Sept. 28, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
Trailing 7-0 early in the game, the Navy sprint football team scored 31 unanswered points and went on to defeat Post, 37-14, on Friday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen improved to 3-0, overall, and 2-0 in the Collegiate Sprint Football League. Post is now 0-2 overall and in the conference.
In his first-career start, sophomore quarterback Will Hampton threw for 121 yards and one touchdown on 8-of-18 pass attempts, while the Navy rushing game racked up a total of 176 yards.
"Will Hampton made some good reads tonight and made the right calls all game," said Navy head coach Maj. Kavan Lake, USMC. "We felt comfortable with him in there and probably threw a little more than we're used to. It was enough to get the win and we'll take it and move on from there."
For the second consecutive week, the Navy defense held its opponent to negative rushing yards. The Eagles had -18 yards on the ground and just 154 yards of total offense for the game. The Mids' defense produced 15 tackles for loss for a total of 66 yards.
After both teams went three-and-out on their first possessions, the Eagles got on the board with a 55-yard touchdown pass from Shawn Boose to Daniel Awwad on a third-and-9 play. But the Mids responded to tie it on the next possession with a 10-play, 64-yard drive that was keyed by a 27-yard pass from Hampton to Jesse Holian that put the Mids at the Post 6-yard line. Three plays later, Dan Gilmore dove into the end zone for his first of three touchdowns on the night.
Navy used big plays on both sides of the ball in the second quarter to extend its lead to 24-7. Less than one minute into the second quarter, the Navy defense produced its fourth touchdown of the season. With the Eagles pinned deep in their own territory at the 2-yard line, running back Ja'Von Ford bobbled a handoff and Chris Mershon quickly found the ball in the end zone and fell on it for six points. Adrian Montecinos converted on the point-after try and later hit a 33-yard field goal to put Navy ahead 17-7.
The Mids got the ball back with 1:25 to play in the first half and quickly went 47 yards to add to their lead. Hampton found Holian on a fade route in the left corner of the end zone with :25 to play in the half as Navy took a 24-7 lead.
"Jesse is our go-to receiver," said Lake. "If you toss the ball up there, he's going to pull it down. We knew once we got in the red zone that we could go to him."
Gilmore made it 31 consecutive points for Navy with 1:52 to play in the third quarter as he scored on a 6-yard run.
The Eagles put an end to Navy's streak in the fourth quarter, converting a 55-yard drive into seven points on a TD pass from backup quarterback Dwayne Carter to Awwad.
Navy got six points back on the ensuing possession as Gilmore rushed for his third TD of the game. The touchdown was set up with the help of an electrifying 27-yard run from fellow freshman tailback Corey Garcia that put navy at the Post 2-yard line.
Garcia finished the game as Navy's leading rusher with 21 carries for 89 yards.
"Corey is pretty quick and as long as he keeps running like that we'll keep him in," said Lake.
Navy's top tackler on the season, linebacker Matt Piotrowicz, led the Mids with nine stops, including 2.0 for loss. Will Parker, Dylan Etzel, Julian Jerzerick, Temple Sloan and Mershon all produced at least 2.0 tackles for loss in the game.
With two more interceptions, courtesy of Collin Ascherl and Jake Lethbridge, Navy brought its season total to nine.
"We knew Post would come out throwing from the get go and we made a couple of slight mistakes," said Lake. "But once we settled down, we were able to contain them pretty well."
The Midshipmen have a bye next week and will return to action on Oct. 12 when they travel to Ithaca, N.Y. to face Cornell.