Saturday, October 21, 2023

#22 Air Force Dominates Navy, 17-6


Annapolis, MD - Air Force, the #22 ranked team in the country, dominated Navy in the first game to determine the winner of the Commander in Chiefs trophy in front a stadium attendance record crowd of 38,803.

The Navy offense was nonexistent until late in the game when the Mids scored their first touchdown when Tai Lavatai connected with Eli Heidenreich on a 10-yard TD pass with just 50 seconds remaining in the game.

Freshman, Braxton Woodson, got his first start of the year at quarterback.  Woodson struggled against the aggressive Air Force defense completing just 2-6 passes for 6 yards.  Braxton struggled running the ball as well carrying the ball 14 times for -14 yards including being sacked 4 times.  The struggles didn't fall only on the freshman quarterback's shoulders.  Navy's offense had ten 3-and-out series out of their 14 drives in the game.

Senior Tai Lavatai came into the game on Navy's first drive of the fourth quarter in an attempt to give a spark to the offense.  Lavatai had 3 carries for 8 yards and completed 13-23 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.  He also had two interceptions.

Air Force scored first in the game with a 94-yard touchdown pass from Zac Larrier to Dane Kinamon in the second quarter.  The touchdown was the longest play from scrimmage in stadium history.  The Falcons held the lead for the remainder of the game.

The Falcons finished the game with 288 offensive yards to the Midshipmen's 124.  Ninety-three of those yards came in the fourth quarter.  Air Force has won the past four games against Navy.

Navy has a bye week and will travel to Temple on November 4.  Air Force travels to Colorado State next Saturday.

Defensive Leader - Colin Ramos, Jr. LB. led the Navy defense with a season-high 11 tackles, along with his first sack of the year.

Day of Legends - Navy honored Roger Staubach with his #12 being painted on the field alongside Joe Belino (#27), the Naval Academy's only Heisman Trophy winners.

Former head coach, Paul Johnson was also honored for being inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame coming up in December.

Air Force Head Coach Troy Calhoun comments - On the closeness of the game - "I think there are enough resemblances both ways; certainly the effort of the young people that play.  They put a good bit into these.  Credit to both sides.  Navy was tremendous.  Their defense; there is a reason they had a shutout last week."

Navy Head Coach Brian Newberry - "First of all, hats off to Air Force.  That is a heck of a football team, and we knew that going into the game.  They really played lights out on defense today.  Offensively, we just weren't good enough."

Game Highlights - 

Navy Postgame Press Conference -