From my pal Kevin:
Today I witnessed what some might say was improbable, and others impossible, but really something America should expect of USNA Midshipmen and future Navy officers. NAVY had what the rest of America would consider a meaningless ho hum home football game against Temple. Temple came into the game 3-5 and Navy at 5-3 was favored to win. I spend a fair amount of time on the practice field and occasionally am on the sidelines for games and have grown to know these young men and what motivates them and the heart they bring to their jobs as officer candidates, students and athletes. Even though Temple is not considered a great team, we are NAVY. We only play two teams a year who are our size and they are Air Force and Army. EVERYONE is bigger, faster and has more skill than us. As our coaches routinely remind our players, most schools we play have not recruited ANY of our players. (Temple was huge relative to us.) However, while we are generally smaller in stature, the teams we play will likely NEVER have our determination to fight to the final whistle and the heart to fight on when all seems lost. Here’s a brief recap of yesterday’s events:
Navy took the opening kickoff and methodically drove down the field with its vaunted triple option and scored. Temple answered immediately with an impressive touchdown drive of its own when both defenses settled in and the score remained 7-7 up to half time. Navy had a chance to go ahead at the half but Temple blocked a field goal and took momentum into the locker room. In the second half, Temple eventually went ahead of us by a score of 27-7 (they missed an extra point….uh oh). THAT was the score going into the fourth quarter AND our starting QB and our second string QB Midshipman and offensive captain were out with injuries. A Midshipman Third Class (sophomore) was the QB and he brought us back from the depths to 27-20 (we TOO missed the PAT) with two quick strikes, one on a frozen rope pass to a senior wide receiver who had NEVER caught at TD pass in his entire career at NAVY . Nevertheless, Temple had the ball on what was to be the last play and for some unknown reason ran a play (hubris? tactical error? Who knows?). They could have done the victory formation to run out the clock, but they didn’t ! Someone will have to ask Temple head coach Al Golden why he did that, BUT he did, and our defense, playing on senior day in front of over 35000, managed to stand up the freshman running back, force the fumble and run it back 40 yards for the TD with 37 seconds to play. We made the PAT and it went into overtime.
Temple got the ball first and failed to score, choosing to try to score the TD rather than take what was a sure field goal and three points (again, perhaps a bit too sure of themselves?). NAVY then took over on downs. We were playing conservatively, knowing that our kicker is money in the bag from inside the 30, but again Temple made a very costly mistake. They were hit with a 15 yard face mask penalty, putting us in position to end the game with a TD using our triple option. MIDN Dobbs scored the touchdown on a QB keeper from the one. NAVY wins 33-27!
NAVY should NOT have won this game. They did not execute in the first three quarters and then lit it up with the sophomore QB energizing them. NAVY’S sidelines were interesting as well. I could tell by the energy of the coaches and players, they KNEW the game was not over and that Temple (the MSM?) believed it was. The Temple equipment guys were packing up (measuring drapes?) But the Mids were still playing right up to the end, to the final play. WE did not quit. WE DON’T quit. Many fans left the game to go home and beat the traffic or to tailgate but NAVY fans stayed to see their team, and their team, REFUSING to give up, ultimately won a huge game. The game has no apparent national implications but in reality is does. It showed a national audience on CBS College Sports TV what America can and SHOULD expect of its officers. We simply will never quit when all signs say we should. It also makes us bowl eligible and we have already accepted an invitation to play an ACC team in D.C in the brand new Eagle Bank Bowl on 20 December, a game about which not many will again care. But WE CARE!! WE care deeply about HOW we play and why we play.
Why do I tell you this? Well John McCain is a USNA grad and he is not quitting. He didn’t quit against ridiculous odds in Vietnam. NAVY grads DON’T quit! We can win this thing. I know you believe it and I saw what grit, determination, a belief in a cause and hard work will do today. All you who think it’s over. IT AIN’T. BHO is measuring drapes just like Temple was packing up. McCain is still playing, making them take another snap. Maybe they fumble and we scoop and score. Maybe their folks, thinking it’s in the bag, stay home and don’t vote. On Tuesday, we can make the improbable the reality. Play to the final whistle! VOTE and take someone with you!!!