From start, Mids finished, 46-21

Forcing six turnovers, BC takes in easy victory

College Football

October 20, 2002|By Dan Hickling | Dan Hickling,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Paul Johnson realized when he took over the Navy football program that there would be some hard days ahead.

But this many? Perhaps not.

Yesterday, his Midshipmen stumbled through yet another long afternoon and, as a result, suffered a 46-21 loss to Boston College.

"We've got to get better," said Johnson, the Mids' first-year coach. "When I went in there, we knew we had to get better. It's frustrating, but we're going to stick with it.

"We're going to keep working, and keep fighting and get better. That's they only thing I know what to do. Either that or quit, and we're not going to quit."

Overmatched from the outset, Navy (1-6) surrendered at least 40 points for the fifth time this season. And the two weaknesses that have hindered the Mids all season -- defense and turnovers -- again led to their downfall.

"Right now," Johnson said, "we'd have a hard time beating Annapolis High School."

Navy committed six turnovers (five on fumbles) against the Golden Eagles (4-2), upping its season total to 23. The Mids had come into the game with the second-worst fumble total in the nation (14), behind only Purdue (15).

"Guys weren't doing what we're taught to do," said Navy linebacker Lane Jackson. "In order for us to win a ballgame, we've got to start playing all four quarters."

The Mids did show some spark, managing to get three rushing touchdowns from backup quarterback Aaron Polanco. But even that was of little consolation to Johnson.

"Once we get in our little comfort level, once we get about three or four touchdowns behind, we play a lot better," he said. "And that's something we've got to learn to break."

Navy moved the ball well on its first three possessions, but couldn't get points out of any of them.

Taking the opening kickoff to the Boston College 26, the offense stalled.

Boston College countered with its first scoring drive, moving 74 yards in just five plays. Tailback Derrick Knight polished it off with a 22-yard burst through a huge hole through the left side of the line.

The porous Mids defense wasn't done allowing big plays.

After a promising scoring opportunity went by the wayside when a wide-open Amir Jenkins dropped a touchdown pass from Navy quarterback Craig Candeto, the Eagles quickly scored two touchdowns.

The first came on a 14-yard pass from Brian St. Pierre to Grant Adams. Then, on the first play of the second quarter, Knight plunged into the end zone from 2 yards.

Johnson pulled Candeto in favor of Polanco, who provided the Mids a spark. The backup led Navy 80 yards in 11 plays to its only score of the half, capping the drive himself with a 7-yard keeper.

That cut the deficit to 29-7, but the Eagles tacked on another score just before halftime.

Polanco started the second half and played two series before Candeto returned late in the third quarter.

Candeto's second stay on the field was a short one. He was injured early in the fourth quarter after he was hit by cornerback Will Blackmon, and fumbled deep in Eagles territory.

"He'll be OK," Johnson said of Candeto. "He just got knocked up pretty good."

Navy got that turnover back moments later, when BC backup quarterback Quinton Porter fumbled at his own 1.

Polanco returned. On the next play, he ran it in to make it 46-14. Polanco added another touchdown to make the score closer, but not necessarily respectable.

"The frustrating thing," Johnson said, "is that we're not going to be bigger or faster than anybody ... or `out-athlete' them. We've got to do things right. Right now, we don't, and that's a reflection on me, and everybody who's coaching."

NOTES: Despite Polanco's relative success, Johnson declined to say whether he was ready to make a change at quarterback. "The quarterback gets way too much blame and way too much credit," he said. ... Boston College coach Tom O'Brien is now 4-1 against his alma mater. ... Navy's John Skaggs uncorked a career-high 69-yard punt in the second quarter. ... The Mids' ground game piled up a season-high 380 yards, with five rushers (led by Candeto's 63) gaining 50 yards or more.

Navy 0 7 0 14 -- 21

Boston College 15 21 3 7 -- 46

First quarter BC--Knight 22 run (Sciortino kick), 9:44 BC--Adams 14 pass from St. Pierre (Fassel run), :53 Second quarter BC--Knight 2 run (Sciortino kick), 14:57 BC--Adams 10 pass from St. Pierre (Sciortino kick), 9:51 N--Polanco 7 run (Blumenfeld kick), 5:28 BC--Hazard 10 pass from St. Pierre (Sciortino kick), 2:20 Third quarter BC--FG Sciortino 40, 11:14 Fourth quarter BC--Brokaw 2 run (Sciortino kick), 13:27 N--Polanco 1 run (Blumenfeld kick), 9:10 N--Polanco 1 run (Blumenfeld kick), 2:34 A--41,322

Navy BC

First downs 22 22

Rushes-yards 65-380 41-189

Passing yards 66 280

Comp-Att-Int 5-10-1 18-27-0

Return Yards 14 29

Punts 3-48.3 4-46.5

Fumbles-Lost 5-5 2-2

Penalties-Yards 6-52 10-80

Time of possession 31:42 28:18

Rushing: Navy, Candeto 10-63, Weedo 2-61, Mathews 7-55, Eckel 15-52, Polanco 15-50, Roberts 5-45, McDonald 5-31, Lane 6-23. Boston College, Knight 19-138, Brokaw 12-38, St. Pierre 1-14, Dodd 8-5, Porter 1-(minus 6). Passing: Navy, Candeto 2-6-0-8, Polanco 3-4-1-58. Boston College, St. Pierre 17-25-0-274, Porter 1-2-0-6. Receiving: Navy, Sims 2-19, Weedo 1-29, Yarbrough 1-16, Eckel 1-2. Boston College, Hazard 5-85, Burke 5-65, Adams 3-44, Toal 1-30, Comella 1-29, Ryan 1-11, Barnes 1-10, Kashetta 1-6.

Next for Navy

Opponent:Tulane

Site:Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

When:Saturday, noon

Record:5-3

Yesterday:Beat Alabama-Birmingham, 35-14

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