Oct. 25, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy sprint football team will play its final road game of the season on Friday when it travels to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on Penn at 7 p.m. at Franklin Field. Navy is undefeated at 5-0 and 4-0 in the Collegiate Sprint Football League. The Quakers are 2-3 overall and 1-3 in the CSFL.
Navy leads the all-time series with Penn, 68-6-2, and has won 11 of the last 12 meetings ... The Mids won last year's meeting at Franklin Field, 56-0.
Navy remains the top defensive team in the league, holding opponents to an average of 155.8 yards of total offense per game ... Navy has surrendered 66 yards or fewer in three games this season, including each of the last two.
The Navy secondary has combined for 12 interceptions this season, the highest total for the defense since 2010 when it had 17... Two of the Mids' interceptions have been returned for touchdowns, while five picks have led to Navy touchdowns on the ensuing offensive possessions.
Navy is 24-of-31 (77%) inside the red zone this season ... All but one of Navy's 18 touchdowns has come inside the red zone this season.
The defense has produced 55 tackles for loss (256 yards) this season, which is one more than it had all of last season.
Freshman Corey Garcia ranks fourth in the CSFL and leads all Navy running backs with 336 yards on 68 carries (4.9 avg.) this season ... Garcia has led the team in rushing in three of five games in 2012 and posted a Navy season-high 176 yards on 34 carries against Cornell.
Senior defensive back Stephen Meidus leads the CSFL with four interceptions.
Junior linebacker Matt Piotrowicz leads Navy in tackles with 35 (16 solo, 19 assists) and also leads in tackles for loss with 8.5 (30 yards).
Navy opponents are converting just 22% (14-of-65) of their third down opportunities.
Kicker Adrian Montecinos has converted on 7-of-9 field-goal attempts this season ... He hit four in Navy's win over Cornell on Oct. 12.
Navy (after five games)
Rushing - Corey Garcia (68 carries, 336 yards, 4.9 avg.)
Passing - Lewis Correale (21-of-40, 264 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs)
Receiving - Michael Buck (13 catches, 128 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles - Matt Piotrowicz (35 tackles, 16 solo, 19 assists, 8.5 TFL)
Penn (after five games)
Rushing - Mike Beamish (115 carries, 538 yards, 4.7 avg.)
Passing - Keith Braccia (65-of-151, 817 yards, 9 TDs, 7 INTs)
Receiving - Whit Shaw (26 catches, 426 yards, 8 TDs)
Tackles - Anthony DiBella (41 tackles, 27 solo, 14 assists, 5.0 TFL)
Quoting the Coach
Head Coach Maj. Kavan Lake, USMC previews this Friday's matchup at Penn...
"As we continue our preparation for Penn, we keep in mind that these guys beat us in the 2010 season. I reminded our guys about that at the beginning of the week and I think it still stings with those guys that were on the team at the time. On Friday, the aim is to play 60 minutes of fundamentally sound football, with no mental mistakes.
"The guys are excited to play on the road again and they enjoy playing at Franklin Field. We feel good about the tweaking we have made over the last week and we're just ready to get going. We are prepared for Penn to fight hard at home, and we fully intend on fighting back."
Always a Threat to Score
Through five games, Navy's defense and special teams have combined for seven touchdowns. Navy's suffocating defense has produced 16 takeaways, including two interception returns for touchdowns and two fumble returns for touchdowns. 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. Defensive end Chris Mershon had both fumble returns.
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.
CSFL Weekly Honors - Horton and Meidus
Sophomore running back Alex Horton and senior defensive back Stephen Meidus were both honored by the CSFL this week. Horton was named the conference's offensive player of the week after he set a Navy record with five rushing touchdowns in the win over Mansfield. He had 26 carries for 120 yards and his touchdowns came on runs of 3, 2, 12, 4 and 14 yards.
Meidus picked off two passes, broke up another and had one tackle for loss in the win. He returned the first interception 36 yards to set up Navy's first touchdown of the game and later picked off another pass in the second quarter that also led to a Navy TD on the ensuing drive.
Navy will host Army for the Star in the final game of the season on Nov. 2 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.