Hard to Get Handle on Blue-Gold Game
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Standing 15 yards behind the offense, Navy Coach Paul Johnson had a great view for last night's Blue-Gold game, yet neither the first nor second team showed him what he wanted to see.
The Midshipmen concluded spring football practice with the Gold team posting a 16-13 victory in a scrimmage at Navy Marine-Corps Memorial Stadium.
"I don't know what to make of that," said Johnson after watching a game that included 12 fumbles. "I thought both teams made enough mistakes to lose 10 times."
Though a steady rainfall prevented starting quarterback Brian Hampton and backup Troy Goss from establishing a passing game, freshmen Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and Jarrod Bryant consistently ran through the defense.
The 5-foot-11, 188-pound Kaheaku-Enhada, the third-string quarterback and member of the Blue team, provided the game's biggest highlight when he weaved through the middle before racing down the sideline for a 72-yard touchdown run.
Kaheaku-Enhada, who replaced Hampton after he suffered a minor shoulder injury in the first quarter, rushed for a game-high 195 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and completed 3 of 7 passes for 43 yards.
"I just wanted to show that I can play quarterback," said Kaheaku-Enhada, who last year was a reserve wide receiver and played mostly on special teams. "I just wanted to show what I could do."
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Bryant, who was not listed on the team's three-tiered depth chart, rushed for 82 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown run, on 14 carries to lead the Gold team.
"I was so far behind everyone on the depth chart that I had to come up big in the scrimmage," Bryant said. "I knew this was a big chance for me."
The Blue team was composed of the first- and third-team offenses and the second- and fourth-string defenses, with the Gold team filled by remaining players. Several key players were out with injuries.
Navy had 23 players who were held out of the game, including 12 who are listed as first- or second-string on the depth chart.
One player who made the most of spring practice was freshman right tackle Andrew McGinn, who was given the Vice Admiral William P. Mack Award as the team's most improved player during spring drills. McGinn played for the JV last year.