- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 2, 2001

PHILADELPHIA With the clock winding down in Army's 26-17 win over Navy, Cadets in the Veterans Stadium stands began chanting "0-10."
The truth never hurt so much. The worst season in Navy football history came to an end yesterday before 69,078 spectators in the 102nd meeting between the academies.
The game was a microcosm of the Midshipmen's season. Navy got jumped on in the first quarter, surrendered big plays and couldn't come from behind. As a result, Navy finished 0-10, the first time since 1948 the Mids failed to win a game. That team was 0-8-1, with the tie coming against an 8-0 Army team.
This season also was the first time the Mids lost every game in a season when they played more than one game. In 1883, Navy finished 0-1.
"We're a part of that, and it's something that we're going to have to live with," senior quarterback Brian Madden said. "The culmination of going 0-10 and not playing well is tough."
Pregame talks by President Bush and Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican and 1958 Navy graduate, had little effect on the Mids' performance. Midway through the first quarter, Army (3-8) had a 13-0 lead on a 60-yard touchdown run by freshman Ardell Daniels and a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chad Jenkins to Brian Bruenton.
Navy cornerback Clyde Clark stepped in front of the pass, but the ball went through his hands and hit Bruenton in stride. Daniels finished with 131 yards rushing on 23 carries.
When Navy's defense began to shut down Army late in the first quarter, it was already too late, because Navy's offense could make no headway against the Black Knights' defensive front. Madden ran effectively (21 carries, 75 yards) but faced constant pressure in the pocket. Madden, MVP of the 1999 Army-Navy game, was just 5-for-22 passing for 42 yards.
"We never could get it going in the right direction," said Madden, who was sacked twice. "[On] play action, they put pressure on us. I don't know if I had one good look at anybody all day."
Although the bulk of their scoring came on three field goals by David Hills, the Mids would have been in the game in the fourth quarter except for special teams lapses.
Down 13-6 just 10 seconds before halftime, Navy lined up to punt after an Army timeout. The Black Knights blocked it, Daniels recovered and Derek Jacobs kicked a 39-yard field to push the lead to 16-6. It was the first time in his career that John Skaggs had a punt blocked.
On the second-half kickoff, Army's Omari Thompson burst through his wedge and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown. With Madden and the offensive line struggling in the passing game, Navy could not overcome the 23-6 deficit.
The lone bright spot for Navy came when sophomore quarterback Craig Candeto entered in the waning minutes and led the Mids on a 56-yard touchdown drive. Candeto, who most likely will be the starting quarterback next year if Madden does not get an injury exemption to return, was 3-for-4 passing for 56 yards.
Madden, who missed his junior season because of a knee injury, said he will know by Christmas if the academy will waive its no-redshirt policy, and allow him to come back.
The other major decision will come from athletic director Chet Gladchuk, who is searching for a new coach. Interim coach Rick Lantz was 0-3 and didn't really distinguish himself as the top candidate to replace Charlie Weatherbie. Whoever gets the job will inherit a program that has gone 1-20 the past two seasons.
"I think [the season] was more frustrating for the coaches," Lantz said. "All good teams have peaks and valleys, and right now we are in a valley. I told Coach Gladchuk we can recruit and attract players to help us rise out of this valley."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide