Navy wilts, BC blooms in 2nd half Fake punt pushes Eagles to 43-38 shootout victory

September 29, 1996|By Jim Fenton | Jim Fenton,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Seventeen years after its last 3-0 start, Navy seemed poised to extend its season-opening win streak to three games yesterday afternoon.

The Midshipmen had built a 14-point lead lead over Boston College less than three minutes into the second half and were chewing up rushing yards thanks to junior quarterback Chris McCoy (33 carries, 183 yards).

But BC scored on its first four possessions of the second half and held on for a 43-38 victory before 44,500 at Alumni Stadium.

"We were cautiously optimistic when we were ahead," Navy linebacker Clint Bruce said. "When you play a team like BC, you know that they are not going to fold no matter how far you are up. Any legitimate team is going to keep fighting until there is no time left on the clock. We didn't do the job that we needed to do to contain them."

Said McCoy, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for another: "A loss like this definitely hurts, but they played good ball."

After Navy went in front 29-15 with 12: 06 remaining in the third quarter on a 4-yard run by Omar Nelson (118 yards, 14 carries) to conclude a six-play, 89-yard drive, BC began its comeback. An eight-play, 65-yard drive began the comeback. The touchdown came on a 22-yard run by Omari Walker on fourth-and-one.

BC quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (19-for-32, career-high 292 passing yards) pulled the Eagles even at 29-29 when he scored on a 12-yard run with 3: 01 to go in the quarter.

The key play of that drive came on fourth-and-10 from the Navy 44. BC sent reserve quarterback Eric Olson into punt formation. He completed a pass to linebacker Markell Blount, setting up the Eagles (1-2) at the 23.

"We knew (on the sideline) they were running the fake punt," Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie said. "We couldn't get a timeout called.''

Navy did regain the lead on the second play of the final quarter when Tom Vanderhorst kicked a 42-yard field goal, but the passing of Hasselbeck and running of Walker (career-high 143 yards) were too much for the Mids.

BC went ahead 36-32 on a third-down, 18-yard scoring pass from Hasselbeck to Todd Pollack with 12: 24 to go, and Hasselbeck connected with Dennis Harding on an 11-yard pass with 5: 48 to play to make it 43-32.

Navy went 82 yards in 15 plays and McCoy passed 4 yards to Corey Schemm for a touchdown in the final minute.

McCoy had given Navy a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard run on its first possession. He also had a 27-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first quarter to make it 14-3. McCoy was brilliant in directing the option as Navy gained 322 rushing yards.

"What they do, they do as well as you can do it," BC coach Dan Henning said. "If we have another altercation somewhere in the world, I'd like to have Chris McCoy handling any offense we mount against somebody. To do what they do and not turn the football over, that's outstanding."

Navy failed on two scoring chances in the first quarter. McCoy overthrew an uncovered receiver headed for the end zone, and cornerback Sean Andrews couldn't hold on for an interception in Navy territory with a wide open field ahead.

The Midshipmen fell behind 15-14 in the second quarter on a 4-yard touchdown reception by Harding and a 1-yard run by Walker, but Nelson put Navy back on top 22-15 at the break with a 3-yard run with 2: 51 to go.

Next for Navy

Opponent: Duke

Record: 0-4

Site: Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis

When: Saturday, noon

Thursday: Lost to Georgia Tech, 48-22.

Pub Date: 9/29/96

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