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Sprint Football

Navy Wins Star in Sprint Football

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy sprint football used a pair of defensive touchdowns to help post a 27-13 victory over rival Army on Friday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to earn the first Star of the 2022-23 academic year in the Army-Navy Star Series presented by USAA. Mitchell Waters registered a fumble recovery for a score, while Lane Condie returned an interception for a touchdown in the win.
The win marked the first victory for Navy over Army in Annapolis since 2016 (W, 10-3). The victory was the third consecutive for the Midshipmen in the series, marking the longest win streak for Navy since the Mids won 11 in a row from 2004 to 2009. It was the largest margin of victory for Navy since posting a 24-10 win over Army in the 2018 CSFL Championship, while it was the most points scored for the Midshipmen since a 27-7 win in 2014.
The Navy defense scored a pair of touchdowns, while limiting the potent Army offense to just one offensive touchdown and a pair of field goals. The Midshipmen allowed 180 yards on 34 carries, while limiting the Black Knight quarterback Mikal Willeke to 226 yards on 27-for-50 passing with a pair of interceptions. Jack Costigan led the way with 13 total tackles, including a half a sack and a tackle for loss. He was followed by Major Kent and Dante Carrasco who finished with 11 and 10 stops, respectively. David Niski led the team with 2.5 sacks, while Paul Kuehler added a sack and Devyn Martin was credited with 1.5 TFLs. In addition to Waters' fumble recovery and Condie's interception, Nadir Emlemdi recorded the only other turnover, picking off a pass for his second INT in as many games.
Offensively, the Mids tallied 154 yards with senior captain Alex Totta leading the way with 74 yards on the ground. Quarterback Brandon Atwood added 56 yards on the ground, including a 40-yard jaunt late in the game. Atwood finished 8-for-17 for 76 yards passing with a touchdown. Andrew Margiotta led the team with 38 yards on four receptions, while Totta added a pair of catches for 14 yards. Carter Mullikin made the most of his one reception, taking the 12-yard pass into the end zone.
Mychal Golden remained perfect on the season, going 5-for-5 in kicks on the night. He converted all three point after touchdown attempts, while adding a pair of field goals. He was true on field goals of 37 and 22 yards.
Navy was the first team to score. After Margiotta set up the Mids with a 53-yard kickoff return to open the game, the home took the opening drive and marched down the field 38 yards on seven plays to find the end zone. The drive was capped by a 12-yard reception by Millikin to put Navy in front 7-0.
The Mids wasted little time returning to the end zone. On the ensuing drive, Navy sacked Willeke at the seven yardline, causing a fumble. Waters picked up the loose ball at the five and rushed untouched into the end zone to put the Midshipmen in front 14-0.
Army posted a pair of scoring drives, but the Navy defense was able to keep the Black Knights out of the end zone, holding the visitors to a pair of field goals by Ben Abercrombie.
Neither team was able to score in the second quarter and headed into halftime with Navy in front 14-6.
In the second half, the Midshipmen ended a drive by the Black Knights as Condie picked off a pass at the 28 yardline and returned into the checkerboard end zone for the score, putting Navy in front 21-6.
Navy closed out the third quarter with a 37-yard field goal by Golden to extend the advantage to 24-6.
With 2:39 remaining in the game, the Midshipmen once again went to Golden's leg for a field goal to push the lead to 27-6.
Army mounted a drive that resulted in the Black Knight's only touchdown. Willeke capped the drive with a seven-yard pass to Donovan Mannion to trim the margin to 27-13.
On the subsequent kickoff, Army successfully tried an onside kick, getting the ball back at the 45 yardline with 41 ticks on the clock. The Black Knights were able to gain 11 yards, but the Midshipmen defense prevented any further scoring to secure the 14-point victory.
Navy continues the season on Saturday, Oct. 1 as the Midshipmen travel to Caldwell, N.J. for a divisional game against Caldwell. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. The game will be live streamed and live stats will be available.