ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Tim Jefferson ran for a 1-yard touchdown in overtime and Parker Herrington added the conversion to give Air Force a wild 35-34 victory over Navy on Saturday, a significant first step in the Falcons’ bid to retain the coveted Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
Air Force blew an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter and allowed a touchdown to Navy to begin the overtime. But the
Midshipmen were penalized for an excessive celebration, and Jon Teague’s long conversion attempt was blocked.
The Falcons (3-1) then moved quickly into position for the game-winning score. Air Force has beaten Navy (2-2) twice in a row following seven straight defeats.
Air Force needs only to beat Army on Nov. 5 to keep the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, which represents superiority among the three service academies. If the teams all finish 1-1 in the round-robin competition, the previous winner holds onto the prize.
Navy trailed 28-10 with 14:55 left but closed to 28-26 with 19 seconds left after recovering an onside kick and getting a 5-yard touchdown pass from Kriss Proctor to Gee Gee Greene. Needing a 2-point conversion to force overtime, Proctor rolled left and pitched it to Alexander Teich, who scooted into the corner of the end zone.
The comeback began with a 7-yard touchdown run by Proctor, and the Midshipmen got the ball back at their own 7 with 7:04 left.
Navy’s methodical offense needed five minutes to get a field goal, and the Mids got one final chance after recovering the onside kick.
Proctor shook several tackles on a 27-yard run, setting the stage for the hectic last minute of regulation and an even crazier overtime.
Navy went ahead in the extra session on a 1-yard touchdown run by Proctor, but the blocked extra point proved to be the difference.
Jefferson ran for two scores and threw a touchdown pass, and the Falcons got 23 tackles from senior linebacker Brady Amack.
Proctor scored three touchdowns and ran for 134 yards, and Teich rushed for 148 yards.
Coming off a 63-24 rout of Tennessee State, the Falcons kept their offense humming against Navy by opening with touchdown drives of 63 yards, 80 yards and 75 yards for a 21-3 lead with 12:26 left in the second quarter.
Navy put together two long drives after that, but one ended with a missed field goal and the other was cut short by an interception on the final play before halftime.
A 2-yard touchdown run by Proctor made it 21-10, and a fumble by Falcons fullback Wes Cobb gave the ball back to the Midshipmen at the Air Force 38. But Bo Snelson was called for intentional grounding on an ill-fated halfback pass, and after a punt, the Falcons’ offense jumped into action.
Asher Clark launched an 89-yard drive with a 46-yard run and finished it off with a 6-yarder, making it 28-10.
That’s when Navy began its stunning comeback.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)