Midshipmen threaten to topple Toledo, but tumble in end, 21-20

28-point underdog, Navy leads by 10 before loss

College Football

October 28, 2001|By Matt Markey | Matt Markey,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

TOLEDO, Ohio - With a performance that did not match its winless football record, Navy gave the once-beaten University of Toledo a good scare last night before falling, 21-20, in front of a Mid-American Conference-record crowd of 36,852 at the Glass Bowl.

The Midshipmen, 28-point underdogs, led 10-0 early in the second quarter, 10-7 at the half, and 17-14 in the third quarter, but could not avoid their seventh straight loss this season. Toledo moved to 6-1.

Leading 17-14 late in the third quarter, Navy fumbled the ball away on successive possessions, and Toledo turned the second fumble into the winning touchdown and a 21-17 lead.

"We let them back in it and found a way to lose, just like the last five weeks," Navy quarterback Brian Madden said.

The Midshipmen made a final push midway through the fourth quarter, but stalled at the Toledo 13 and had to settle for a 30-yard David Hills field goal that got them within a point. Relying on Heisman Trophy candidate running back Chester Taylor, Toledo consumed most of the remaining time with two lengthy possessions.

"Those two turnovers in the fourth quarter just killed us," Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie said. "To beat a good football team, you can't turn it over, and you've got to be able to stop them. We couldn't stop Taylor, and that was it."

Navy's Josh Brindel recovered a fumble at the 22 to stop Toledo's first drive. Madden then locked up the defense as he ran the option; he pitched to Tony Lane, who rolled for 38 yards to the Toledo 21. Three plays later, Madden scored on a 12-yard run - the only time Toledo has allowed points in the first quarter this season.

Toledo relied on Taylor to do most of the work in driving to the Navy 13, but Derek Jaskowiak got a hand on a 40-yard field-goal attempt by Todd France with about two minutes left in the opening quarter.

Navy drove back down the field and widened its margin to 10-0 on Hills' 42-yard field goal.

Late in the half, Taylor again did the bulk of the work in driving Toledo 80 yards. He scored a touchdown on a 7-yard run to cut Navy's lead to 10-7.

It did not take long for Toledo, ranked No. 23 before being upset at Ball State a week ago, to assert itself in the second half.

After taking the kick, the Rockets went 80 yards in four plays to take their first lead. Quarterback Tavares Bolden hit a wide-open Donta Greene over the middle for 57 yards to the Navy 9, and Taylor pounded into the end zone on the next play. Just 1:34 into the second half, the Rockets led 14-10.

Navy refused to roll over, though. On a pitch-and-pass play, wide receiver Chandler Sims threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Lane and gave Navy a 17-14 lead midway through the quarter.

After both team fumbled the ball, the Rockets marched 54 yards in seven plays and got a 13-yard touchdown on a pass from Bolden to tight end Andrew Clarke, good for a 21-17 lead less than two minutes into the final quarter. After Hills' field goal cut the deficit to 21-20, Toledo forced Navy to go three-and-out on its final possession.

"I think we were the better football team tonight," Madden said, "but until we prove that on the scoreboard, no one is going to take us seriously."

Madden finished with 121 yards on 24 carries, while Taylor had a season-high 195 yards on a career-high 38 carries for Toledo.

Navy 7 3 7 3 - 20

Toledo 0 7 7 7 - 21

Next for Navy

Opponent: Tulane

Site: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

When: Nov. 10, noon

Record: 2-7

Yesterday: Lost to Army, 42-35

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