Redskins

Navy beats Air Force 28-21 in overtime

201210061214440888086-p2.jpeg

Navy beats Air Force 28-21 in overtime

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) Another wild overtime finish in the Navy-Air Force rivalry. Only, this time, the Midshipmen came out on top in their quest to regain the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.

Navy beat Air Force 28-21 on Saturday when right guard Jake Zuzek recovered freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds' fumbled snap in the end zone.

``I had no clue he had fumbled the ball,'' Zuzek said. ``I just saw it when I was on the bottom of the pile. I wasn't letting it go for anything.''

After the weird touchdown, defensive end Wes Henderson knocked down Connor Dietz's pass on fourth-and-6 from the 21 to seal Navy's win, a significant first step in the Midshipmen's quest to regain the trophy that represents superiority among the three service academies.

``Last year was so painful to see the seniors go out like that. To win like this is really indescribable,'' Henderson said. ``It's probably one of the best feelings I've ever had in my life.''

Last year's game also went to overtime in Annapolis, Md., with Air Force prevailing 35-34 thanks to a controversial call. Officials ruled a touchdown celebration by Navy went overboard, and penalized the Midshipmen for unsportsmanlike conduct. The long conversion attempt from 35 yards was blocked by Alex Means. Then, the Falcons scored, and Parker Herrington added the conversion to give Air Force the wild win.

Herrington had the chance to win it again this time, but his 51-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left as time expired in regulation. It was his second miss of the afternoon and fifth in six tries this season for the senior.

After starting the season with blowout losses to Notre Dame and Penn State and then getting shut out by San Jose State at home last week, Navy (2-3) needs only to beat Army on Dec. 8 to regain the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy that the Falcons (2-3) have had in their possession the last two years.

Dietz said he was confident the Falcons would match Navy's touchdown in overtime because ``we had only stopped ourselves the whole game.''

They had lost fumbles on three straight drives and blew a late eight-point lead in the second half with Navy's starting quarterback sidelined with an ankle injury.

``This game never should have been this close,'' Means said.

``It's football, you never know,'' Dietz said. ``Obviously, I think we missed a lot of opportunities, I'll say that. But, you have to give them credit. You let somebody hang around, it never ends up good.''

Cody Getz rushed for 204 yards and a score, becoming the first Air Force player to post three 200-yard games in one season. He is the second Mountain West Conference running back to do that, joining San Diego State's Larry Ned (2001).

It wasn't enough to keep the Midshipmen from celebrating wildly on Air Force's field - and in the coaches' box adjacent to the press box, where some salty language reverberated loudly after Henderson's pass deflection sealed Navy's wild win.

``Things have looked bleak, not just in this game, but in this year,'' Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. ``But our guys just continue to fight.

``Last year, I thought our loss kind of put us in a tailspin. I'm hoping this is the reverse. I'm hoping this game will propel us to some good things the rest of the year.''

The 9:40 a.m. kickoff was the earliest in Falcon Stadium history, and the Falcons slumbered their way through much of the game, wasting opportunity after opportunity with fumbles and foibles aplenty.

Air Force scored on its first possession but didn't get into the end zone again until Getz burst up the middle for a 21-yard touchdown that gave Air Force a 14-10 lead with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.

Navy quarterback Trey Miller rushed for 110 yards before hurting his left ankle on a scramble on third-and-9 with just under 10 minutes remaining. He was helped off the field, and freshman Nick Sloan kicked a 41-yard field goal to make it a one-point game.

The Falcons struck back quickly, needing just two plays and 28 seconds to score when Dietz pitched to wide receiver Dontae Strickland, who pulled up and hit Drew Coleman in stride for a 54-yard strike that made it 21-13.

Reynolds replaced Miller at quarterback for Navy and capped a 75-yard drive with a 15-yard keeper for the score with 6:35 remaining. Then, Noah Copeland took the pitch and slipped Miles Fisher's tackle in the backfield, diving just inside the left pylon for the 2-point conversion that tied it at 21.

Reynolds and Miller both completed each of their three passes, marking just the second perfect passing day in the program's history.

Coleman caught four passes for 106 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown toss from Dietz four snaps into the game, with ice falling onto the field from the television camera zip lines, and ground fog rolling off the turf as it warmed.

Nothing else would come easy the rest of the half as the Falcons missed a chip-shot field goal, lost three straight fumbles, and then failed to take full advantage of the clock at the end of the second quarter. They finished with a healthy 261 yards of offense but a 10-7 halftime deficit.

Sloan kicked a 39-yard field goal, and Copeland's first career touchdown, a 5-yard run, gave the Midshipmen a 10-7 lead. Copeland's TD came after safety Tra'ves Bush scooped up Broam Hart's fumble at the Navy 27.

Getz was stripped by linebacker Josh Tate at midfield with cornerback Quincy Adams recovering, and Ty MacArthur coughed up the ball at the Navy 14 with senior linebacker Keegan Wetzel smothering it for his first career fumble recovery.

``The two things they did better was they held the ball better and they hit it a little better off the ground,'' Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said.

---

Follow AP Sports Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter:http://twitter.com/arniestapleton

Quick Links

Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

paul_richardson_smile.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Wide receiver battle underway

ravenshelmet.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Baltimore Ravens Roundup: Wide receiver battle underway

Kick off your Tuesday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news.

1. Aside from the battle at left guard, the Ravens also have a battle going on at wide receiver. 13 of the 90-man roster are wide receivers, and when asked who have been standouts at practice thus far, many said Antoine Wesley and Sean Modster. 

2. Just for fun: The Ravens' team photographer Shawn Hubbard took these amazing portraits of the team that will get you hyped up for this season.

Looking Ahead:

July 15: 4 p.m. ET deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.

The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.

Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: