Navy's football team, deeper in running backs than at any time in recent memory, found a couple of more ground gobblers today.
Ted Wirginis, a converted junior wingback who ranks fourth among tailbacks on the current roster, collected 85 yards on 18 carries, including a classy 18-yard scoring run, to lead the underdog Blue team over the Gold, 14-6, in the annual intrasquad climax to spring drills.
Wirginis, 5-10 and 175 pounds from Duquesne, Pa., bounced off two potential tacklers and sprinted down the left sideline for the decisive score late in the third period. Earlier, sophomores Mark Fitzgerald and Greg Papajohn clicked on a five-yard pass to put the Blue in front.
The Gold touchdown came on a five-yard dash by tailback Tim Jackson, who will be added to the depth chart Monday. A sophomore from Florida, Jackson gained 27 yards on nine carries.
Wirginis and Jackson were given added opportunity to shine because No. 1 map Steve Callahan, who recorded 55 yards on 14 carries and fumbled twice, left late in the second period with a sprained toe. Mike Sherlock, the No. 2 tailback, watched with a broken hand in a cast.
Sophomore Duane Flowers, the Wootton High product who is listed No. 3, gave Coach George Welsh additional food for future thought by rambling for 82 yards on 22 attempts.
Asked to note the positive aspects of a less-than-scintillating contest, Walsh said, "I saw some individuals who looked goo-Jackson, Wirginis and the quarterbacks, (Kevin) McTavish and (Mark) Fitzegerald."
So much for the positive items. On the negative side, there were far too many penalties, some poor tackling, ineffective six-of-15 passing by No. 1 quarterback Bob Powers and mediocre punting and placekicking.
"It was typical of our practice this spring," Welsh said. "There was not a lot of cohesion, there were a lot of penalties and a lot of mistakes. I always leave our sping game with a bad taste."
Linebacker Ted Dumbauld, a junior from Troy, Ohio, was presented the Vice Admiral William P. Mack Award for showing the greatest improvement during spring practice.