Navy coach George Welsh came into today's annual intrasquad Blue-Gold scrimmage expecting his defense to dominate the injury-riddled offense. So much for coaching predictions.
The teams scored 43 points, with the Golds holding on for a 24-19 victory. With the number of long plays that highlighted the game, Welsh admitted he didn't see much defense.
"Maybe we aren't as tough as I thought we were," he said. "There wasn't much hitting out there. The defense has slumped off the last week, so I'd say the one thing we did consistently well this spring was catch and throw the ball."
That's what the two teams did very well today. Four of the five touchdowns came off pass plays, including three touchdown throws from Gold sophomore quarterback Bob Powers covering 18, 65 and one yard. Blue quarterback Randy Farley had a 69-yard TD toss.
Powers completed nine of 16 passes for 166 yards, Farley was eight for 10 for 168 yards.
Phil McConkey, who was alternated at split end last year, caught four passes for the Gold team, covering 128 yards. Blue tight and Carl Hendershot had three receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown and teammate Joe Gattuso had four catches for 40 yards and two scores.
McGonkey got things off to a rousing start by dashing 50 yards for a touchdown on the Golds' first play from scrimmage. Two field goals by Roland Ellis and one by Carl Rehling increased the Gold lead to 15-0.
At that point, the Blues began a comeback. They recovered a fumble on the Gold 20 and, on fourth down, Powers and Gattuso combined for a touchdown.
After McGonkey pulled in his 69-yard scoring pass, Powers found Hendershot behind the Gold defense and led him beautifully for a 65-yard TD.
Blue added a final score in the last moments.
"I didn't think the game was very good," said Welsh. "We've got too many people hurt to have good execution. We've had a good spring until the last few days so I can't complain.
"If we hadn't had the lacrosse game later, I'd probably have called it off, but now I'm glad we had it. Every little bit of game experience helps."
Welsh said he will evaluate films of the spring workouts before making personnel changes.
"If we have to make a lot, then we aren't that settled as a team," he said. "But I don't think we will. We should be set going into the fall. But that's easy to say in the spring."