Navy awash in woes, loses game, 2nd QB Boston College KO's Midshipmen, 28-0

September 20, 1992|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Staff Writer

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Poor George Chaump. Just four days ago he described his Navy team as having "as many problems" as any team in America. After yesterday's loss to Boston College, the problems for his team may have gotten worse.

Chaump has to be scratching his head and saying "why me" after watching another starting quarterback knocked out during a 28-0 loss to Boston College before a homecoming crowd of 32,116 at Alumni Stadium.

Senior Brian Ellis, making his first career start, sustained a broken jaw when he was hit while throwing a pass during a blitz at the end of the third quarter and is out indefinitely. Coming one week after losing starter Jim Kubiak to a dislocated shoulder, Chaump faces the task of preparing his third quarterback in as many weeks.

"I've never had two quarterbacks lost in a season," said Chaump, a dazed look on his face. "To lose one quarterback is a big loss. You lose two quarterbacks, and it's almost impossible to overcome offensively."

As if the Midshipmen (0-2) don't have enough offensive woes, for the second week in a row, they were held scoreless. Yesterday, marked the first time since 1974 that they have been shutout in back-to-back games (losing to Michigan, 52-0, and Boston College, 37-0). It also marked the first time since 1928 that the team opened the season with consecutive shutout losses (Navy fell to Davis & Elkins, 2-0, and Boston College, 6-0).

"I've never had two shutouts pitched in a row, either," Chaump said. "We've got to grow up fast. We're making so many mistakes. We've got to cut that out."

The mistakes took Navy out early. The Midshipmen were trailing 7-0 when defensive back Chad Chatlos intercepted a pass by Boston College quarterback Glenn Foley and returned it 11 yards. But Chatlos fumbled as he was being tackled, and Boston College fullback Dwight Shirley recovered. Nine plays later Chuckie Dukes (14 carries, 119 yards) scored from 4 yards, and the Eagles led 14-0 with 6:50 left in the half.

The mistake that took Navy completely out of the game came with 3:20 left in the half when Ellis -- one play after Navy defensive back Chris Hart intercepted his second pass -- was intercepted by Boston College cornerback Michael Reed, who ran 43 yards for the score and a 21-0 lead.

Boston College wrapped up its scoring on its first drive of the third quarter with Shirley (26 rushes, 150 yards -- 117 yards in the first half) scoring from 3 yards.

"We gave them a relatively easy touchdown before the half," Chaump said. "And then after the score right after halftime, it was 28-0 for a long time. I thought we would pick it up and play better."

Actually, the Midshipmen did. After recording three interceptions the first half, the defense began to mesh in the second half and recorded a successful goal-line stand early in the fourth quarter. Boston College, which had 272 yards in total offense in the first half, gained 172 in the second half.

"As a defensive squad, we grew up and found ourselves in the second half," said Hart, who had two interceptions and seven tackles. "Our first half wasn't that bad -- we just didn't make several key third-down plays. But we're just going to get better and better."

The Navy offense also appeared to be improving in the second half -- but anything would have been an improvement after the 148 yards in total offense in the opener against Virginia. In the third quarter yesterday, Ellis (13 of 28 for 109 yards, two interceptions) looked more comfortable facing a fierce Boston College rush. But his first start came to a crashing end when his jaw was broken while throwing an incomplete pass on Navy's final play of the third quarter.

"Ellis took a while to find his comfort zone," Chaump said. "It's tough to play quarterback especially when you're pressed into service. We had a couple of drives, but we just got caught in blitzes. We knew they were that kind of team."

With Ellis out, Chaump played Steve Seoane, another senior quarterback who had not taken a snap. Playing the fourth quarter, Seoane completed two of five passes for 27 yards.

"It was probably one of the worst situations I can come into because two of my best friends got hurt," Seoane said. "Brian's ** really busted his butt to get here, then gets his chance and breaks his jaw. It's tough."

What may be even tougher is Chaump's task of deciding who will lead the way until Oct. 24, when Kubiak is expected to return. Does he go with Seoane, who had knee surgery last zTC season? Or revamp the offense toward a running style and go with Jason Van Matre, a tailback who started six games last season at quarterback.

"Oh yes, I've been thinking about it," Chaump said. "We've got to do something.

"We just have to find a way to regroup. Other teams lose key personnel -- you just have to regroup."

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