- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 13, 2006

ANNAPOLIS — Both the first- and second-team offenses were turnover-free and moved the ball with efficiency during Navy’s first preseason scrimmage at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium yesterday.

The quarterbacks made good decisions, while the ball carriers made defenders miss and had room to roam thanks to effective blocking up front. It was enough to make coach Paul Johnson sound almost, well, happy.

“I thought they did some good things. I think it was a real positive,” Johnson said. “I don’t think the first- or second-team offense had the ball out [on the ground], knock on wood. That’s a positive from one side anyway.”

The man in charge of the other side wasn’t nearly as pleased. Defensive coordinator Buddy Green watched the offense move the ball with a mixture of long drives and big plays, and teetered between stewing on the sideline and venting his anger at players.

“I didn’t think we played very well at all,” Green said. “There were stupid mistakes like being offsides on a possession down, a pass interference on a big play and too many bad angles and missed tackles. We let the quarterbacks scramble and get some big yardage. From the defensive side, I thought it was very poor.”

Starting quarterback Brian Hampton led all rushers with 71 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. He shrugged off a couple of early erratic throws to finish six of nine for 76 yards passing and another touchdown, a 23-yarder to Jason Tomlinson.

There are three players behind Hampton, a senior, vying for the backup job, and all performed well yesterday. Sophomore Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada rushed for 46 yards, including a nifty 17-yard scramble for a score. Junior Troy Goss rushed for 45 yards and sophomore Jarrod Bryant racked up 61 yards and a score. Bryant completed only one of seven passes, but four were dropped by inexperienced wideouts.

Bryant’s 23-yard completion to sophomore Curtis Sharp was a highlight-reel grab. Sharp, listed at 6-foot-4 and 237 pounds, leapt high in the air to corral the ball and managed to get a foot down in bounds near the sideline. Sharp, among a group of wideouts competing to play opposite Tomlinson, a senior who led all receivers with three catches for 46 yards.

“Curtis has really been stepping up and doing well this year,” Tomlinson said. “Even in the spring, he was doing a lot better with catching the ball better and he is pretty good at blocking.”

Slotback Reggie Campbell touched the ball only four times, but each time he wowed the several hundred fans in attendance with his explosive and elusive maneuvers. He racked up 53 yards on three option pitches and turned a short pass into a 10-yard gain.

He also was part of the biggest hit of the day. Campbell, listed at 5-foot-6 and 165 pounds, found an opening down the right seam but missed a pass from Hampton and then was drilled by maybe the only other guy on the roster who stands at his eye level — 5-foot-7 safety Ketric Buffin.

Campbell needed a minute to catch his breath after the 165-pound Buffin cemented his growing reputation as a big hitter despite his diminutive size.

“That is what everybody says to me,” Buffin said. “‘You hit so hard, how can you be so small?’ I think [hitting] is an attitude.”

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