Air Force Soars over Stony Brook in Season Opener

Written by Paul Fritz

Colorado Springs, CO – Air Force comes out of Saturday in their season debut with a convincing victory over the Stony Brook Seawolves as they served a shut out by a score of 38-0.

The Air Force Falcons showed discipline on both sides of the ball within the first two drives of the game. They employed a run heavy game plan from the start, led by quarterbacks #2 Arion Worthman and #4 Isaiah Sanders. The Falcons first drive consisted of 9 plays that consisted only of rushing progress with Joseph Saucier breaking away for a 31 yard gain. This put Worthman in position to find space around the Stony Brook defense to score the game’s first touchdown on a 7-yard run.

During the ensuing drive for the Seawolves, the Falcons stepped on the gas. On just the 2nd play, Linebacker #40 Kyle Johnson snagged an interception on the pass from Stony Brook Quarterback #10 Joe Carbone and ran it back 32 yards for a touchdown. By the time the Falcons had established their game plan and were up 17-0 in the 2nd quarter, the Seawolves needed everything to go right for them on the final drives before the end of the half. However, just about everything went wrong.

Five minutes into the 2nd quarter, the game was put on mandatory delay because of lightning strikes within 8 miles to the stadium. The 38-minute delay took a clear toll on Stony Brook, especially because Air Force already had the ball on the 20-yard line. Three runs later capped off by a 16-yard rushing touchdown by Fullback #34 Cole Fagan, Air Force went ahead 24-0. The touchdown was Fagan’s first in an Air Force uniform.

Whereas Stony Brook never looked like they could develop momentum, Air Force came out of the delay with the same intensity that they started. Most impressively, the Falcons defense gave up a remarkably low 13 yards total in the entire first half and 75 yards for the game. On his team’s defensive performance, Head Coach Troy Calhoun said, “We were really really solid against the run, against good bodies, good sized bodies. That will be a group (Stony Brook) that could make a deep playoff run, that’s something that could happen. Also getting off the field on 3rd down (was important).”

Through the rest of the game, Air Force had been so dominant in the run game that they really used it to keep the clock rolling and close out the victory. The Falcons finished as a team with 333 rushing yards. In contrast, they finished with a mere 29 total yards through the air.

Despite the solid rushing performance as a team, Worthman feels that there is still room for improvement. He said, “We definitely have to get better. There’s no question moving forward. With FAU (Florida Atlantic University) and Mountain West play, we got to improve in every asset: reads, checks, ball screens, ball security, blocking, route-running, everything. We got to improve everywhere.”

Air Force will head to Florida next Saturday to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls at 12:00 p.m. at FAU Stadium. Stony Brook will head back home to host the Bryant Bulldogs at 4:00 p.m. at LaValle Stadium. Regardless of who they are playing, however, the Seawolves will need to find some sort of team identity to have a chance at winning anything.

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