Navy tops Toledo, 14-10, on touchdown pass at :30 Pace's second score of quarter is clincher

November 11, 1990|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Sun Staff Correspondent

TOLEDO, Ohio -- He sat with his head down, muttering to no one in particular. When he spoke, there was no doubt that University of Toledo defensive end Dan Williams was not a happy man.

"It's the most down I've been in a long time," said Williamsshaking his head. "It makes me feel real bad."

On a night they came to celebrate the $18 million in renovationto Glass Bowl Stadium, many of the 23,958 fans in attendance left with that same feeling. Navy had erased a 10-point deficit with two fourth-quarter touchdowns -- the last with 30 seconds left -- to steal a 14-10 win.

Bill Yancey sparked the victory with three interceptions, anJason Pace scored both touchdowns, the second on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Alton Grizzard, as Navy (4-5) won on the road for the first time this season. The defeat ended a 14-game home winning streak by Toledo (8-2), which last lost here Sept. 10, 1988, against Western Michigan.

"It was a great victory because we beat a good football teamand we beat them in their own back yard," Navy coach George Chaump said. "It makes it significant, knowing we beat a good football team. Our kids never quit."

His team wasn't in it for most of the game as thwishbone-formation offense that gave Notre Dame fits a week ago went nowhere against a Toledo defense that entered the game ranked 13th in the nation.

With Navy trailing, 10-0, entering the fourth quarter, Chaumabandoned the option for his usual pro set. And the Midshipmen, on their first full drive of the final period, got immediate results.

With Navy's best starting position of the day from its 41-yard lineGrizzard completed passes of 15 and 19 yards to Dave Berghult and Rob Holmberg, respectively, to get into Toledo territory. Then Pace (17 carries, 62 yards) took over with three straight runs -- the last for 9 yards and a touchdown with 9:48 left that helped cut the lead to 10-7.

Navy's defense held Toledo and, after the Rockets' Rusty Hannmissed a 42-yard field-goal attempt with 2:21 left, the Midshipmen had one last shot. Starting from the Navy 25, Grizzard hit split end B.J. Mason with a 45-yard pass down the left sideline on the drive's third play, putting Navy on the Toledo ,, 24.

Another completion to Mason -- along with a roughing-the-passepenalty -- gave the Midshipmen a first down on the Toledo 7. Two plays later, Grizzard faked a handoff up the middle and hit a wide-open Pace in the left corner of the end zone for the winning score with 30 seconds left.

"In the fourth quarter, we felt we could do what we wanted,Pace said. "They were tired and winded, and had been out there a long time. We knew we had to get the job done, and we did."

Toledo -- which had outscored opponents in the fourth quarter79-33, before yesterday -- had one last chance to win, but quarterback Dave Meger (12 of 20 for 156 yards) threw a pass that was intercepted by Yancey, his third, with 11 seconds left.

"I was in the right place at the right time," said Yancey, who had two interceptions for the season coming in. "We came in here with Toledo pretty much hyped up, and our backs were to the wall."

It won't show in the stats, but Yancey made probably thdefensive play of the game between Navy's two scoring drives. Starting from his 17-yard line with 4:15 left in the game, Toledo tailback Neil Trotter (27 rushes, 157 yards) burst up the right sideline and appeared on the verge of scoring a touchdown, but Yancey came out of nowhere to catch him at the Navy 17 after a 66-yard gain. That was when Hanna missed the 42-yard field-goal attempt.

"[Trotter] was ahead of the pack, and we never gave up and chased him down," Chaump said. "They missed the field goal, and we got another chance. We made some big plays."

Toledo, co-champion of the Mid-American Conference, haentered the day with an outside shot of going to the California Raisin Bowl as conference champion, but the Rockets' hopes were --ed earlier in the day, when Central Michigan earned the trip with a win over Ohio University. The Rockets, who entered the day as one of only 15 teams with just one loss, needed a win for an outside shot at another bowl.

"It's very disappointing. Our players worked very hard, and we were very focused," said Toledo coach Nick Saban. "Navy's a good football team and played well. Their offense is very difficult to defend with all the different things they do."

Navy's season appeared lost after a defeat by James Madisotwo weeks ago. But with two games remaining -- against Delaware and Army -- the Midshipmen have a realistic shot at their first winning season since 1982.

"It was great to see this type of fighting spirit -- it's one of thgreat thrills of coaching," Chaump said. "We didn't do much the first three quarters, but we decided to just wing it in the end and see what happens. And we beat a good team."

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