No trophy for Air Force

Air Force cannot claim the Commander-in-Chief's this season, as it needed to win both games in order to take it away from Navy.

A team that had won the trophy - given to the winner of the annual round-robin between the three service academies, Army being the other - retains it in the event of a tie. The best outcome Air Force can now hope for is a three-way 1-1 tie, which would return to trophy to the Midshipmen.

"To start the season, this is always our No. 1 goal, to try and defend the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "It feels great to get the first leg of that done."

Historically bad day

Air Force's 28-10 loss to Navy is the Falcons' worst loss to the Midshipmen since 1978. In that game, Navy defeated Air Force 37-8 at Falcon Stadium.

Saturday's loss is the Falcons' worst loss at Navy since a 42-6 win by the Midshipmen in 1973.

The 18-point difference Saturday is more than the combined five-season difference in scoring coming into the game. In the Falcons' and Midshipmen's previous five meetings, three games went into overtime. Navy scored 117 points in the five games, and Air Force scored 110 points.

Gagliano remains hopeful

Receiver Sam Gagliano said he remains hopeful about his Air Force teammates. He believes this team can recover from five straight losses.

"This is a team that has a lot of work ethic, a lot of drive," Gagliano said. "We want to get better. We want to keep fighting. That's why I'm optimistic."

Harris injures knee

Air Force lost nose guard David Harris to a second-quarter knee injury.

Coach Troy Calhoun said Harris would have an MRI to determine if the injury was anything more than the initial diagnosis of a sprain.

Calhoun also said running back Anthony LaCoste suffered a sprained ankle.

Staubach honored

Navy recognized some if its storied history during a halftime ceremony, with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Roger Staubach the key honoree.

In another on-field presentation, United Services Automobile Association was given a game ball as the title sponsor of the game. This had been planned for months, but was certainly more notable when USAA stepped in with a $230,00 gift to cover Air Force's travel expenses.

Brent Briggeman and David Ramsey, The Gazette