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Navy Gives Air Force The Boot; Late Field Goal Moves Mids to 5-0
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: College football -- US Naval Academy
Author: Schlabach, Mark
Date: Oct 1, 2004
Start Page: D.01
Section: SPORTS

-- Navy's Geoff Blumenfeld had kicked so poorly this season that Midshipmen Coach Paul Johnson said his team had the "worst kicking game in America." In Navy's first four games, Blumenfeld missed all four of his field goal attempts and one extra point. Blumenfeld was so erratic that Johnson was more likely to leave his offense on the field on fourth and long rather than give his kicker a chance to make a short field goal.

It was only Navy's second victory in Colorado Springs since 1979, and only the second time Air Force Coach Fisher DeBerry has lost a home game to another service academy in his 21 seasons at the school. By winning its first five games, Navy is off to its best start since going 6-0 in 1979. The Midshipmen next play Oct. 16 against Notre Dame at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The Fighting Irish have a 40-game winning streak against Navy, the longest current streak in college football.

After Air Force pulled even at 21 with 2 minutes 21 seconds left, Navy senior quarterback Aaron Polanco broke loose for a 32-yard run to the Falcons 29-yard line with about 90 seconds remaining. Navy fullback Kyle Eckel ran twice, then Polanco ran the ball two more times to move it to the middle of the field. Blumenfeld lined up to attempt the field goal, but DeBerry attempted to ice him by calling consecutive timeouts. Finally, Navy's snap was clean and Blumenfeld drilled the kick through the uprights in the south end zone.

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