- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 15, 2006

ANNAPOLIS — Defensive end John Chan sprinted off the field in fury. Linebacker David Mahoney walked slowly, biting his lower lip and stewing with every step.

The reactions varied, but the emotions were all the same. Navy entered its game yesterday with a chance to prove itself against a Top 25 team, but it quickly became a humbling afternoon for the Midshipmen in front of a record crowd of 36,918 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

After starting quarterback Brian Hampton left the game in the first quarter with a dislocated left knee, the offense faltered and eventually everything fell apart for the Mids in a 34-0 loss to No. 24 Rutgers (6-0).

“It was an old-fashion butt-kicking,” Navy coach Paul Johnson said. “We didn’t play well offensively. I didn’t think we played terribly on defense, but they had great field position the whole game. They whipped our tails.”

Sophomore quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada entered the game, but the Scarlet Knights’ defense had plenty of answers for the Mids’ spread option offense. Navy (5-2) finished the game with 161 yards of total offense — its lowest total since a 38-0 loss to Connecticut in 2002.

Navy didn’t manage a first down until Kaheaku-Enhada’s fourth series. After picking one up and appearing to have a second, Navy was called for a questionable illegal block that killed the drive. The Mids only moved the ball into Rutgers territory once (they started a possession there as well) and never got closer than the Scarlet Knights 40.

The Mids’ defense played well for most of the first half, but Rutgers struck just before the half with a six-play, 59-yard touchdown march that put the Scarlet Knights ahead 10-0 at the break.

Normally the Mids score after halftime and gain momentum, but the third quarter was an unmitigated disaster. Rutgers blocked a pair of punts after stalled drives and converted them into a touchdown and a field goal for a 20-0 lead.

Navy went for it on fourth-and-1 at its own 29 and didn’t convert on the next drive. Jeremy McGown intercepted Mike Teel’s next pass, but it led to another three-and-out for the Mids. The final play of the third quarter — a 2-yard run by Rutgers tailback Ray Rice — was the first one run on the Scarlet Knights’ half of the field.

“I don’t think we did anything right. It was a complete meltdown,” said junior fullback Adam Ballard, who finished with 23 yards on six carries. “We couldn’t block anybody. We couldn’t catch any balls. We couldn’t doing anything.”

Rutgers’ defensive line dominated the Mids, and neither Kaheaku-Enhada nor fellow sophomore Jarrod Bryant had much of a chance at quarterback. The pair combined to complete four of 16 passes, and the Scarlet Knights were credited with seven sacks and three forced fumbles.

Kaheaku-Enhada finished with 22 carries for 11 yards.

Junior slotback Reggie Campbell led the team with 44 yards on nine carries. Navy’s longest run from scrimmage was a 20-yard scamper by linebacker Rob Caldwell on a fake punt in the fourth quarter.

“I didn’t know what to think [when Hampton got hurt],” Kaheaku-Enhada said as he choked back tears after the game. “It is hard to see something like that. He is like a brother.

“We now go back to work. It’s up to the coaches to decide who plays [against Notre Dame on Oct. 28]. We have talent at quarterback. Any of us can run it.”


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