ANNAPOLIS Navy quarterback Brian Madden hopes Saturday’s season finale with Army in Philadelphia will not be his last game in a Midshipmen uniform.
Madden, a senior, missed last season with a knee injury after a promising sophomore campaign in which he led the nation in rushing by a quarterback. Navy (0-9) does not redshirt players like most schools, including Air Force, so Madden lost a year of eligibility.
However, Madden has not made post-graduation plans like most first-class Midshipmen who will graduate in May. The Oklahoma native is awaiting a decision from the academy’s administration whether it will waive the no redshirt policy and allow Madden to play football in 2002.
“My future is still up in the air,” said Madden, who was named MVP of the 100th Army-Navy game in 1999. “Nothing’s in stone. I hope for a situation [where Ill be back]. … We’ll all sit around and talk [after the season], and it’s going to be left up to the Navy and Naval Academy.”
In the meantime, Madden has his sights on Army (2-8). In his only matchup with the Black Knights, Madden rushed for 177 yards and one touchdown.
“I was a sophomore, and not many people expected [that type] of game from me,” Madden said.
Interim coach Rick Lantz continues to push for the position full time. He is 0-2 in his stint, but said he wants to coach in more Army-Navy games.
“Five years from now, hopefully, I will know [Armys coaching] tendencies,” said Lantz, a former Marine who was a Navy assistant from 1971 to 1976. “Does this game have anything to do with whether I’m going to be the head coach? … I don’t know that.”
According to Lantz, this game will take on no extra significance for him, the coaching staff, or the players, because the game is always the biggest on the schedule. For the fans, however, this game will have a greater patriotic feel due to September 11 and the conflict in Afghanistan.
“The [meaning of the game] has changed for people watching the game,” Lantz said. “I think that people in the United States have a much greater appreciation for what our people do. When we went on the field at Toledo, they weren’t cheering for us, but they were showing us great respect. When we got off the bus at Notre Dame, there were hordes of people, who normally would be making very, very disparaging remarks to anybody getting ready to play the Irish. They weren’t. They were clapping for our guys. So I think people in the United States have taken a different outlook on the military.”
Bring on the Black Knights
For the fourth time in Navy football history, the Mids enter their finale with Army winless. Navy is 2-0-1 in those games, including a 30-28 win last year in Baltimore. The Mids have won three of the last four with their archrival.
Lantz expects captain Jake Bowen to play some middle linebacker Saturday despite a left foot injury that has hampered the senior all season. Bowen practiced Monday, and barring any setbacks, will see some time. Fellow senior Raheem Lambert (fullback) has not played since Oct. 13 (Rice), and missed the past four games with a left knee injury. But Lantz said Lambert has practiced well of late and should also get some time Saturday. Defensive tackle Ralph Henry (left knee), linebacker Eddie Carthan (left toe) and safety Eli Sanders (concussion) are out.