- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 14, 2005

Navy’s spring football game was marred by offensive miscues both mental and physical. If the team’s first scrimmage of fall practice was an indication, progress has been made.

The first-team offense moved the ball effectively yesterday and, more importantly, cut down on turnovers and botched plays caused by missed blocking assignments.

“I thought the first-team offense moved the ball pretty good, the second-team offense not so good,” coach Paul Johnson said. “The offense put the ball on the ground too much. Most of that was by the [younger] guys.”

Matt Hall, who is slated to replace Kyle Eckel at fullback, led all rushers with 50 yards on 15 carries. Quarterback Lamar Owens completed five of nine passes for 70 yards with an interception. He also rushed for 29 yards.

Hall’s main competition at fullback — sophomore Adam Ballard — is out with a hamstring injury, but he is expected to be back in about a week.

“Matt has always run hard. He’s a good runner,” Johnson said. “He’s not real fast, but he’s quick.”

Another encouraging sign for the offense was the play of the slotbacks. Diminutive sophomore Reggie Campbell had 21 yards on three carries and continued to receive high praise from Johnson.

There was definitely a buzz among the several dozen spectators about the newcomers in the offensive backfield. Freshman slotback Karlos Whitaker had 23 yards on three carries. Classmate John Forbes ripped off a 35-yard touchdown run and an 11-yard scamper in his two carries.

“The young slotbacks are pretty athletic,” Johnson said. “We are going to play them. Reggie Campbell is playing his ever-living tail off. He’s really playing well in every aspect of the game.”

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