Get-tough attitude gives Navy its first win, 48-28 over Kent; Mids dominate, handing Flashes 15th loss in row


KENT, Ohio -- So far, the Navy football season has gone exactly the way it appeared it might on paper.

The opener brought a predictably lopsided defeat at the hands of No. 10 Georgia Tech and, last night at Dix Stadium, the Midshipmen did just what they were supposed to, dishing out Kent's 15th consecutive defeat, 48-28, before a subdued crowd of 12,872.

Navy (1-1) dominated the game with its triple-option ground attack, scored touchdowns on its first three possessions and never was in any real peril. The victory broke a five-game Navy losing streak dating back to 1998 and increased its edge in the series to 4-0.

As in last year's meeting -- when Jose Davis completed 24 passes for 359 yards -- the Golden Flashes had a few big moments with their potentially dangerous air game, but two Davis scoring throws to tight end Jason Gavadza were insufficient to keep pace with Navy's ground forces, who amassed 399 yards.

Kent (0-2) made the final more respectable with two late touchdowns, the second on a 96-yard kickoff return by Shawn Shoemaker, whose two first-half fumbles were recovered by the Midshipmen and turned into 14 points.

The early turnovers were cited by both sides as the pivotal elements of the game, which saw an upgraded intensity from Navy.

"We played way too reserved last week, like we were scared," said Navy defensive end Brad Wimsatt, who caused one of the early fumbles and recovered a second. "We can't do that. We had to come out and smash some heads around. Our No. 1 goal this week was to fly around and make things happen."

Kent began its own undoing by being charged for holding on the first play from scrimmage to nullify a big gain and, six plays later, Shoemaker fumbled away the ball to Wimsatt on an end-around. Navy took advantage of the miscue to reach the end zone in seven plays, with quarterback Brian Broadwater running in for the first of his two touchdowns.

That sequence proved typical of the first quarter, digging a hole for the Golden Flashes, who have not had a winning season since 1987, when they were 7-4. Their last win was in November of 1997 against Bowling Green.

After Navy forced Kent to punt from its end zone, it drove 32 yards in four plays for its second touchdown. Then Davis was sacked, fumbled and Gino Marchetti recovered to set up a third touchdown drive from the Kent 31.

All of a sudden, it was 21-0 and the Golden Flashes were in big trouble.

"We felt like we didn't go out and attack Georgia Tech," said Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie. "We didn't play loose and played like we were afraid to make a mistake. The guys turned it around. We're pleased the way our defense came to play."

Kent answered briefly with Davis' first scoring strike to Gavadza, but missed a long field goal attempt and then Shoemaker fumbled again after a solid punt return, and Navy punter Tray Calisch recovered to set up a 60-yard scoring drive culminated by Broadwater to make it 28-7.

"Navy jumped out on us and controlled the game" said Kent coach Dean Pees, a former assistant at the academy. "It was hard for us to get back in it."

Navy 21 7 6 14 -- 48

Kent 7 0 7 14 -- 28

First quarter

Navy -- Broadwater 5 run (Shubzda kick), 9: 50

Navy -- Vereen 4 run (Shubzda kick), 6: 02

Navy -- Terrell 3 run (Shubzda kick), 3: 20

Kent -- Gavadza 29 pass from Davis (Pavich kick), 0: 18

Second quarter

Navy -- Broadwater 2 run (Shubzda kick), 6: 34

Third quarter

Navy -- FG Shubzda 25, 11: 05

Kent -- Gavadza 66 pass from Davis (Pavich kick), 9: 40

Navy -- FG Shubzda 21, 0: 45

Fourth quarter

Navy -- Rampani 6 pass from Broadwater (Shubzda kick), 8: 41

Kent -- Davis 7 run (Pavich kick), 4: 33

Navy -- Haines 8 run (Shubzda kick), 2: 53

Kent -- Shoemaker 96 kickoff return (Pavich kick), 2: 36

A -- 12,872.

Navy Kent

First downs 30 18

Rushes-yards 69-399 26-101

Passing 187 279

Comp-Att-Int 14-18-0 20-36-0

Return Yards 57 261

Punts-Avg. 4-42.0 4-37.3

Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-3

Penalties-Yards 3-41 8-121

Time of Possession 35: 47 24: 13

Rushing: Navy, Broadwater 24-137, Lambert 17-99, Terrell 10-44, Haines 5-36, Madden 5-31, Vereen 4-25, Fay 1-17, Brittingham 3-10. Kent, Davis 12-61, Rozier 10-33, Murphy 3-4, Shoemaker 1-3.

Passing: Navy, Broadwater 18-14-0 187. Kent, Davis 36-20-0 279.

Receiving: Navy, Williams 5-110, Rampani 3-33, Brittingham 3-14, O'Donnell 2-27, Vereen, 1-4. Kent, Shoemaker 5-57, Bostick 5-45, Gavadza 4-115, Curry 2-31, Rozier 2-12, Gamble 1-15, Reikowski 1-4.

Next for Navy

Opponent: Boston College , Site: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

When: Saturday, noon

Record: 1-0 , Yesterday: Idle

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