- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 22, 2007

Navy’s defense will feature a bevy of new starters next season, and early this spring they certainly looked inexperienced.

There has been some improvement the past few weeks, and yesterday it was the defenses that dominated in a 10-7 victory for the Blue team in the Blue-Gold game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

“We’ve got a ton of plebes on defense and a lot of young guys. Coming out of spring we think we got better at certain positions,” defensive coordinator Buddy Green said. “It is going to be a big summer for us. … We are really looking for a whole new crew and over the past 14, 15 days we’ve seen some progress.”

Linebacker Irv Spencer, a rising senior and one of the few returning players with significant experience, led the first-team defense (Gold) with 10 tackles. His classmate Jon Alvarado, one of many linebackers vying for the openings created by David Mahoney and Tyler Tidwell’s departure, led the second-team (Blue) with 13 tackles and had two of the group’s five sacks.

Darius Terry, a cornerback who did not play as a plebe in 2006, had two of the Blue team’s four interceptions. Jordan Reagan, a rising senior who converted to corner from slotback this spring, picked off a pass late in the fourth quarter to help seal the outcome.

Both defenses likely benefited from the missing Midshipmen quarterbacks. Starter Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and third-stringer Troy Goss missed the game with injuries.

Backup Jarod Bryant took all of the snaps with the first-team offense (Blue). He finished with a team-high 64 yards rushing on 27 carries and completed 9 of 15 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. He connected with slotback Zerbin Singleton for a 35-yard scoring strike with 10 seconds left in the first half.

“I don’t know what to say. We didn’t turn the ball over, which is a good thing,” Bryant said. “But we only put 10 points on the board. We had a couple of fourth downs and just … I don’t know.”

Greg Zingler, a sophomore from Severna Park, Md., began the spring No. 4 on the depth chart but took all of the snaps with the second-teamers (Gold). His final numbers certainly weren’t pretty (19 yards on 15 carries, 3-for-17 passing for 50 yards and the four interceptions), but he was hurt by several dropped passes in the first half and some suspect protection.

Zingler did score the Gold team’s lone touchdown on a 1-yard plunge in the third quarter. Greg Suddereth, a rising senior who converted from cornerback to wideout during the season last fall, caught those three passes from Zingler.

Fullback Eric Kettani led the Gold team with a game-high 72 yards on 11 carries. Adam Ballard had 31 yards on seven carries before leaving the game. He broke his right leg during the Army game in December and isn’t completely recovered.

“I don’t know if you can take much of it,” coach Paul Johnson said. “There some kids who flew around and some good licks passed, but there were a lot of mistakes.”

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