PHILADELPHIA -- The Navy players who rushed to take their jerseys off after yesterday's 24-3 victory over Army yesterday were not doing so to catch the Veterans Stadium breeze. They did so to display the blue shirts with a star and the word "win" printed on the front, a gift they were given by supporters of the team before leaving the hotel for the stadium.
"We were told to just wear the shirts and think about what it said," said tight end Kevin Hickman. "It really picked us up."
That was apparent in Hickman's case, as he caught a 12-yard pass from Jason Van Matre in the fourth quarter for his first career touchdown.
"This was a heck of a game to score my first one," said the plebe tight end, who caught four passes for 36 yards.
* Army finished the game with 182 yards rushing -- 122 yards below the team's average going in. The team's previous low rushing was 193 yards against Air Force on Nov. 9.
* When Chad Chatlos returned an interception 58 yards that set up a field goal by Tim Rogers in the fourth quarter, it was Navy's longest interception return of the season. The two interceptions by the junior defensive back gave him a team high of four for the season.
* The 21-point margin of victory was the largest in the series since Navy defeated Army, 42-13, in a 1983 game played at the Rose Bowl.
Navy's win gives the academy a 43-42-7 edge in the series.
* Navy's 10-0 scoring advantage in the second half marked the second time this season that the Midshipmen had outscored an opponent in the second half (Navy outscored William & Mary by 14-9 in the second half of its 26-21 loss on Sept. 21). For the season, Navy was outscored in the second half by 169-40.
* Navy co-captain and linebacker Byron Ogden left Annapolis fuming after the send-off pep rally Friday. From the top of a building, an exchange student from Army had playfully poured flour on the Mids players.
"I was so furious I wanted to kill that guy," Ogden said. "OK, it was a good prank. They got us. But I was still thinking about it before the game, the gall of that guy. I came in today still wanting to kill."
Ogden led Navy's defense with 15 tackles.
* Van Matre was cruising around end in the third quarter when he was halted by, of all people, side judge Jerry McGee. McGee couldn't get out of the way, causing Van Matre to fumble.
"I saw this man in white," Van Matre said. "I asked why he did that." He didn't get an answer.
* The last time Army was restricted to three points against Navy was in the 3-3 tie in 1981.
The Cadets' 182 yards rushing yesterday was their lowest total of the season. The Mids held Army to 74 yards of total offense in the first half, by far their best opening-half effort of the year. The previous low was 126 against Air Force.
* Only once all season, in a loss to Boston College, did Army fail to produce a 100-yard rusher. Quarterback Myreon Williams reached the plateau for the fifth time with 106 yesterday. Williams became the starter in late September after Willie McMillian suffered a season-ending knee injury.
* Navy had scored first in nine of 10 games before yesterday. Army scored first with a field goal, but that finished the Cadets
for the day.