Sep 6, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md -
A safety with 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter was enough as the Navy sprint football team posted a 2-0 shutout win over visiting Coppin State in an exhibition game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Friday evening. The game was a final tune-up as Navy prepares to embark on its seven-game Collegiate Sprint Football League schedule next week.
"These were two teams that were very disciplined and fought really hard," said head coach Maj. Kavan Lake, USMC. "It was just one of those games where the ball fell into our hands. Coppin State surprised us; they prepared well for us."
Navy's defense held Coppin State to just 153 yards overall and only 35 on the ground. Navy never let Coppin State inside the red zone en route to the shutout victory.
"We knew going into the game that our defense would be our strong point. We see it in practice every day. It was key for us to put our defense on the field first and getting them rolling."
Navy dominated the battle for field position in the second half and punter Brett Deters pinned the Eagles on their own 1-yard line late in the third quarter. After three plays, and two penalties, Coppin State faced a 4th-and-six from its six yard line and attempted a punt. However, the snap sailed high and punter Nicholas Wilkerson couldn't control it and tipped the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety at the 11:10 mark of the fourth quarter.
Two possessions before the safety, Navy drove the ball to Coppin State's two yard line and faced a 4th-and-goal. Running back David Williams took a pitch, got to the outside and crossed the goal line, but a holding call backed Navy up. Coppin State's Charles Muse then blocked the ensuing field goal attempt by Adrian Montecinos to preserve the 0-0 game.
After Navy took the 2-0 lead, the Mids forced a 3-and-out on Coppin State's next possession and then took the ball over with 7:18 remaining in the fourth quarter at its own 32-yard line. Navy was able to methodically move the ball down the field and take time off the clock with a 15-play, 61-yard drive that ended at the Coppin State 7-yard line as the final whistle blew. Navy's Corey Garcia
rushed six times for 15 yards and caught two passes for seven yards on the drive while converting a pair of crucial first downs.
Linebacker Matt Piotrowicz led Navy with 10 tackles and Chris Mershon recorded two sacks. Navy had six sacks on the night as the defense made up for two Navy turnovers and just 101 yards of total offense.
Coppin State quarterback Dominique Jackson was 7-of-19 for 118 yards and wide receiver Larry Nance caught three balls for 51 yards.
Coppin State is a full-sized club team, while Navy adheres to the 172-pound weight limit of the CSFL.
"This scrimmage was good for us to have," said Lake. "Now the guys aren't worried about size anymore. They've taken on Coppin State with some 300-pounders and now they know they can handle whatever is in front of them."
Navy will open its regular season on Friday, September 13 against Franklin Pierce at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.