Football: Falcons fall to Midshipmen in overtime
October 5, 2009
BOLLING AIR FORCE BASE, D.C. — U.S. Air Force Academy running back Savier Stephens rushed for 81 yards, but the Falcons football team came up short in a 16-13 overtime loss to the Naval Academy on Oct. 3 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.
Stephens helped set up for two field goals scored by Falcons kicker Erik Soderberg, and the Academy’s sole touchdown came by Anthony Wright’s interception in the second quarter of the game.
“We didn’t score enough points. Period,” said Troy Calhoun, the Falcons head coach. “If you don’t win the game, there’s plenty of work to do. There’s always plenty of work to do anyway. I like what we were doing on defense. We’ve got a lot of really capable guys on that side.”
Both teams played a tough game that went into overtime, thanks to a Falcons field goal with no time left in regulation. In overtime, the Midshipmen kicked a 38-yard field goal to put the Navy up by three, but the Air Force’s 31-yard field goal by Soderberg sailed wide left ending the game.
With two of the nation’s top rushing teams, their clash made an exciting game for the packed stadium with the Air Force gaining a total of 194 yards rushing and the Navy gaining 182.
The Falcons defense kept the Midshipmen at bay and were able to keep Midshipmen points off the scoreboard, allowing only one touchdown and three field goals.
The Air Force dominated in offensive yardage, but were unable to capitalize, forcing Brandon Geyer to punt five times. Two turnovers coming from each element of the offense kept the Falcons from taking the lead at any point in the game.
“It’s unbelievably tough,” said John Falgout, an Academy senior football player. “This was one of those games where you give your blood and your sweat and sometimes, in the end, even your tears.”
“By and large, physically it was an extraordinary football game,” Calhoun said.
Though the Navy has won seven straight games in the series, making this streak the second-longest in the rivalry, the Falcons still lead the overall series 25-17.
“It’s a heartbreaker,” said Academy senior Ben Garland. “But we’ve just got to put this behind us and get ready for the Mountain West (conference game) next week.”
Next week the Air Force will play at Falcon Stadium against the Texas Christian University’s Horned Frogs.