrimmage," said Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo. "The number one defense played really well and then the offense picked it up in the second half. If we are going to be good both sides of the ball have to play well from start to finish."
In a contest that pitted the first team offense against the first team defense and the second team offense against the second team defense, the defense held the offense to just three points on the first 10 possessions. The three points came on a 33-yard field goal by Jon Teague after the offense started with the ball at the defense's 35-yard line.
"The defense came to play today and they were getting after it, they set the tone," continued Niumatalolo. "There are no secrets in these scrimmages. We are running the same offense and Buddy is running the same defense, the defense just came out and hit the offense in the mouth. I just wish they had kept that intensity the whole time. I was encouraged by the way the defense started the day and I was encouraged by the way the offense fought back later on. That is kind of the way the spring has gone. There will be days where the offense can't get back to the line of scrimmage and then the next day the offense comes out and beats the defense."
Junior nose guard Chase Burge led the defense with nine tackles and a tackle for a loss, while senior defensive end Richard Marshall and senior linebacker Ross Pospisil (including a sack) had seven tackles each. Junior linebacker Tyler Simmons recorded six tackles and two sacks, while senior nose guard Nate Frazier made six stops that included a sack. Junior linebacker Jerry Hauburger added five tackles, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble while senior outside linebacker Craig Schaefer had five tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack.
"Tyler Simmons has been a mad-man this spring, he has been all over the place," said Niumatalolo. He has had a great spring."
Junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs led the offense to two scoring drives late, throwing an 18-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Mario Washington and a two-yard touchdown pass to sophomore slot back Marcus Curry. Dobbs completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Washington led all receivers with three catches for 37 yards, while sophomore wide receiver Doug Furman caught a 41-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Mike Stukel. Junior wide receiver Mike Schupp had two nice catches for 22 yards.
The offense's only other touchdown came on a 35-yard touchdown run by Stukel, who finished the day with 61 yards rushing on 10 carries.
"Stukel had a good scrimmage today," said Niumatalolo. "Proctor is still ahead of him, but he didn't play as well today and Mike played better."
Sophomore slot back Marcus Curry was impressive running the football, rushing for 30 yards on four carries. Junior Vince Murray was the leading rusher among fullbacks with 36 yards on nine carries.
Navy will practice on Tuesday and Thursday before wrapping up spring practice with the annual Blue-Gold game on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Admission is free, but there is a $5 charge to park.