Sub-stitute quarterback Marco Antonio Pagnanelli scored two second-quarter touchdowns as Navy defeated The Citadel, 17-7, today at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
Pagnanelli, a 5-foot-11 1/2, 210-pound junior college transfer, rushed 32 yards on eight carries and completed four of six passes for another 32 yards. He divided the time at quarterback with junior starter Tom Tarquinio.
Senior Eddie Meyers became the third all-time leading Navy rusher as he gained 134 yards in 32 carries despite a chest cold. He has 1,751 yards, compared to all-time leader Cleveland Cooper's 2,582 in 1972-74. Meyers needs 139 yards to tie No. 2 Joe Gattuso, who played in 1975-77.
Pagnanelli, a sophomore, entered the game with the second unit in the second quarter and led a 37-yard scoring drive. He scored on a two-yard run around right end, bowling over two defenders at the goal line.
Two Navy possessions later, Pagnanelli directed the Midshipmen's most impressive drive of the day, a 76-yard, nine-play drive that ended when he scored on a three-yard option run. Once again he flattened two defenders at the goal line.
The Citadel managed a 17-yard touchdown run by tailback Danny Miller between Pagnanelli's scores and Navy led, 14-7, at halftime. The only score of the second half came on a 31-yard field goal by Steve Fehr, and Navy helped itself with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Navy Coach George Welsh said he was pleased with both of his quarterbacks, but that he would settle on one starter in "three or four weeks, but not yet."
Tarquinio lost four yards on three rushes and completed four of 13 passes. But because of his experience, Welsh said he feels more comfortable with him in the game.
"Tarquinio is still going to be the starter," Welsh said. "He runs the option better and we can signal the plays to him from the sideline. Pagnanelli doesn't read the signals too well, so we have to send the plays into him with a messenger."
Pagnanelli and Tarquinio seem content to share the job now.
"I've still got so much to learn," said Pagnanelli.
"We're competing for the job and right now that's good," said Tarquinio, "but if it goes on all season, it could start to bother us. We'll both just do the best we can for now and see how it goes."
Navy wants to control the ball by running it, which it did today. Meyers' backup, freshman Napoleon McCallum, carried 33 yards on 10 carries, getting 21 of the yards on Navy's first touchdown drive.
"He's one of the most talented freshmen we've ever had here," Welsh said of McCallum, who is 6-2 and 188 pounds.
For The Citadel, quarterback Tracey Shrader from Woodbridge (Va.) High School, completed eight of 11 passes for 89 yards, but couldn't get the Bulldogs into the end zone. His relief, Gerald Toney, directed the scoring drive.
Miller led The Citadel with 112 yards on 18 carries.