Stanford ends Navys home run, 41-38

Home opener is close call, but once again, Mids come up field goal short

September 11, 2005|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Navy's bid to step forward to another level of Division I-A football stalled again last night when a stronger, more talented Stanford team controlled much of the second half and earned a 41-38 intersectional victory at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

The result halted an eight-game home winning streak for the luckless Midshipmen, who were stymied in their second attempt this season to upset a member of a major Bowl Championship Series conference.

Stanford scored on four of its first five second-half possessions and Navy (0-2) couldn't keep pace with a high-powered offense fueled by the passing of Trent Edwards and the running of Anthony Kimble and Jason Evans.

A 65-yard drive to the end zone with the second-half kickoff - capped by Kimbles score from the 3 - gave the Cardinal the lead and Navy played catch-up the rest of the night, always tantalizing, but never quite getting there.

Gerren Crotchet traveled 46 yards on a reverse to increase the margin to 35-24 with three minutes remaining in the third period and a 40-yard field goal by Michael Sgroi widened the gap to 14 on the second play of the final period.

Navy responded with a 54-yard touchdown from Lamar Owens to Marco Nelson, who was wide-open on the left side of the field and was merely brushed as he raced to the end zone for his third score of the game. But Sgroi followed with a 47-yard field goal, increasing the lead to 41-31.

With reserve quarterback Brian Hampton running the attack, Navy roared back to within three after stopping the Cardinal on downs at the Stanford 38.

Adam Ballard scored his first career touchdown to cap the march, but a subsequent onside kick was recovered by the Cardinal at the Navy 48, and Stanfords possession ran the clock down to 1:34 remaining.

The Midshipmen couldn't move the ball under Hampton on their last series and Stanford consumed the rest of the time. In its opener, Navy fell to Maryland of the Atlantic Coast Conference, 23-20.

An action-filled first half ended dramatically when Edwards fumbled away the ball at the Navy 1 as the clock expired, preserving a 21-21 tie.

Udeme Udofia intercepted Owens at the Cardinal 38 with 1:20 remaining in the second period and Edwards quickly connected with 6-foot-7 Evan Moore for a 33-yard pickup to the Navy 29. Moore was injured on the play and taken off the field on a stretcher.

Stanford then moved the ball quickly to the 1 on an Edwards scramble, but he was hammered by three Midshipmen on a rollout and could not hold on to the ball during the final play.

The game began as if Stanford would thoroughly dominate. In the opening quarter, the Midshipmen managed just 10 yards on 13 rushes, but managed to stay within 14-7 when an Eric Shuey punt was fumbled away by David Marrero and Nelson picked up the ball and dashed 17 yards for a touchdown.

That made it 7-7, but on the ensuing kickoff, T.J. Rushing rambled 93 yards down the right side for a touchdown to regain the lead for the Cardinal. Rushing was sixth in the country last season in kickoff return average.

After Navy had stalled on its opening drive and punted, Edwards drove Stanford 73 yards in 10 plays to a 7-0 advantage, hitting Moore at the back of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown.

The Midshipmen finally got their ground attack in gear in the second period, primarily on pitches to the slotbacks. Freshman Karlos Whittaker collected his first career touchdown, dashing 44 yards to the end zone. Joey Bullens second extra point made it 14-14.

It was the first time Navy had ever hosted a Pac-10 school in Annapolis, and a crowd of 35,670 was treated to a topsy-turvy 30 minutes in the season opener for the Cardinal.

Stanford 14 7 14 6 -- 41

Navy 7 14 3 14 -- 38

First quarter

Stan-Moore 17 pass from Edwards (Sgroi kick), 8:22.

Navy-Nelson 19 fumble return (Bullen kick), 2:34.

Stan-Rushing 93 kickoff return (Sgroi kick), 2:22.

Second quarter

Navy-Whittaker 44 run (Bullen kick), 13:34.

Navy-Nelson 1 run (Bullen kick), 5:33.

Stan-Frank 2 run (Sgroi kick), 2:31.

Third quarter

Stan-Kimble 3 run (Sgroi kick), 12:30.

Navy-FG Bullen 39, 10:21.

Stan-Crochet 46 run (Sgroi kick), 3:00.

Fourth quarter

Stan-FG Sgroi 40, 14:47.

Navy-Nelson 54 pass from Owens (Bullen kick), 12:38.

Stan-FG Sgroi 47, 7:13.

Navy-Ballard 4 run (Bullen kick), 2:09.

A-35,670.

..........................Stan ............Navy

First downs 22 23

[ Rushes-yards 35-181 54-210

Passing 235 248

Comp-Att-Int 21-33-0 15-29-2

Return Yards 30 19

Punts-Avg.6-40.2 7-49.3

Fumbles-Lost2-1 2-0

Penalties -Yards 3-35 3-25

Time of Possession 27:47 32:13

Rushing-Stanford, Evans 10-63, Kimble 11-59, Crochet 1-46, Edwards 7-12, Frank 4-2, team 2-(minus 2). Navy, Whittaker 7-110, Ballard 13-37, Nelson 7-34, Campbell 4-13, Hall 6-12, Owens 10-8, Singleton 1-3, McCoy 1-(minus 1), Hampton 5-(minus).

Passing-Stanford, Edwards 21-33-0-235. Navy, Owens 12-18-2-193, Hampton 3-10-0-55, Kaheaku-Enhada 0-1-0-0.

Receiving-Stanford, Frank 6-45, Moore 3-66, Kimble 3-28, Bradford 2-29, McCullum 2-27, Crochet 2-19, Evans 2-18, Horgan 1-3. Navy, Nelson 4-98, Tomlinson 4-40, Ballard 3-36, Hines 2-22, Barnes 1-34, Campbell 1-18.

Next for Navy

Matchup : Navy (0-2) at Rice (0-0)

When: Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

Radio: 1430 AM

Yesterday: Rice played at UCLA.

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