Navy's 467 yards ground Kent, 38-24 Holley rushes for 188, Dingle for 151 to lift Mids to first win of season

September 20, 1998|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

After an eight-minute feeling-out period, Navy and Kent got down to the task of playing football last night and defense turned out to be a minute part of the process.

Behind the rushes of quarterback Steve Holley and fullbacks Irv Dingle and Matt Harden, Navy picked up 467 yards on the ground while thumping the Golden Flashes, 38-24, and squaring its record at 1-1.

Kent, in no way a match for the Mids moving the ball overland, was nonetheless a worthy opponent with its passing. The visitors moved the ball 359 yards through the air as quarterback Jose Davis hit 26 of 43 throws.

Most of them were directed to wispy wide receiver Eugene Baker (6 feet 2 and 165 pounds), who had 13 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, Baker had 15 catches against the Mids.

The teams combined for 900 yards total offense. It wasn't until Dingle, who rushed for 151 yards on 19 carries, plunged over from the 1-yard line five minutes into the fourth quarter, giving Navy a 38-17 lead, that the game appeared to be in the win column for the home team, however.

Still, Davis was in there pitching, hitting Baker with a 24-yard scoring pass with six minutes still remaining. At this point, Navy's defense stiffened -- finally.

The Mids built a 17-10 lead by halftime, the result of three long sustained drives in which fullbacks Dingle and Harden led a fearsome ground attack.

Given a chance to run the ball only 11 times in the opening loss to Wake Forest, the senior duo combined for 14 rushes and 148 yards during the first 30 minutes.

Trailing 3-0, the result of a 33-yard field goal by Kent's Dave Papich, Navy rumbled 70 yards on 11 plays to grab its first lead. Dingle rushed 13 yards from the visitors' 20 to the 7-yard line before losing his grip on the ball. Fortunately for the home team offensive tackle Doug Howard recovered the fumble in the end zone.

nTC Kent proceeded to conduct a drive of its own, covering 74 yards in 10 plays to take a 10-7 lead a minute into the second quarter.

The Golden Flashes showed they wouldn't discourage easily by following a 34-yard loss with a 55-yard pass play from Davis to Baker. Baker had a 15-yard reception wiped out on the previous play and a a 19-yard holding penalty was tacked on for good measure.

From Navy's 27 and after an 11-yard gain by DeMarlo Rozier, Davis hit Baker again for 10 yards to the 6 from where he rushed in for the score.

Again Navy launched a time-consuming counter, this one covering 80 yards with Holley rushing for 30 yards, Dre Brittingham 20 and Dingle 29, including the last 9 to give Navy a 14-10 lead. Holley finished with 188 yards on 29 carries.

Kent moved from its own 19 to the Navy 20, but came up empty when Papich was wide left from 37 yards.

Navy drove from its 20 to the Kent 2, Harden's rush of 48 yards being the big play in what turned out to be a 19-yard field goal by Tom Vanderhorst. An illegal formation penalty and a backfield mixup cost the Mids a touchdown.

Any thoughts that both offenses might be slightly winded after combining for 460 yards total offense in the first half were dispelled as soon as the third quarter was under way.

Navy needed only four plays and little more than a minute to travel 65 yards and move ahead 24-10. Holley covered the last 35 yards, forcing at least four missed tackles in the open field.

It took Kent several more plays and more time but the result was the same, a Davis-to-Baker 53-yard connection making the count Navy 24, Kent 17 with 10 minutes remaining in the period.

Navy's next foray covered 59 yards, a 22-yard burst by Dingle leading to Holley getting into the end zone from 6 yards out and the Mids were on top, 31-17.

Next for Navy

Opponent: Tulane

Site: Superdome, New Orleans

When: Saturday, 3: 30 p.m.

Record: 2-0

Yesterday: Idle

Pub Date: 9/20/98

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