ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Army sprint football earned its 31st College Sprint Football League title Friday night with a 32-30 victory at service academy rival Navy. The Black Knights finish the 2010 season with a 5-1 mark while the Mids drop to 5-2.
Army cracked the scoring column midway through the first quarter after Navy's offense was pinned deep in their own field. The Mids' punt kept the ball on their side of the field, as Army took over at the Navy 46-yard line. Short runs by sophomore quarterback Javier Sustaita and junior Mike Meier brought the ball up to the 25-yard line, when Sustaita connected with sophomore Cody Nyp for the touchdown pass. With a good extra point kick by sophomore Kevin Scruggs, Army took a 7-0 lead.
Navy responded on its ensuing drive, gaining solid field position after a 48-yard kickoff return by Jordan Foley. Navy's senior quarterback Tyler Terronez hit Drew Presnell with a 25-yard touchdown pass to knot the game at 7-7 to end the first quarter.
After the Black Knights turned it over on downs at the Navy 34, the Mids marched up the field, succeeding on a 39-yard field goal attempt.
After Army went three-and-out, the Black Knight defense got the ball back as sophomore Rob Reckner forced a fumble which classmate Caleb Magnuson recovered at the Navy 13-yard line. Sophomore Tim Meier ran in a three-yard touchdown to put Army ahead, 13-10. Navy's Mike Nolan blocked Scruggs' extra point attempt, keeping the score at 13-10 to end the half.
Navy opened the second half at its own 40-yard line the Army kickoff landed out of bounds. A pair of pass interference calls against the Black Knights set Navy up deep in Army territory, capped by David Williams rushing in for a five-yard touchdown midway into the third quarter. Adrian Montencinos connected on the extra point, giving Navy a 17-13 lead.
Tim Meier took over at quarterback on Army's first drive of the second half, completing 3-of-5 passes to get into Navy territory. Older brother Mike Meier took the ball from the 12-yard line into the end zone as the Black Knights regained the lead, 19-17. Army went for a two-point conversion, but failed on a pass attempt.
After a three-and-out by the Mids, the Black Knights started their ensuing drive at their own three-yard line. Tim Meier connected with junior Ben Johnson at the Army 30, followed by a 12-yard rush by Mike Meier. Tim Meier saw an opening on the following play, running 58 yards for the touchdown. Scruggs' extra point missed, leaving Army's lead at 25-17.
With Navy driving to midfield on its next possession, senior captain Carlos Cook forced the ball out of Marty Meehan's hands as junior JP Cooper recovered for the Black Knights. Tim Meier completed a pair of passes to Tom Jeffers and James McCarthy, moving Army up to the Navy 23. After a short gain, Meier ran in for his third TD, running 21 yards for the score with under a minute remaining in the third quarter. Scruggs' extra point attempt was good, extending Army's lead, 32-17.
Both offenses sputtered to open the final quarter until Terronez completed a 31-yard pass to Jojo Catrini, setting up a three-yard TD run by Williams to pull Navy within eight, 32-24, with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
After consecutive three-and-outs by the Black Knight offense, the Mids got the ball back at their own 37-yard line with just under four minutes left. Terronez led the Navy drive with a pair of deep passes, connecting with Erik Erlandson for a 17-yard gain and Darrin McElroy 32 yards to the Army six-yard line. With 27 seconds remaining, Williams ran in a three-yard score, pulling Navy within two, 32-20.
On the two-point conversion attempt, the Black Knights were whistled for pass interference, giving the Mids another chance at tying the score. Army's defense made its first of two key plays in the final minute, denying Williams' one-yard rush attempt to retain the Black Knights' 32-30 lead.
Michael Delong's on-side kick attempt was a success as Navy recovered the ball on its own 44-yard line. In need of only a field goal to win the game, the Mids opened the drive with an 18-yard pass completion to the Army 38. Terronez missed the mark on the following play, setting up a second-and-10 with time winding down.
With the game on the line, Terronez dropped back to pass with under 10 seconds remaining. Army senior linebacker Eric Shirley made a career-highlighting play, snagging Terronez's pass at the Army 26-yard line and downing the ball to secure Army's 32-30 win over Navy.
Despite not starting, Tim Meier led the Army offense to victory. Meier not only threw for 110 yards, but dominated the ground game, rushing for a game-high 142 yards and three touchdowns. Nyp made four receptions for 44 yards and a TD, while Eric Kanney recorded two sacks and seven tackles.
Army tallied 417 yards of total offense to Navy's 437. Terronez led the Mids with 325 yards passing, connecting with Catrini on five passes for 104 yards.
The win marks a number of milestones for the Black Knights including their first CSFL title since 2003, their first win over Navy since 2003, and their first win in Annapolis since 1999.