Air Force kicker, defense pave way to 40-7 win over Navy

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — Tevye Schuettpelz-Rohl tied a school record with four field goals, Air Force’s hastily reconstructed defense stymied Navy’s offense and the Falcons opened their season with a 40-7 win over the Midshipmen on Saturday night.

Sophomore QB Haaziq Daniels rushed for a score in his first career start as the Falcons (1-0) took a big first step toward capturing the coveted Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy between the service academies.

Schuettpelz-Rohl connected from 48, 35, 32 and 40 yards in front of a crowd that consisted only of Air Force cadets given the COVID-19 restrictions. It’s the 11th time a Falcons kicker has made that many in a game.

There was no telling what the Falcons would resemble on the field with quite a few players taking military turnbacks (an option a cadet has to leave the academy for up to two semesters). A big portion of the missing personnel was on defense, but the Falcons didn’t miss a beat in shutting down Navy (1-2). They held the Midshipmen to 90 yards rushing. The last time Navy was held under 100 yards rushing was at Air Force in 2016 when the team had 57, according to Navy’s game notes.

In addition, Air Force forced two turnovers and had three sacks.

The Falcons improved to 14-0 in season openers under coach Troy Calhoun. It’s the latest Air Force has kicked off a season — and the first time opening with rival Navy.

Daniels earned the starting quarterback spot in an extended fall camp. The team is missing QB Donald Hammond III, who remains a cadet not in good standing, meaning he can practice but can’t represent the school.

Before the game, Navy announced starting quarterback Dalen Morris was out for health reasons not related to COVID-19. Tyger Goslin stepped in and had a 73-yard TD toss to Myles Fells in the second quarter. But Navy never found its groove on offense.

The win puts Air Force in prime position during the annual round-robin Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy competition between the academies. Should the Falcons win at Army on Nov. 7, they would steal the title from Navy and earn a visit to the White House to receive the trophy.

THE TAKEAWAY

Navy: Coach Ken Niumatalolo and Navy haven’t won at Falcon Stadium since 2012.

Air Force: The Falcons extended their winning streak to nine straight dating to last season. It was Calhoun’s 99th career win at Air Force.

THIS & THAT

The pregame skydivers socially distanced by landing in the field adjacent to Falcon Stadium. … Falcons CB Davide Eure was ejected on the second play of the game for targeting. … FB Timothy Jackson rushed for 118 yards. Brad Roberts had 103. … Navy safety Kevin Brennan was disqualified for targeting early in the third quarter.

LOOKING SHARP

Air Force unveiled uniforms to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots and ground crew from the U.S. Army Air Forces that fought in World War II. The jerseys were gray with black lettering and a yellow strip on each shoulder. A custom nameplate on the jerseys read Red Tails.

UP NEXT

Navy: Host Temple on Saturday.

Air Force: At San Jose State on Oct. 24 to open Mountain West play.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © 2020 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Comments

Sign up for breaking news alerts