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Larrier throws a 94-yard touchdown and No. 22 Air Force shuts down Navy

Zac Larrier Air Force Zac Larrier - The Canadian Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Zac Larrier threw a 94-yard touchdown to Dane Kinamon — the longest pass in Air Force history — and the 22nd-ranked Falcons shut down Navy 17-6 on Saturday.

Air Force (7-0) gained almost as many yards on that one play as Navy (3-4) did in the entire game. The Falcons seemed to back off defensively late, allowing the Midshipmen to drive 78 yards for their only touchdown. They finished with 124 yards.

Larrier, whose availability for this game was a surprise after coach Troy Calhoun said earlier in the week the injured quarterback would be out “a while,” completed only four passes, but they went for a total of 151 yards.

Larrier threw a 34-yard pass to Jared Roznos in the first quarter that Navy was fortunate wasn’t a longer gain. That drive ended in a missed field goal.

On the first play of the second quarter, with the Falcons facing second-and-10 from their own 6, Larrier found Kinamon up the right sideline. None of the Midshipmen could catch him.

After that it was a pretty typical run-heavy game between the two military academies. Now the Falcons can win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for a second straight year if they beat Army in two weeks.

Navy freshman Braxton Woodson relieved injured quarterback Tai Lavatai in a win over Charlotte last weekend, and Woodson started this game. But after the Midshipmen managed only 11 yards and one first down through three quarters, Lavatai took over in the fourth.

Navy finally started moving the ball with Lavatai before a third-down penalty derailed the drive. He also was intercepted twice during that final period. The second of those turnovers was returned 18 yards for a touchdown by Alec Mock.

Lavatai threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Eli Heidenreich in the final minute to deny Air Force its first shutout against Navy. The only shutout in series history was a 17-0 win by the Midshipmen in 1975.

Attendance was 38,803, a record at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Air Force: Thanks to that final drive, the stats didn’t totally reflect how dominant the Falcons were defensively. They did hold Navy to 3 of 17 on third down.

Navy: Give the Midshipmen credit defensively for mostly stopping an Air Force team that has reached 30 points in five of its seven games. But Navy’s offensive numbers speak for themselves.

After entering the Top 25 last weekend, Air Force probably didn’t earn many style points in this win, but that’s not what these rivalry games are about.

Air Force: The Falcons play at Colorado State next Saturday night.

Navy: The Midshipmen have a weekend off before visiting Temple on Nov. 4.