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(Saturday, October 1st)
Final Score: Air Force 35, Navy 34 (OT)
Annapolis, MD (Sports Network) - A blocked PAT in overtime proved to be the difference as the Air Force Falcons slipped by the Navy Midshipmen, 35-34, as part of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy series.
After fighting their way back from 18 points down in the fourth quarter, the Navy Midshipmen (2-2) managed to force overtime where they eventually took a six-point lead, but a costly penalty forced the hosts to attempt a much longer PAT which was consequently blocked by the Falcons (3-1) as they posted their second straight win.
Tim Jefferson led the way for the Falcons as he converted 9-of-10 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown, while also contributing with 60 yards and two TDs on the ground on 18 carries. Asher Clark was responsible for 91 yards and two TDs on eight rushing attempts for the visitors.
Navy was paced by quarterback Kriss Proctor who converted 14of-24 passes for 132 yards and a score, the signal-caller also adding 134 yards and three touchdowns on the ground as well. Alexander Teich gained a game-high 148 yards on 35 attempts.
The Falcons took the initial possession 63 yards on just four plays, culminating with a 52-yard touchdown run by Ty MacArthur to put the visitors up, 7-0. Later in the period Jefferson directed a more intense 13-play, 80- yard drive which finished up with a two-yard TD run by the quarterback
Navy answered on its next possession as kicker Jon Teague converted a 25-yard field goal to make the score 14-3 heading into the second quarter.
The only points of the second period came courtesy of a 23-yard touchdown run by Asher to push the Falcons to a 21-3 advantage at the break.
As was the case in the second frame, only one scoring play was recorded in the third quarter when Proctor reached the end zone on a two-yard run for Navy, cutting the deficit to 21-10.
Just five seconds into the fourth period, Clark capped off an eight-play, 89- yard drive by Air Force with a six-yard TD run.
Trailing by a score of 28-10 early in the fourth, Navy went on the attack with 19 unanswered points, beginning with a seven-yard touchdown run by Proctor. Teague contributed with a 37-yard field goal with 2:04 remaining in regulation to make the score 28-20.
The Midshipmen recovered the subsequent onside kick and proceeded to move the ball down the field, with Proctor escaping heavy pressure at one juncture to move the hosts closer to a much-needed touchdown.
On third-and-goal from the five-yard line, Proctor floated the ball over the middle and into the waiting hands of Gee Gee Greene for the touchdown. Trailing by a score of 28-26, Navy was forced to go for two points with just 19 seconds left to play and Teich accepted an option flip on the left side and bowled his way over the pylon and into the end zone to knot the score at 28-28 and send the meeting into overtime.
In the extra session Navy took possession first and worked the ball down inside the three-yard line and appeared to be stopped, but the Midshipmen opted to go for a first down and consequently landed in the end zone when Proctor stormed over the right side.
However, Navy was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct during the TD celebration, moving the PAT back considerably, and Air Force took advantage by blocking the attempt in order to limit the Navy lead to six points.
The Falcons threw the ball a couple of times on their possession, one being complete and the other being flagged for interference in the end zone, giving Air Force a golden opportunity on the doorstep. On third-and-goal, inside the one-yard line, Jefferson bulled his way over the goal line to tie the game, and then kicker Parker Herrington completed the comeback with a successful PAT to give the visitors the thrilling one-point triumph.
Air Force, which gained just 223 yards rushing and 359 yards of total offense overall, entered the weekend ranked first in the nation in rushing with an average of 411.7 ypg, while the Midshipmen were fourth with 358.3 ypg on the ground.
The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, which is awarded to each season's winner of the triangular college football series among the three service academies, has been split evenly between Air Force and Navy over the last 14 years, with Army on the outside looking in.
10/01 17:15:45 ET