Sept. 14, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy sprint football team opened the 2012 season on Friday night by defeating the Coppin State Eagles club team, 38-27, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Despite yielding a total of 459 yards, the Navy defense came up with several big plays, including converting both a fumble and interception into touchdowns.
"There are certainly a couple things that we need to clean up, but overall I think the guys did very well," said Navy head coach Maj. Kavan Lake, USMC. "It's the way we tell them - you start out hard in the first quarter and you keep your foot on the gas."
Navy did exactly that in the first quarter as it took the opening kickoff and went 60 yards in nine plays to take 7-0 lead. Reigning CSFL MVP David Williams capped the scoring drive with a 20-yard TD scamper.
After Coppin State went 87 yards to the end zone and made the score 7-6 near the end of the first quarter, Navy responded with an 87-yard drive of its own. The Mids converted on three third-down opportunities on the 13-play drive and made the score 14-6 on Williams' second TD of the day. Williams darted inside, then bounced to the right and raced to the corner of the end zone.
Williams accounted for 62 yards on the drive and finished the game with a total of 117.
The busy second quarter continued as the two teams traded rushing touchdowns. Coppin State's Edwin Walker dove in from 1 yard out and Navy's Dan Gilmore followed with a 5-yard TD plunge of his own with 3:24 to play in the half.
With Navy leading, 21-13, it looked like the Eagles might score again before the end of the half as quarterback Antoine Goodson guided CSU all the way down to the Navy 5-yard line with under 20 seconds to play. But on the next play, Alec McGlaughlin broke free on a blitz and sacked Goodson back at the Navy 23-yard line.
The Eagles were forced to try a field goal, but senior defensive lineman Julian Jerzerick
got a hand on the ball to block the kick.
An Adrian Montecinos' field goal boosted Navy's lead to 24-13 with over five minutes to play in the third quarter and then Navy's defense came up with one of its big plays to again stretch the lead. With Coppin State driving following the Navy field goal and just inside the red zone, freshman linebacker Temple Sloan hit Goodson in the pocket from the blindside. Goodson lost the ball and Chris Mershon picked it up and raced 70 yards to the end zone as Navy took a 31-13 lead.
A 67-yard run by Walker pulled the Eagles within 10, but another big play from the Navy defense helped regain the momentum. With 12 minutes to play in the fourth quarter, Goodson was picked off on the first play of an Eagle drive. Collin Ascherl stepped in front of Goodson's attempt and took it 19 yards to the end zone, giving Navy a 38-21 lead.
"The defense was very strong. When they take the field, I tell them I want the ball back," said Lake. "I expect big things from them and when you expect big things, they produce."
The Eagles added another touchdown with under eight minutes to play and drove into the red zone in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Ronald Allen sealed the game as he intercepted quarterback Craig Oliver's pass in the end zone.
The Mids' defense produced 10 tackles for loss for a total of 50 yards. Will Parker and Sloan both had two tackles for loss, while linebacker Matt Piotrowicz led the Mids with a total of 10 tackles.
"We focus a lot on execution and endurance," said Lake. "We knew that coming out of the locker room for the second half that it was going to be our half. We started off well and we continued it."
Navy quarterback Lewis Correale finished the game 6-of-13 for 101 yards, while Goodson went 16-of-23 for 203 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Goodson also rushed for 43 yards.
The Midshipmen will begin CSFL play next weekend when they travel to Princeton to meet the Tigers on Saturday at 2 p.m.