There was little rejoicing today over Navy's full expected 38-7 rout of Connecticut. But there was much licking of chops in anticipation of future excitement.
Tailback Steve Callaham, a plebe from Groveton, Tex., carried a screen pass 48 yards for a touchdown on his first appearance of the day.
On his second carry from scrimmage, he tore 77 yards down the right sideline for another score.
Callahan is strictly a second stringer behind capable cocaptain Joe Gattuso, but his ability to shake tacklers and pick holes is a sight largely dispensed to Academy watchers by opponents since Joe Bellino left the Severn nearly two decades ago.
"Callahan is a great prospect," said Navy coach George Welsh, who rarely relies on plebes for anything.
"He's a good outside runner, but he has a lot of football to learn - inside running for example.
"Gattuso is a complete ball player. We're moving into the big leagues now. We're going to need two tailbacks. I'll play it by ear."
Callahan's first touchdown broke the game open at 17-0 late in the second period. On third and three, he took a screen pass from Bob Leszezynski and shook off five tacklers, with safety Tony Volpe losing the last grasp.
Fullback Larry Klawinski and split end Phil McConkey then wiped out the late pursuer, tackle Steve Beal.
"I just saw blurs of guys, I didn't count them," Callahan said. "I just tried to find an open spot. I guess my running's instinctive. I just see a guy and more or less react."
After Navy's lead reached 31-0, Welsh put in a complete second team. It was hardly an act of mercy. On second and six from his 23, Callahan cut to the right sideline, broke away from safety Rocco Testa and followed a band of blockers into the end zone.
"I got a good block from the quarterback (Bob Powers), the fullback (Leon Miller) took out another guy and after I broke the first tackle I just followed the screen of blockers," Callahan said. "There was no trick to it at all."
Navy needed few tricks against a team that could not score its first points of the season until the last 20 seconds of the game.
Senior John Sturges intercepted the first pass thrown by Connecticut quarterback John Chase of Rockville, returning it eight yards to the Huskie 21.
A pass from Leszezynski to McConkey in the end zone was nullified by a holding penalty, so Bob Tata produced the Mids' first points with a 39-yard field goal.
A 32-yard interference call against the Huskies' Steve Rose helped the Mids drive 79 yards in nine plays on their second possession. Leszezynski went the last six on a keeper for a 10-0 lead.
Navy covered 70 yards in six plays at the start of the second half to make it 24-0. Gattuso faked into the line, then cut toward a vacated left side and romped the last 17 yards.
Klawinski's two-yard smash completed an 80-yard, 13-play drive to make it 31-0 the next time the Mids handled the ball.
Until it broke through in the closing moments, Connecticut had little to cheer about. Its brightest moment was a 68-yard run by tailback Herb DeGraffe late in the second period.