Friday, November 29, 2019

PIAA Football Playoff Semi-Finals

PIAA football playoff schedule for November 29 and 30

Downingtown West (13-1) vs. Central Dauphin (11-2) at Coatesville, 7 p.m.
Central Catholic (12-1) vs. St. Joseph’s (10-2) at Altoona’s Mansion Park Stadium, 1 p.m.

Gateway (12-2) vs. Archbishop Wood (9-3) at Altoona’s Mansion Park Stadium, 1 p.m
Cocalico (11-2) vs. Cheltenham (13-1) at Hersheypark Stadium, 6 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson (14-0) vs. Lampeter-Strasburg (11-3) at Hollidaysburg, 1 p.m.
Jersey Shore (11-3) vs. Dallas (14-0) at Danville, 6 p.m.

Central Valley (12-1) vs. Bald Eagle Area (11-3) at Moon, 7 p.m.
Wyoming Area (12-1) vs. Tamaqua (12-2) at Wyoming Valley West, 7 p.m.

Wilmington (12-0) vs. Avonworth (14-0) at Slippery Rock High School, 6 p.m.
Southern Columbia (14-0) vs. Richland (13-0) at Selinsgrove, 7 p.m.

Clairton (11-2) vs. Farrell (12-2) at North Allegheny, 7 p.m.
Bishop Guilfoyle (11-2) vs. Lackawanna Trail (10-3) at Danville, 1 p.m.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Navy 35, SMU 28 - Final


Fourth Quarter

Navy decided to keep the ball in the hands of Malcolm Perry.  The Mids faced a 4th-and-2 on the Navy 31 yard line and SMU had an offside penalty called sealing the win for Navy.  After the play, an SMU coach got an unsportsmanlike penalty moving the ball into SMU territory.  Navy took a knee two times and picked up the win, 35-28.

SMU drove the ball the length of the field but couldn’t put points on the board.  Buechele completed 3 passes on the drive for 32 yards.  Proche caught 2 passes and Sanders caught the other.  Jones carried the ball 5 times for 16 yards.  SMU faced a 4th-and-4 on the Navy 12 and threw and incomplete pass turning the ball over to Navy.

Navy’s drive started with an incomplete pass and a carry for no gain.  On third and 10, Malcolm Perry sprinted 70 yards for a Navy score.  The Mids lead 35-28 with 6:11 left in the game.  Navy’s scoring drive was 3-70-0:50.

SMU could not get a first down on their drive and punted the ball back to Navy.  There is 7:01 left in the game.

Navy recovered the SMU onside kick attempt. Malcolm Perry had a big 9 yard carry to the SMU 40. An 8 yard pass to Warren gave Navy a first down at the 30.  Navy was unable to get another first down and turned the ball over on downs at the SMU 29. There is 8:28 remaining in the game with the score tied at 28. 

SMU started their drive on their own 15 after returning the kickoff from the end zone.  Jones carried three consecutive times for 12 yards.  Buechele then connected with Rashee Rice for 61 yards and a TD to tie the game at 28-28 with 12:14 left in the game.  SMU’s scoring drive was 6-85-2:05.

Third Quarter

On Navy’s next drive, Perry hit Mitchell for a 15 yard completion to the Navy 46.  On the next play, Nelson Smith barreled up the middle for 15 yards to the SMU 46.  Makekau then carried for 9 yards and Perry dropped back to pass but ran for 17 yards to the SMU 13.  The third quarter ended with navy trailing, 21-20.  Perry completed a 13 yard TD pass to Mitchell, his first career TD.  The Mids converted a 2 point conversion with a pass from Perry to Williams.  The Mids lead SMU, 28-21 with 14:19 left in the game.  The Navy scoring drive was 10-76-3:48.

Navy forced another three-and-out on the SMU offense.

Navy opened their drive with a 20 yard pass to Ryan Mitchell to the Navy 40.  Three of the next four plays were 10 yard carries or more.  Makekau had a 10 yard carry and Perry had carries of 12 and 24.  Navy had a 1st-and-10 on the SMU 12 but had to settle for a 24 yard field goal by Bijan Nichols.  Navy cut SMU’s lead to 21-20 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.  The Navy scoring drive was 9-73-4:22.  It was announced the Maloy and Cooper would not return due to injuries.

SMU’s Tyler Page returned Navy’s kickoff to the Navy 37 yard line.  Three incomplete passes forced SMU to punt the ball back to the Mids.

Navy received the opening kickoff o the second half.  The Mids drove down the field systematically putting 7 on the board following a 13 play drive.  Perry completed two passes on the drive, an 8 yarder to Cooper and a 33 yard strike to Williams.  Perry also carried the ball seven times including the one yard TD carry that pulled Navy to within 4 of SMU.  SMU leads Navy 21-17 with 8:58 left in the third quarter..  Navy’s scoring drive was 13-75-6:02.

Second Quarter

Navy handed the ball off to Carothers who ran for 4 yards and the half ended with Navy trailing SMU, 21-10.

SMU moved the ball into Navy territory with some short passes, but the Mustangs were forced to punt the ball back to Navy with less than 10 seconds remaining in the half.

Navy’s ensuing drive was inconsistent.  Makekau had a 13 yard carry to the Navy 38.  On the next play, Perry connected with Cooper for 23 yards to the SMU 39.  Navy attempted a 4th-and-9 conversion on the SMU 38 and couldn’t convert giving the ball back to SMU.

SMU didn’t waste any time getting back on the scoreboard.  On first down from the Navy 42, Buechele connected with Rashee Rice for 33 yards to the Navy 9.  On the next play, Jones ran 9 yards to the end zone giving SMU a 21-10 lead with 4:01 left in the second quarter.  SMU’s scoring drive was 2-42-0:22.

Navy was forced to punt on a three-and-out that included two sacks of Malcolm Perry.

SMU started the drive at their own 25 yard line. Buechele completed a 30-yard pass to .to Kyle Gransen to the Navy 41.  Following a holding call on SMU, Buechele completed a 14 yard pass to Proche to the Navy 37.  On a 4th-and-3 play, Navy was called for pass interference at the Navy 30.  On another 4th down attempt, SMU’s Xavier Jones carried the ball 11 yards to the Navy 11.  Two plays later, Buechele connected an with Proche for an 8-yard scoring pass.  Robledo converted the PAT and SMU has a 14-10 lead.  SMU’s scoring drive was 12-75-5:22.

First Quarter

Navy was charged with a personal foul on the kickoff and now start their drive on their own 13 yard line.  Tazh Maloy opened the drive with a 9 yard carry to the 22.  Facing a 4th-and-1 on their own 22, Navy converted with a one yard carry by Perry.  SMU challenged the spot and the spot was confirmed.  On the next play, Perry completed a 32 yard pass to Makekau to the SMU 45.  The first quarter ended with the score tied, 7-7.  Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper kept the ball on the ground in the hands of Perry and Carothers.  The Mids faced another 4th down and planned to go for it until a false start was called forcing a 4th-and-8 at the SMU 24.  Instead, Nichols avenged his miss in the first quarter by converting a 41 yard FG with 11:44 remaining in the second quarter. Navy leads SMU 10-7.  The Navy scoring drive was 11-63-5:37.

SMU’s CJ Sanders took Navy’s kickoff and returned it 100 yards for a TD.  Kevin Robledo converted the PAT and the score is now tied, 7-7.

Navy takes over on their own 35 as today’s attendance was announced - 33,732.  Three consecutive runs to start the drive was capped off by a 21 yard run by CJ Williams to the SMU 35.  A 9-yard carry by Keoni-Kordell Makekau moved the ball to the Mustang 26.  Three plays later and Chance Warren took a reverse pitch 22 yards for the TD.  Nichols converted the PAT and Navy’s scoring drive was 8-65-3:28.  Navy leads SMU 7-0.

The Navy defense forced a SMU three-and-out and the Mustangs punted to the Navy 35.

The Mids took over on their own 25 yard line following the SMU turnover.  Navy threw the ball on their third play from scrimmage and Malcolm Perry completed a 10 yard pass to Mychal Cooper for a Navy first down.  On their first fourth down attempt of the game, Navy faced a 4th-and-1 from their own 49.  Perry made a pitch on the left side to Jamale Carothers who sprinted 22 yards to the SMU 29 yard line.  Navy called their second timeout of the half following the Carothers run.  The Mids attempted a 41 yard field goal and freshman kicker Bijan Nichols missed wide right.

SMU started their drive on their own 25.  A 33 yard pass from Shane Buechele to Tyler Page to the Navy 30 yard line. On the next play Xavier Jones carried the ball 3 yards before fumbling the ball.  Mike Flowers forced the fumble that was recovered by Jackson Pittman. 

SMU has won the toss and elected to receive.

Pregame notes - 

Players to Watch


QB Malcolm Perry - 182 carries, 1159 yards, 16 TDs - 32 completions, 758 yards, 5 TDs
FB Nelson Smith - 105 carries, 520 yards, 7 TDs
WR Mychal Cooper - 12 receptions, 314 yards, 2 TDs

LB Diego Fagot - 69 tackles, 7.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF
DB Kevin Brennan - 53 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 INT
LB Jacob Springer - 51 tackles, 12 TFL, 7 sacks, 3 FF


QB Shane Buechele - 249 completions, 3195 yards, 28 TDs
RB Xavier Jones - 196 carries, 1089 yards - 18 TDs
WR James Proche - 88 receptions, 1008 yards, 12 TDs
WR Reggie Roberson, Jr. - 43 receptions, 803 yards, 6 TDs

LB Richard McBryde - 72 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 1 FR, 1 FF
LB Patrick Nelson - 61 tackles, 12 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FR, 1 FF
DE Deontae Scott - 29 tackles, 14 TFL, 8 sacks, 2 FF

Navy (7-2, 5-1 AAC) hosts SMU (9-1, 5-1 AAC) in Senior Day at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this afternoon at 3:30.  Both teams are still battling for a chance to play in the AAC Championship game scheduled for December 7.

Thirty-two seniors will play their last game in Annapolis this afternoon.  The seniors and their families will be recognized during pregame following the National Anthem and the flyover.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Navy Hosts SMU on Senior Day

Navy (7-2, 5-1 AAC) plays host to #21 SMU (9-1, 5-1 AAC) on Saturday afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The game will be a battle of two AAC West foes that are battling for a shot at the AAC championship game.  Both teams have one loss in the conference at the hands of Memphis.  If the winner of today’s game wins out and Memphis loses one of their final two games, today’s winner would represent the West Division in the AAC championship.

The game will be the final home game for 32 Navy seniors, including captains Paul Carothers, Nizaire Cromartie, Ford Higgins, and Malcolm Perry.  The Mids are have won their last 16 Senior Day contests with the last loss in 2002 against Connecticut.

The Mustangs are led by QB Shane Buechele, a transfer from Texas.  Buechele has thrown for 3,207 yards and 28 touchdowns.  The SMU passing offense is seventh in the nation with 328.1 yards per game.  Buechele has two talented targets in James Proche and Reggie Roberson Jr.  Proche has 88 receptions and 12 touchdowns.  Roberson has 43 catches and six touchdowns.

SMU is also capable of moving the ball on the ground.  Xavier Jones has rushed for 1,068 yards and 18 touchdowns.  Navy defensive coordinator, Brian Newberry will have a challenge in slowing down the SMU offense.  The Midshipmen defense is led by linebacker, Diego Fagot.  Fagot has 69 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and interception and a forced fumble.

Navy will counter SMU with the best rushing attack in the country.  The Mids average 349.3 yards per game.  The Mids passing offense is ranked #128, however they boast the most passing yards per attempt nationally with 23.51.

Malcolm Perry
Senior quarterback Malcolm Perry is the player to watch for Navy.  Perry leads the Navy rushing attack with 1,159 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.  Perry is complemented in the rushing game with fullbacks Nelson Smith and Jamale Carothers.  When Perry does go to the air, his main receiver is Mychal Cooper who has 12 receptions and two touchdowns.  CJ Williams also has two touchdown receptions on the year.

The Midshipmen travel to Houston next week and will face Army on December 14.  The AAC championship game is scheduled for December 7.