ANNAPOLIS, Md.—The Navy defense dominated the offense on Saturday morning in Navy’s first full scrimmage of the spring, winning 133-82.
Points were accumulated by the defense for coming up with a third down stop (four points), a fourth down stop (six points), a turnover (six points), a touchdown (six points) and a sack or a tackle for a loss (three points).
The offense scored points for making a first down (three points), for plays greater than 20 yards (four points) and a touchdown (six points).
When the offense or defense committed a penalty they lost two points and if it was a personal foul penalty the offending team lost five points.
“I like the way the defense played today,” said Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo. “We had way too many turnovers on the offensive side of the ball. The emphasis all camp on the defensive side of the ball is to get the ball out and they did a great job of that. The offense did a poor job of securing the ball.”
“We got some turnovers today and I thought a few guys stood out,” said Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green. “I thought Brye French stood out. He picked off a pass and made some good plays against the run. We gave up too much on the dive and we had too many missed tackles in the open field.”
Junior quarterback Trey Miller got the offense off to a good start, running for a 68-yard touchdown on the second play of the scrimmage and then hitting senior wide receiver Brandon Turner with a 33-yard pass on the very next play.
After Miller’s pass to Turner, the defense took over the scrimmage creating six turnovers, recording 13 tackles for a loss and coming up with six sacks the rest of the way.
Sophomore outside linebacker Josh Tate had the play of the day, batting down an option pitch by sophomore quarterback John Hendrick and then picking up the loose ball and returning it 20 yards for a touchdown.
Junior corner Jonathan Wev and senior linebacker Brye French both intercepted Miller, while Tate, sophomore linebacker David Thurston, junior nose guard Alex Doolittle and sophomore outside linebacker Paul Quessenberry all recovered fumbles. Quessenberry returned his fumble 70 yards for a touchdown.
Junior linebacker Shawn Reed led the defense in tackles with 10, including a sack and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Sophomore outside linebacker Chris Johnson recorded seven tackles and a tackle for a loss, while senior defensive end Collin Sturdivant had five tackles and a sack.
Sophomore fullback Quinton Singleton had a solid day for the offense, carrying the ball 10 times for 74 yards. Miller ran the ball eight times for 55 yards, but after his 68 yard run on his first carry lost 13 yards on his last seven carries. Sophomore fullback Noah Copeland carried the ball eight times for 34 yards, while senior fullback Prentice Christian had nine carries for 30 yards and a touchdown.
“Trey can run,” said Niumatalolo. “He has all the tools that we are looking for. He is fast and he can throw the football and Coach Jasper will continue to work with him. He has had a very good spring. He has had seven good practices, but today wasn’t one of his better days. He has to bounce back. He has to play well for us to be a good football team.”
“Trey has had a pretty decent spring, but he was bad today. He was awful,” said Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper. “We can’t have turnovers. We harp on ball security and not throwing interceptions. He had a great run to start the scrimmage, but you have to keep coming back. We need more consistency out of him. He’s hard on himself. He’s real quiet, but it’s killing him inside and I can tell that and that’s a good thing. We have something to work with.”
Miller and sophomore back-ups John Hendrick and Cody West combined to go 9-25 passing for 144 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Miller was 5-13 for 80 yards.
“It was a rough day for us,” said Jasper. “But it’s the spring and that’s what this is for. John Hendrick has to mature a lot. He had a bad practice yesterday and it carried over to today. John’s in the tank right now and it’s my job to pick these guys up and understand that this is a learning experience for them and we have to come back on Monday and get better. All three guys have a lot of tools and it’s my job to get them ready.”
Senior wide receiver Brandon Turner had two catches for 39 yards, while junior slot back Brian Williams had two catches for 34 yards. Copeland had one catch for 30 yards.
The Mids will practice Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week and will then scrimmage on Saturday morning at the stadium at a time to be announced.