Navy Undefeated, Leads the Nation in Rushing

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Navy Undefeated, Leads the Nation in Rushing!

If it’s excitement you’re looking for in Annapolis, it’s difficult to beat what happens in the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on many Saturdays in the fall. For example, look at last week.

Navy and Air Force have been playing football against each other for 50 years and many people are calling last week’s game the best in history. The fans witnessed a back-and-forth barrage of scores with Navy surrendering three touchdowns after halftime to find itself trailing 45-41 with a shade under two minutes remaining. Navy’s team is designed to grind out yards on the ground and is not known as a quick-strike offense. So, fans were justifiably worried when the Navy offense took the field.

Nevertheless, Navy quarterback Zach Abey (from Pasadena, MD) confidently took command and guided the Midshipmen downfield. On the 11th play of the drive, with just 15 seconds to go, Abey threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Carmona for the final margin. Air Force has proved to be a difficult team for the Midshipmen year after year, so the victory was especially satisfying.

A stadium-record crowd of 38,792 watched the game.

Undefeated So Far

Navy is now 5-0 for the season and in the lead for the Commander in Chief trophy, given annually to the team that bests its service academy rivals in football for the year. The team will face a challenging two weeks, first traveling to Memphis to play the 4-1 Tigers, followed by a home game against the University of Central Florida, which has been undefeated for five games.

The Midshipmen have been piling up yards at a record pace, most of it on the ground. In the most recent game, Navy gained 557 yards, including 471 rushing. If you are used to watching Redskins or Ravens games, those rushing totals are unthinkable.

Record-setting offenses do not always translate into easy wins. Like the game against Air Force, many of the games have been close. Against Tulsa, Navy again amassed over 500 yards of offense and shut out Tulsa for 38 minutes of the game, but just won 31-21.

Abey and Perry

Navy’s games have always been a team effort, but so far two players have emerged as players to watch.  Quarterback Zach Abey has two 200-yard rushing games, which is tied for the most in school history. He is closing in on 1,000 yards in rushing with half the season left to play.  Slotback Malcolm Perry has complemented Abey’s work with explosive gains to the outside. At 12.8 yards per carry, he is averaging a first down every time he touches the ball. His longest play this year has been a 91-yard scamper against Air Force.

As a team, Navy averages 37.2 points a game. So if you like to see scoring and lots of it, Navy is a team you would enjoy cheering for.

Navy is currently No. 1 in the nation in rushing with 414.2 yards per game.

Navy’s next home game is Oct. 21 at 3:30 against the University of Central Florida Knights.

Naval Bagels loves all things Navy! Stop by and grab coffee and a bagel on the way to the game. Navy Football in Annapolis during the Fall is one of the best experiences you can have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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