Oct. 19, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
Not even a 30-minute weather delay could slow down the Navy sprint football team on Friday night as the Midshipmen defeated Mansfield, 48-7, on a rainy night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Navy remains undefeated with the win, improving to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the Collegiate Sprint Football League. Mansfield is now 1-4 overall and in league play.
Navy sophomore running back Alex Horton led a Navy rushing attack that racked up a season-high 239 yards. Horton had a game-high 120 yards on 26 carries and scored a Navy record five rushing touchdowns.
"I've been preaching to the guys that after the Cornell game last week we had to reestablish ourselves as top performers in this league," said Navy head coach Maj. Kavan Lake, USMC. "We made some good reads tonight and had a good ground game. Rushing is our strong point and with the rain coming in, it was easy to put it on the ground and keep it going."
For the second consecutive week, the Navy defense held an opponent to a single-digit rushing yard total as the Mountaineers managed just four yards on the ground. Mansfield finished the game with only 39 yards of total offense.
"We always expect our defense to come in and play strong the entire game, and that's what they did tonight," said Lake. "They made a statement early on."
Horton picked up his first touchdown - a 3-yard rush - less than four minutes into the game. An interception by Stephen Meidus set up the five-play, 21-yard scoring drive for the Mids.
After a 30-minute lightning delay, the teams retook the field. Brendan West returned a Mansfield punt 38 yards on the first play after the weather delay, putting Navy at the Mountaineers 1-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Lewis Correale hit Dominic Chumich for the first of his two touchdown passes to help extend Navy's lead to 14-0 with less than four minutes to play in the first quarter.
Mansfield answered for its only score of the game on the ensuing drive. A 65-yard kick return by Da'Shawn Serrano put the Mountaineers in Navy territory and a Ben Pepper touchdown pass to Casey Huff on a third-and-13 play put Mansfield on the board.
The 14-7 deficit was as close as Mansfield would get the rest of the way as Horton rushed for three touchdowns in a 4:14 span of the second quarter to give Navy a commanding 34-7 advantage. Interceptions by Ronald Allen
and Meidus set up two of the short scoring drives for Navy that were capped by TD runs of 2 and 4 yards by Horton. In between, Horton had a 12-yard TD run after the Navy defense posted a quick three-and-out.
"Alex might have had a bit of a slow start to the season, but given the opportunity he has proven that he's a pretty strong runner," said Lake.
Horton scored his program-record fifth rushing TD on the first possession of the second half. Another terrific kickoff return by Brendan West, which went 50 yards and put the Mids in Mansfield territory, gave the Navy offense another short field. It took eight plays, but Horton gave Navy a 41-7 lead as sliced his way through the defense for his longest TD run of the day - 14 yards.
Correale and Chumich got together for their second touchdown play to cap the scoring for Navy with 4:40 to play in the third quarter. Correale found Chumich at the goal line on a third-and-20 play from the Mansfield 24 yard line, giving Navy a 48-7 lead.
Correale finished the game 5-of-12 for 71 yards. Chumich led Navy in receiving with three grabs for 48 yards.
The Navy offense received a significant contribution from its returners on Friday night, especially West, who had four punt returns for 93 yards. Navy's solid special teams play game the offense great field position and resulted in five touchdown drives of 28 yards or fewer.
Matt Piotrowicz led Navy with six tackles, including 2.5 (5 yards) for loss. The defense combined for 13 tackles for loss, bringing their season total to 55. The Mids' three interceptions brought their season total to 12.
The Midshipmen will look to remain undefeated next Friday when the travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on Penn.