Mill wants seniors to take charge Wide receiver seeks goal of 3 straight winning years

Navy notebook

October 14, 1998|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

In the wake of the 49-7 embarrassment against Air Force on Saturday, Navy wide receiver Mark Mill said it is time for the seniors on the team to stand up and be counted.

"I was basically shellshocked by what happened at Air Force," said Mill, a senior from Indiana, Pa. "Most of my family was there, and I had to apologize for the way we played. It really killed me inside.

"But I'm tired of looking for reasons to explain why we're 1-4 at this point. That's what the seniors talked about on Monday. We're not talking about rebuilding. We want to be part of a class that enjoys three straight winning seasons. That's why all the seniors have to look in the mirror and take on added responsibility."

Coach Charlie Weatherbie was at a loss to explain his team's flat performance against a service rival that also features a multi-option offense.

"That's the worst game we've played since I've been here," said the fourth-year coach. "Like Army and Notre Dame, one game you shouldn't have to say a word about is Air Force," he said. "There's no reason for us to come out flat. I guarantee that I was ready to fight."

A good part of the Navy offense was missing against Air Force due to the absence of tailback Irv Dingle, who was sidelined with ankle and knee bruises. But that doesn't explain the defensive lapses and being down 35-0 at halftime.

Dingle, who has rushed for 364 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per carry, is expected back for the homecoming game against Colgate on Saturday, but Steve Holley (sore left shoulder) is expected to be replaced at quarterback by sophomore Brian Broadwater.

Broadwater, considered to have a stronger arm than Holley, overthrew several open receivers against Air Force.

Said Weatherbie: "In our system, because of all the play action, we should have a lot of open receivers. We've got to take advantage of our opportunities.

"Brian has the talent. Hopefully, he's played enough to get his feet wet."

No brush-off

Although Colgate is a Division I-AA school, Weatherbie is concerned with the Red Raiders' potent offense. After losing its opener to UConn, Colgate has won four straight, averaging 36.8 points and 502.8 yards offensively.

"They run every play known to man," Weatherbie said.

The Red Raiders' offense revolves around junior quarterback Ryan Vena, who has accounted for 307 yards in total offense per game. Vena needs 35 yards rushing against Navy to reach the 1,000-yard career mark.

Pub Date: 10/14/98

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