Nov. 2, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army sprint football will look to become back-to-back College Sprint Football League champions for the first time since 1998-99 on Friday night when service academy rival Navy comes to West Point. The Black Knights (5-1, 5-0 CSFL) and Midshipmen (6-0, 5-0 CSFL) will be battling for the annual Star as the two squads meet for the second time this season. Kickoff at Army’s Shea Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.
• Friday’s game marks the second time this season Army and Navy have met. Navy won the first game, 38-20, at the Allegiance Bowl in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Sept. 17.
• In the season’s first meeting between the two service academy rivals, the Mids held the Black Knights to season lows in rushing (32 yards) and points (20). Army threw the ball 81 times, completing a season-high 42 passes and outgaining Navy in total yardage, 437-415. The Black Knights struggled in the red zone, failing to score on four of seven opportunities, while the Midshipmen were 4-for-4 inside the 20-yard line.
• The 2011 season marks the 17th time Army and Navy have faced each other twice in the same season. Of the 16 previous times, the team which won the year’s first matchup went on to win the second meeting 10 times. The last time the two rivals split a season series was in 2003 when Army won the Star and Navy won the Pride Bowl.
• For the third consecutive year the College Spring Football League (CSFL) title will be decided by the season-finale Army-Navy Star Game. The Black Knights won their 31st CSFL title (sharing it with Penn) in 2010 following a 32-30 Star Game win in Annapolis. Navy won the 2009 Star and CSFL title in West Point, edging Army 7-6.
• Army enters Friday’s game as the top-ranked offense in the CSFL, while Navy boasts the top defense. The Black Knights average nearly 520 yards per game and over 48 points, while the Mids hold teams to under 190 yards of offense and 12 points per game.
• Army relies predominantly on the pass, averaging 357 passing yards per game. Navy uses a ground attack, averaging 283 rushing yards per game.
• The Black Knights have won 31 CSFL titles, including 23 outright. The Mids own 34 conference championships, 27 outright. Army and Navy have shared the title four times.
• In the 54 years in which the Black Knights have been playing sprint football, Army or Navy have either won or shared the league title 50 times. Cornell is the most recent non-service academy to win the CSFL title (2006).
• Army collected its seventh CSFL Player of the Week accolade of the season following last Friday’s win over Penn, tying the Quakers for the league lead in certificates. Junior quarterback Javier Sustaita was named CSFL Offensive Player of the Week for the second straight week after throwing for a career-high 411 yards and seven touchdowns and rushing for 56 yards and one score. Junior wide receiver Cody Nyp (offensive, Weeks 3 and 4), senior wide receiver Ben Johnson (special teams, Week 5), senior defensive back JP Cooper (defensive, Week 6) and sophomore wide receiver Tom Jeffers (offensive, Week 1) have also been recognized.
• Army head coach Lt. Col. Mark West is in search of his first victory against Navy. West, who was serving a tour of duty in Iraq during the 2010 season, is in his third year with the program and owns a 13-7 overall record. He is 0-3 against the Midshipmen as Army dropped both contests against Navy in the 2008 season before losing a heartbreaker, 7-6, in the 2009 Star Game at West Point.
• Series notes:
Navy leads all-time series: 39-31-1
Longest win streak: 11, Navy, 2004-09
Current streak: Navy, one game
Army’s record at home: 15-12-1
Army’s record at Annapolis: 10-17
Army’s record at neutral sites: 6-10
• Prior to the start of Friday’s contest Army will recognize its nine-member senior class to include eight players and one manager. Captains Weston Boose (OL) and JP Cooper (DB), as well as Jeff Caraccio (K/P), Brendan Hickey (DL), Benjamin Johnson (WR), Michael Meier (LB), Franklin Thompson (OL), Franklin Yu (WR) and David Rattay (manager) will be honored prior to the coin toss.