ANNAPOLIS, OCT. 27 -- Call it Major Embarrassment II. James Madison, which spoiled Navy's homecoming a year ago, came back and repeated the performance today, 16-7.
Where the Midshipmen might have been expected to be pumped up in a quest for revenge, it was the Division I-AA Dukes who were fired up. They were riled by newspaper stories that quoted the hosts as being "embarrassed" by last year's defeat.
Accordingly, James Madison (5-3) played with emotion from start to finish, recording nine sacks as it overwhelmed Navy's offensive line and made life miserable for quarterbacks Alton Grizzard and Gary McIntosh.
"We read where they were embarrassed; well, embarrassment shows a lack of respect and we used that to motivate us today," said JMU defensive tackle Bryan Lewis, out of Suitland High. "They should be humiliated now.
"We have a pretty good defensive front in terms of speed and when our offense got the early lead, they had to pass and we went right at them," Lewis said. "They have a powerful team running the ball, but they're less agile trying to pass."
Grizzard and McIntosh, a fourth-quarter replacement, threw 40 times, completing 18 for 203 yards. Only twice in 15 possessions was Navy (3-4) able to penetrate the JMU 40 -- on a 77-yard scoring drive in the second period and in the closing minutes, when Frank Schenk was off target on a 46-yard field goal attempt.
It was doubly frustrating for Grizzard, who entered the game needing five rushing yards to top 2,000. He made it on his first carry, gaining seven yards, but wound up minus-14 for the day and 19 shy of 2,000.
"It was a breakdown in fundamentals," said Navy Coach George Chaump. "We never blocked well enough to establish anything we wanted to do. Our quarterbacks were running for their lives. I don't care who the quarterback is -- you can get the best the NFL has to offer -- he's not going to throw well without protection."
Last year James Madison rushed for 334 yards in posting a 24-20 victory that played a big part in the eventual firing of Navy coach Elliot Uzelac. None of the 29,129 spectators was carrying a rope in pursuit of Chaump, but he knows now that his program is a long way from respectability.
"A game like this makes you realize it will take a major effort to get Navy football back to where it should be," Chaump said. "We need a lot of help and a lot of work. To lose to a team that's I-AA, that makes you realize you have to get some things done to improve the program."
During Navy's first three series, it managed one first down. Grizzard was zero for three and sacked twice. Meanwhile, James Madison was building a 9-0 lead.
Willie Lanier, the Dukes' 245-pound fullback, scored the first of his two touchdowns on a two-yard dive. The key was a 44-yard pass from Eriq Williams to Lanier, who was open at the left sideline and broke two tackles while rambling to the Navy 21.
James Madison started from its 45 the next time and two passes from Williams to split end Keith Thornton covered 34 yards in a drive that stalled at the Navy 11. Mike Granuzzo, a graduate of West Potomac High, kicked his first field goal of the season, a 29-yarder that made it 9-0.
Navy struck back, with Grizzard hitting four of five passes in a 16-play drive that was climaxed by a three-yard touchdown toss to flanker Jerry Dawson. The only incomplete effort came on the previous play, when tight end Dave Berghult's end-zone catch was nullified because he previously had stepped on the end line.
On its next nine possessions, Navy's best opening field position came at its 34-yard line. Twice the Midshipmen hurt themselves with clips on punt returns, one such foul creating a 47-yard swing, because it wiped out a 32-yard return by Jason Van Matre to the Dukes 20.
James Madison put the game out of reach with an 11-play, 64-yard drive in the third quarter that ended with Lanier crashing through left tackle from the 1.
The key play was a 35-yard pass from Williams to split end Dwayne Hayes, an Oxon Hill High product, on third and nine at the JMU 37. On another third-down play, needing six yards at the Navy 24, Williams gunned one to Hayes between two defenders for an eight-yard gain.
Williams had his best career passing day, hitting 10 of 22 for 174 yards. Hayes caught three for 51 yards and Thornton, No. 2 on the Dukes' all-time reception list behind Gary Clark, now with the Redskins, grabbed three for 47.
It is probably just as well that the teams do not meet again until 1995, because it may take that long to extinguish the fire from the postgame remarks.
"I guess James Madison is the worst thing that happened to Navy since Pearl Harbor," said JMU Coach Joe Purzycki. "Everybody at Navy said they were embarrassed by losing to us last year. That leaves a connotation about an opponent. We deserve respect. They were implying that last year was an aberration and that's something that festered."
D.R. Carlson, the 280-pound offensive tackle out of Oakton High, said: "All week they were saying they were embarrassed. Now they should be really embarrassed. They were like a high school team, they talked so much garbage out there. I guess they were frustrated, because they're a I-A school and they were playing like Division II."
Chaump tried to deflate the "embarrassment" theme, saying: "Everybody's always embarrassed to lose. Maybe sometimes you're too honest and get it twisted by an opponent. But that shouldn't matter. After the kickoff, you don't think about it."