Navy tunes up for Army with 35-7 rout of Tulane McCoy relieves Fay at QB, sparks win in home finale

November 19, 1995|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

It was a perfect ending for Navy's 21 seniors playing their final home game yesterday and an overpowering display of offense and defense as the Midshipmen trounced Tulane, 35-7, before a crowd of 19,815 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

"You couldn't have asked for a better ending at home," said safety and co-captain Andy Thompson.

"We gained momentum by playing well against Notre Dame and won three of our last four games," he said. "We're gaining momentum, getting stronger and stronger and coming together

just in time for the Army game [Dec. 2 in Philadelphia]."

Senior end Andy Person (two sacks, four tackles) keyed the rejuvenated defense that limited the Green Wave to 186 total yards, only 26 rushing.

Senior wideout Matt Scornavacchi broke a Navy record with an 87-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.

But it was freshman quarterback Chris McCoy who provided most of the offensive fireworks, running for two touchdowns and passing for two more as Navy evened its record at 5-5. It gives the Midshipmen an opportunity to enjoy their first winning season since 1982.

McCoy kept constant pressure on the Tulane defense after replacing sophomore Ben Fay early in the second quarter.

Navy squandered three scoring opportunities before McCoy triggered the rout with an 11-play, 72-yard drive.

He capped the march with a fourth-down, 17-yard pass to LeBron Butts in the end zone.

McCoy, who three weeks ago had lost his starting job to Fay, ran for 108 yards on 17 carries. It gave the Georgia native 725 yards rushing for the season, shattering the record for Navy quarterbacks set by Alton Grizzard (633) in 1989.

Under Fay's direction, the Mids came away empty after driving to the Tulane 24-, 27- and 7-yard lines, with Jason Covarrubias missing a 28-yard field-goal attempt on the third march.

"We were moving the ball in the first half, but not getting in the end zone," said coach Charlie Weatherbie. "We went to McCoy to try to find a spark, just like we did when we turned to Ben Fay a few weeks ago."

Navy turned its shaky 7-0 halftime lead into a 35-0 advantage in the fourth quarter before reserve Tulane quarterback Tracey Watts ended the shutout with a 58-yard scoring pass to O'Neal Tutein with 3:22 left.

Only last week, the Green Wave (2-9) had shown signs of coming together offensively in a 45-40 loss to Rutgers. And freshman quarterback Shaun King had thrown for 372 yards.

But King was totally frustrated by the swarming Navy defense, completing only 11 of 28 passes for 93 yards with two interceptions.

Tulane's inability to move the ball baffled Buddy Teevens, in jeopardy of losing his job after an 8-37 record in four seasons as head coach.

"It was embarrassing," said Teevens. "We did all right defensively in the first half, but we couldn't get anything done offensively. We couldn't run, and we couldn't throw the ball downfield, even though guys were open."

Navy had no such problems once McCoy got the offense in gear. Everyone seemed to join in the fun in the second half. The Midshipmen rolled up 493 yards, including 335 on the ground.

Sophomore fullback Tim Cannada rushed for 87 yards, including a 6-yard burst for Navy's second touchdown, and sophomore slotback Patrick McGrew added 55 yards on only four carries.

But perhaps the most satisfying play on this chilly afternoon was Scornavacchi's record grab.

Navy was leading 21-0 late in the third quarter when McCoy threw a 40-yard spiral that Scornavacchi dropped in the open.

In the fourth quarter, Scornavacchi entered the record book with his 87-yard TD that was set up by a 10-yard unsportsmanlike penalty called against Thompson after his interception at the Navy 23.

Weatherbie criticized Thompson for celebrating by tossing the ball into the stands.

"That was a selfish thing to do," he said. "You've got to control your emotions."

But Weatherbie's anger was short-lived.

On first down from the 13, McCoy unleashed another long pass that Scornavacchi caught in stride on the 30 and outraced the secondary to complete the record play.

Now the fast-closing Mids have two weeks to prepare for Army, which has won the last three meetings by a total of five points.

"We're going to block out all our emotions of today," said Person. "We've still got our biggest game left on our schedule."

Next for Navy

Opponent: Army

Site: Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia

When: Dec. 2, noon

Record: 4-5-1

Yesterday: Beat Bucknell, 37-6.

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