Sprint Football Rolls Past Cornell, 49-14
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy sprint football team (5-1, 2-0 CSFL South) posted a 49-14 victory over Cornell (3-2, 1-0 CSFL North) on Friday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The Midshipmen used touchdowns from seven different players, including a blocked punt for a score to cruise to victory.
"Overall coming back after the Army loss, the last two weeks were building," said Major Jeff Polson, USMC after the game. "We want to continue to build up the offense. There was good execution, putting points on the board. We needed that. We needed a break through game heading into the Penn game, which will be a big game next week. Defense continues to put us in positions where we have short fields and getting turnovers on defense. Overall, I am very happy.
"Defensively, great performance. Offensively, a lot of guys stepped up and a lot of different receivers catching the ball. We are happy about that. We are happy about the running game as well; different backs being able to get positive yards. And of course the push on the o-line. That was huge this week. Great blocking. That gets everything going from protection in the pass game and also in the run game."
Offensively, the Mids tallied 467 yards of total offense, including 282 yards passing and 185 yards on the ground. Navy averaged 7.0 yards per play, including 18.8 per completion. The Midshipman scored a season-high 49 points on six passing touchdowns and a blocked punt for a score.
Plebes Braydan Chmiel (Warrenton, Mo.) and Jacob Hudson (Wilmington, Del.) combined to go 15-for-20 through the air for 282 yards and six touchdowns. Chmiel, who made his second start of the season at QB, amassed 228 yards on 13-of-18 passing with five TDs, while Hudson connected on both of his pass attempts for 54 yards, including a touchdown.
The Mids had nine different players catch a pass in the game, including six different players with touchdown receptions. Sam Shaunak (Collierville, Tenn.) led the way with four receptions for 86 yards and a TD, while Eric Spicer (St. Marys, Ohio), Jay Cooke (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), and Dane Livengood (Treynor, Iowa) each brought down two receptions each. Spicer, Livengood, Austin Rogers (Cottonwood, Ariz.), Ram Nagarajah (Boston, Mass.), and Walt Fagan (Rock Hill, S.C.) each joined Shaunak with touchdown catches.
Seven different players carried the football in the game with six players registering 20 yards or more on the ground. Caleb Champion (Milton, Fla.) led the way with 46 yards, followed by Stefano Saragusa (Haines City, Fla.) who carried for 35.
Defensively, the trio of Dean Rye (Fairfax, Va.), Luke Coughlin (Islip, N.Y.), and Sheppard Wilson (Charlotte, N.C.) each finished with nine tackles apiece. Coughlin notched a pair of tackles for loss, including the game's only sack while also forcing a fumble. Wilson blocked a Big Red punt and senior captain Alex Oldham (Dayton, Ohio) was able to jump on the loose ball in the end zone for a defensive score. Grant Hooper (Huntingtown, Md.) recorded an interception and Troy Monroe (Columbus, Ga.) joined Coughlin with a pair of TFLs.
After a scoreless first quarter, Navy erupted for 21 points in the second quarter.
The Mids capped a four-play drive that spanned 61 yards with a 15-yard pass from Chmiel to Livengood to break the scoreless tie. The drive was highlighted by a 40-yard strike from Chmiel to Shaunak to put the Midshipmen just outside of the red zone at the Cornell 21 yardline.
Navy used a six-play drive to march 57 yards in 2:52 to extend the lead to 14-0. J.T. Thompson (Stratham, N.H.) opened the drive with a 13-yard rush around the end to move the Mids into Big Red territory. Four consecutive rushes set up Navy at the 33 yardline, where Chmiel found Shaunak in the checkerboard end zone for the touchdown.
On the ensuing Cornell drive, Navy forced a three-and-out. Wilson broke through the line and was able to block the punt attempt -- his second block of the season -- and Oldham was able to pounce on the loose ball in the end zone to put the Mids up 21-0 before the half.
Coming out of the break, the Midshipmen picked up where they had left off in the second quarter, posting 21 points in the third.
Rogers hauled in a 34-yard pass from Chmiel to put the home team in front 28-0. The next drive for Cornell saw Hooper pick off the Big Red quarterback and return the ball nine yards to set up the Mids' offense at the 25 yardline. Chmiel wasted little time hitting Nagarajah on the first play from scrimmage for 25 yards and the TD to go up by 35.
The Big Red put together a 13-play, 72-yard drive that ate up over five minutes off the clock for their first score of the game. The drive was capped off by Cornell's Will Griffen rushing 30 yards for pay dirt. The TD snapped the Mids' streak of six consecutive quarters without allowing a point.
Navy answered with an eight-play drive for 58 yards to regain the 35-point advantage. Chmiel found Fagan in the back of the end zone for the 25-yard touchdown to put the Mids up 42-7.
In the fourth quarter, Hudson led his first touchdown drive as a Midshipmen. The plebe marched the team down the field 67 yards in five plays. Hudson found Spicer for a 40-yard touchdown for this first collegiate TD pass, extending the Navy advantage to 49-7 with 13:10 to play.
Cornell used a 10-play, 64-yard drive to cut the deficit to 49-14, but would get no closer as Navy controlled 7:31 of the final 9:45 remaining in the game to seal the victory.
Navy continues the season with another home game as the Midshipmen welcome Penn to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Friday, Oct. 27. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. Live stats and live video will be available during the game.