Oct. 26, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Navy sprint football team was defeated in the annual Star Game by Army, 17-7. Facing off at Shea Stadium on the grounds of West Point on Saturday afternoon, the Mids were held off of the scoreboard until the second half when sophomore running back Corey Garcia found the end zone with a three-yard touchdown run.
Garcia (San Diego, Calif.) highlighted the Midshipmen’s offensive performance with 64 rushing yards on 27 carries, while Matthew Piotrowicz (Sr., Sewell, N.J.) led the defense with 11 solo tackles.
For the game, Army outgained Navy 372-66.
“It was unfortunate today as our performance wasn’t great” said Navy head coach Maj. Kavan Lake, USMC. “We didn’t execute our plan like we practiced and that’s the bottom line. In the game of football, you have to execute on every single play and if you don’t, you find yourself in a bad position trying to claw back.”
Each team’s offense struggled in the early portion of the first quarter as Navy was forced into consecutive three-and-outs, while Army saw its second drive derailed by a Rex Willis (Fr., Tyrone, Ga.) interception in the end zone. The pick was the first of Willis’ young career.
Army finally broke through at 3:39 in the first quarter when the Black Knights’ James Wartski found Tucker Van Dyke for a 20-yard touchdown completion.
Navy finished the first quarter with a six-play drive that was extended by a roughing the kicker foul on Army.
In the second quarter, the host Black Knights extended their lead to a 10-0 margin on a 19-yd Warren Kay field goal. The Mids minimized the damage on that drive as on back-to-back plays Army was denied on rushing attempts from inside three yards.
A 48-yard return by senior Tracy Daniels
(Jonesboro, Ga.) on the ensuing kickoff set Navy up at midfield. Once again, the Mids’ offense was curtailed by a strong effort from the Army defensive line.
An 11-play, 84-yard drive by the Black Knights would put Navy into a 17-0 deficit going into the halftime break.
In the third quarter, the Mids’ defense set up its offense with a caused turnover at 11:43. After a short completion, senior defensive back Brendan West (Meridian, Idaho) would hit Tucker Van Dyke and jar the ball lose and into the pile where junior Christopher Mershon (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) came out with possession. Five plays and an Army penalty later, the Mids would be on the scoreboard after Garcia muscled his way into the end zone from three yards out at 8:57.
Navy looked to keep its momentum going on the next drive when sophomore linebacker Temple Sloan (Raleigh, N.C.) snagged a deflected pass for an interception at Army’s 49 yard line.
Navy could not convert the positive field position into points as an Army sack of quarterback William Hampton (Jr., Charleston, S.C.) would lead to a quick three-and-out.
The Mids’ best opportunity to score for the rest of the game happened on the next possession as a poor snap to Army’s punter Mark Dabeck bounced out of his hands and into a nine-yard tackle for loss at Navy’s 45.
On the ensuing drive, the Black Knights’ defense stood strong as Navy failed to gain positive yardage on its three plays.
The fourth quarter went by with only three combined first downs and no points from either team as the game would go final with a score of 17-7 in favor of the Black Knights.
“You never want to lose to a rival especially Army,” said Lake. “It just makes our drive that much stronger for the future. We’ll have a year to prepare for this game. We may change some things and reset a bit, but we’ll be ready to drop the hammer next year.”
With the win, Army clinched the 2013 CSFL championship with a perfect 7-0 season.
The Mids (5-1) will conclude their 2013 season next Friday at home versus Penn. The 7 p.m. contest will be held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.