Navy's quick burst helps it trample Temple in 49-17 win Mids' first 5 possessions all result in touchdowns

November 09, 1997|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

In Sunday's editions, the high school attended by Navy football player Matt O'Donnell was reported incorrectly. O'Donnell went to Mount St. Joseph.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Maybe it was the noon starting time that played havoc with Temple's plans early in yesterday's game against Navy.

About all you have to know about the action until the outcome was pretty much decided midway through the second quarter is that the first five times Navy had possession, it scored touchdowns.

Off to a 32-point lead, the Midshipmen played the Owls evenly thereafter and squared their record at 4-4 with a 49-17 victory before 23,123 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.


The Mids' impressive burst from the gate was led by Chris McCoy, naturally. He ran for a pair of touchdowns while piling up 79 rushing yards in the first half alone and setting a school record for career touchdowns with 36.

The senior quarterback also passed for a pair of scores before the half, completing five of six, one a 41-yard bomb to sophomore Matt O'Donnell, the former Glenelg High athlete making his first reception as a Mid. It was also the first time a pass had been directed O'Donnell's way at Navy and he said, "I almost didn't know what to do when I found myself in the end zone."

McCoy added a third scoring pass in the fourth quarter, giving him seven for the season on just 49 completions. In building a 35-3 lead on its first five possessions, Navy rambled for 268 yards on 39 plays while the Owls (3-7) could muster just 23 yards in 18 plays.

Both McCoy and defensive leaders Gervy Alota and Kevin Lewis pointed out how well coach Charlie Weatherbie and his staff prepared Navy.

Regarding the team scoring five straight touchdowns, McCoy said, "We knew what they would be running defensively right along; and, we were executing well."

On the other side of the ball, free safety Alota said, "It's fun playing against a bunch of big guys like Temple had in the line [300 pounds-plus average from tackle to tackle]. They think they can run it down your throat. But you can run around them. You just don't want to get locked up with them."

Beginning with an 80-yard kickoff return to the Navy 14 by freshman Emarko Jackson near the end of the second quarter, Temple came to life with a score to make it 35-10 at intermission.

The Owls then started the third period with another touchdown, Pat Bonner hitting Kevin Walker with a 54-yard pass and run, before the Mids restored order.

"Playing here, we felt from the very beginning that we had to play catch-up," said Temple coach Ron Dickerson. "We need to have poise and keep our cool and we didn't."

As opposed to the first two quarters when Temple could advance the ball only 40 yards, it totaled 206 in the second half, most of it in the air. Navy went for 296 yards in the first 30 minutes alone on a field kept dry by the tarpaulin.

"Colgate's next," Weatherbie reminded. Ah, the beauty of a cushy schedule -- Temple, Colgate and Kent State -- between a disheartening loss against Notre Dame and the Army game Dec. 6.

Temple 3 .7 .7 0 -- 17

Navy .21 14 .7 7 -- 49

Next for Navy Opponent: Colgate

Site: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Record: 6-3

Yesterday: Beat Towson, 34-3

Pub Date: 11/09/97

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