It’s the kind of story that puts a smile on your face, and make you love college football.
Navy quarterback Tago Smith started his first career game for the Midshipmen and rushed for 97 yards while completing one pass for 45 yards, but a knee injury forced him to the sideline.
Navy has three quarterbacks on the roster but third-stringer, sophomore Zach Abey, had been suspended for the game, prior to Saturday.
Initial reports glossed over the fact that Navy did indeed have another QB on the sideline, senior Will Worth, who entered the game for Smith in the 1st half. Worth had nine rushing attempts for 22 yards, with one touchdown, and completed all three of his passes for 78 yards, including another touchdown.
With the game going on, someone had to drive back to the Naval Academy to get Malcolm Perry’s uniform, which was still in his locker. Perry had not practiced during the week due to illness, missing practices on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He had returned to practice Thursday and played a JV game on Friday, but was still not due to dress for Saturday’s game.
Freshman QB Malcolm Perry was not dressed to start the game. He was pulled out of the Brigade when Tago went down. Will wear #5 in 2nd H— Scott Strasemeier (@ScottStras) September 3, 2016
Navy plays at Jack Stephens Field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, located 1.4 miles from the Naval Service Academy. Not very far to drive, but did we mention there’s a football game going on at the same time? We presume it was easy to find a parking space.
Uniform back at the stadium, Perry-- listed as the #4 quarterback on the depth chart— saw action in the 4th quarter, rushing seven times for 30 yards, and attempting zero passes.
The Midshipmen defeated FCS Fordham, 52-16, in a game that was over long before the 4th quarter.
It’s still not known the extent of Smith’s injury, as Navy was predicted to challenge for the AAC West. But we’re fairly certain that if the Midshipmen don’t have any quarterbacks and you’re in the brigade, they may just call your number.