Looking to the 'second season'

NAVY BLUE AND GOLD

October 16, 1992|By Earl Schubert | Earl Schubert,Contributing Writer

The Navy football team, crushed by three opponents to open the season, has picked itself off the floor and responded aggressively to a seeming hopeless situation with a spirit that always has characterized football in Annapolis.

In the past two games against winning teams -- North Carolina and Air Force -- the Midshipmen were ahead in the final quarter before losing.

It is difficult to recognize that the first half of the season is history. Locker-room talk centers around what is being designated as the "second season" that begins with the homecoming battle with a strong University of Delaware team a week from tomorrow.

An air of confidence and excitement permeates practice sessions and the team believes it's ready as never before.

The 18-16 loss at Air Force Academy last week was the closest Navy has come to defeating the Falcons since 1982.

Coach George Chaump continues to be encouraged by the defense, which features two sophomores and three freshmen in the secondary to support All-East candidate Chad Chatlos. Another sophomore, Grover Favors, is emerging as a standout atdefensive left end.

The offense continues to improve, and the open date this week is welcome. Running the newly developed I-bone attack is the versatile Jason Van Matre, who threw a 63-yard touchdown to flanker Mike Jefferson against Air Force.

Fullback Cleavon Smith, tailback Jeff Williams and flanker Jimmy Screen -- all juniors -- have added new life to the running attack.

As for Navy's homecoming opponent, veteran coach Tubby Raymond (218-85-2) brings his Fightin' Blue Hens into Annapolis for their ninth meeting with the Mids. The overall record stands at 4-4. Delaware trounced Boston University last week, 49-14.

Meanwhile, Navy's lightweight football team takes on Pennsylvania at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.

Led by Coach Gene Boley, the team features quarterback Matt Kirby leading a high-scoring offensive attack, with tight end Ed Peyton as one of his favorite passing targets and Todd Rampey running well.

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