Oct. 11, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy sprint football team will have its second road test of the season on Friday when it travels to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on Cornell. Friday's game against the 3-1 Big Red (2-1 CSFL) will take place at 7 p.m. at Schoellkopf Field.
At 3-0 overall and 2-0 in league play, Navy enters this weekend tied for first place with rival Army in the CSFL.
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Navy leads the all-time series with Cornell, 52-13-2 (.791), and has won 13 of the last 14 meetings. The Mids downed the Big Red, 42-21, in Annapolis last season and defeated Cornell, 31-12, in their last trip to Ithaca in 2010.
Navy ranks second in the CSFL in total defense, allowing an average of 226 yards per game, while the Mids' offense ranks fourth, averaging 277 yards through three games ... Cornell is averaging 347 yards per game on offense and its defense is yielding an average of 358 per contest.
In his first-career start against Post on Sept. 28, sophomore quarterback Will Hampton completed 8-of-18 pass attempts for 121 yards and one touchdown ... on the season, Hampton is 10-of-22 for 157 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Freshman running backs Corey Garcia and Dan Gilmore have combined to key the Navy ground game through three games this season ... Garcia leads the team in rushing with 34 carries for 160 yards, while Gilmore leads Navy in rushing touchdowns with four.
The Midshipmen have scored a total of 18 touchdowns this season, seven of which have come via special teams and defense.
Navy has scored on 15-of-19 (79%) of its trips inside the red zone this season, including 11 touchdowns.
The Navy defense has limited opponents to an average of just 62.3 rushing yards per game ... it has a total of 35 tackles for loss for a combined 177 yards.
The Mids' secondary has picked off nine passes this season, already four more than their total from a season ago ... two of the Mids' interceptions have been returned for touchdowns, which is just one shy of the program record, last achieved in 2004.
Junior linebacker Matt Piotrowicz leads Navy in tackles with 23, while fellow linebackers Will Parker and Temple Sloan lead in tackles for loss as each has 5.5.
Kicker Adrian Montecinos is a perfect 4-of-4 on field goal attempts this season, with along of 36 yards ... he is 17-of-18 on extra-point attempts.
Navy (through three games)
Rushing - Corey Garcia (34 carries, 160 yards, 4.7 avg.)
Passing - Lewis Correale (16-of-28, 193 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT)
Receiving - Michael Buck (7 catches, 64 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles - Matt Piotrowicz (23 tackles, 10 solo, 13 assists, 4.0 TFL)
Cornell (through four games)
Rushing - Ben Herrera (32 carries, 190 yards, 5.9 avg.)
Passing - Brendan Miller (68-of-114, 988 yards, 7 TD, 5 INT)
Receiving - Abe Mellinger (18 catches, 377 yards, 4 TD)
Tackles - Michael Monahan (35 tackles, 19 solo, 16 assists, 0.5 TFL)
Quoting the Coach
Coach Kavan Lake on this week's matchup with Cornell...
"We are excited to get back in the groove after our bye week. The team got some good rest, which will help some of the guys heal some nagging injuries. I can feel that the team is itching to get going again, and they are hungry, and very fired up to play Cornell this Friday.
"From a coach's standpoint, it's business as usual for us this week. We must be prepared to fight for four quarters, and maximize our strengths. That means executing on all our offensive opportunities, and keeping Cornell out of our end zone. In the end, we intend on playing our game, the best way we know how."
Scoring in all Three Phases
While its offense has proven to be efficient this season, the Mids defense and special teams has also shown it can get in the end zone. The defense and special teams units have combined for seven touchdowns so far through three games. Navy's two interception returns, which are one shy of the program record last reached in 2004, came courtesy of Collin Ascherl and Carter Reading. The defense also has a pair of fumble returns for touchdowns, both by defensive end Chris Mershon.
Navy's two kickoff returns and one punt return mark the first time since 1979 the team has produced three kick returns for touchdowns in a season.
Navy will host Mansfield on Oct. 19 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.