It was another tough week on the scoreboard for the service academies overall, as Air Force and Navy fell to tough opponents in Boise State and Notre Dame. Army continued its surge to the top of the service academy landscape this season with a 37-22 victory over Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti that gave them bowl eligibility for the third straight season.
The Falcons and Black Knights will duke it out for CIC supremacy this weekend, but before then, let’s take a look back at some of the top performances of the week as we name offense, defense, and special teams CIC MVPs!
Offense: Isaiah Sanders, QB
Look, I know we didn’t get a CIC MVP article up last week, but if I’m being honest, Sanders would have had my vote without needing to go any farther. All he did was account for 390 yards of offense, nearly getting 200 passing and 200 rushing with 4 touchdowns. It was game-set-match in the CIC MVP race last week! All he did to follow that up was lead the Falcons offense up and down the field again against a good Broncos squad. He finished the game with nearly another 200/100 game as he had 210 yards passing with 2 touchdowns and 97 yards rushing. When the option offense is humming, it’s usually because of a dynamic quarterback, or at least one who is able to make the proper reads and distribute the ball. Sanders was just that against Boise State, taking the brunt of the work rushing but spreading out the receiving love to seven different players. Look for him to continue his hot play this weekend as a really good Black Knights defense comes calling!
Defense: Mosese Fifita, DT
I could have easily given this to Jeremy Fejedelem yet again. He had 13 tackles in the game. But the big man anchoring the center of the defensive line stepped up in a big way as well. Fifita ended up with 6 tackles including 1.5 for a loss and a sack on the night. And he gave us this beauty to use in the future!
Special Teams: Jake Koehnke, K, P
Koehnke was pretty much the only participant on special teams for the Falcons on the night, so he would more than likely win by default. Handling both the placekicking and punting duties, Koehnke nailed his only field goal attempt on the night and converted all 5 PATs while averaging over 48 yards per punt for the game!
Offense: Jordan Asberry, RB
Maybe some people will want to fight me over this one, I dunno. Look, Kelvin Hopkins Jr. has been sensational and had a tremendous game against EMU. He broke the 100/100 club going 7/8 passing for 126 and two touchdowns and 105 yards on the ground. As he goes, so goes this offense (except when Cam Thomas steps in and leads them to victory as well). It will be great to watch both him and Sanders on opposite sides of the field on Saturday. But just watching the game, I really enjoyed what Asberry did. Yes, he only ended up with 15 yards rushing, but he nabbed a rushing touchdown and added a nice score on the receiving end as well, leading the team in receiving yards and accounting for half of the team’s offensive scoreboard production!
Defense: Cole Christiansen, LB
The junior linebacker from Suffolk, VA had an outstanding game with 6 tackles including a tackle for a loss, one sack, and another qb hurry. He was all over the field in the game, and for that, he earns our nod as defensive player of the game for the Black Knights.
Special Teams: John Abercrombie, K
I’ve brought up how special this story is already, with the former walk-on and sprint football player getting his chance to shine and making the most of it. All he has continued to do is make every kick he is asked to, including three crucial early field goals for the Black Knights and all four PATs on the day.
Offense: Malcolm Perry, RB
I debated going Mike Martin here, as the third-string Navy FB is one of the funniest guys on Twitter and I really enjoyed watching him score his first touchdown of his career. However, the late fumble was the reason for handing the award to Perry. Malcolm ended up with over 150 total yards, including 133 on the ground and leading the Mids with three receptions. His 58 yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the second half provided just the spark that the listless Navy offense needed to make an attempt to get back in the game.
Defense: Sean Williams, DB
The Navy defensive backfield had a rough go of it on Saturday, but Williams was all over the field, finishing with 11 tackles on the game. He also had his FBS leading fifth forced fumble of the season on the first play for Notre Dame, starting the game out with some early momentum for the Mids.
Special Teams: Owen White, P
Owen White continues to have a great season punting for the Navy football team. It wasn’t his greatest game of the season, as he only averaged 38 yards per punt on the evening, but the majority of that came from one really bad 18 yard shank in the second quarter. Otherwise, he pinned the team inside their 20 multiple times including a 51 yard boomer late in the first half.