Saturday, September 11, 2021

Air Force knocks off Navy, 23-3 on 9/11

Navy and Air Force met on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Both teams wore special uniforms for the occasion.  The game was a defensive struggle early on for both teams.  Air Force scored back-to-back touchdowns at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters against a tired Navy defense.  The Mids fall to 0-2 and the Falcons improve to 2-0 with a big win in an effort to claim the Commander-in-Chief Trophy.  Navy has an off week before traveling to Houston on September 25.

The punting game is very important -
Both teams realized the importance of the punting game.  Navy scored their only points of the game following a 12-yard punt by Air Force’s Charles Bein.  Navy started their drive on the Air Force 28 yard line and got on the score board following a 23-yard field goal by Bijan Nichols.

Air Force got their first points of the game after Navy’s Kellen Grave de Peralta punted for 18 yards to the Navy 43 yard line.  Air Force scored a touchdown nine plays later and would never give up the lead.

Later in the game, Navy snapped the ball through the end zone on a punt for a safety.  Air Force scored a TD on the following drive.

Great call, Ivin
Navy offensive coordinator made a great call in the second quarter.  The Navy offense had been anemic and the Mids faced a 3rd-and-8 on the Air Force 36 yard line.  Jasper called a quarterback counter for Xavier Arline who scrambled 26 yards to the Air Force 10.  Navy would score their only points of the game on this drive.

Stat of the night - 
Nine of Navy’s 12 drives were three-and-out drives during the game.

Dominating defenses
The Air Force defense held Navy to just 68 yards in the game - 32 passing and 36 rushing.  The Navy defense held Air Force in check for the majority of the game before wearing down due to a lack of offense for the Mids giving them very short breaks between drives.

Class Act - Coach Ken Niumatalolo had a lengthy discussion with officials regarding the roughing the kicker call that eventually led to an Air Force touchdown.  Niumatalolo obviously didn’t agree with the call, yet the discussion wasn’t animated and he kept his composure through the exchange.  He ended the conversation with a shoulder shrug and patted both officials on the shoulder before walking back to the sideline.

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