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IN THE KNOW: Introduction to service academy rivalry was incidental coincidence for Air Force tailback Tim McVey

November 3, 2017 Updated: November 3, 2017 at 3:45 pm
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FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2016, file photo, Air Force running back Timothy McVey, left, sprints for a touchdown against Navy during an NCAA college football game in Air Force Academy, Colo. Air Force holds the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy after sweeping Army and Navy last season. The Falcons pretty much dominated the Midshipmen in a 28-14 victory. The teams meet agains Saturday, Oct. 7. (Stacie Scott/The Gazette via AP, File)

Tim McVey has been a force in service academy games, totaling 163 yards from scrimmage with five touchdowns against Army and Navy.

The first appearance for the Air Force tailback at one of those games, however, came before he had any indication that he might one day find a home at an academy.

McVey attended the same Cleveland-area high school as former Air Force player Patrick Hennessey and was friends with the linebacker’s younger brother. McVey traveled with the Hennessey family to watch Patrick play at West Point in 2010.

“I was like, ‘Wow, this is pretty cool. I like how they’re running the ball a lot,’” McVey recalled. “Air Force was wearing the Thunderbird uniforms with red helmets. Everyone was hyped up for the game. I had a blast.”

So, when Air Force called, McVey already had an introduction to the Falcons and understood early in the process what the football side of things would have in store at the academy.

McVey has since become’s Air Force’s all-time leader in yards per carry (7.7) and ranks seventh in career touchdowns (32).

Oddly, he’s logged just one start in a service academy game, which came last year at Army. He came off the bench at Navy this year as he struggled with a toe injury. The ailment still lingers, but McVey has averaged 116 rushing yards over the past two games and has seen his per-carry average climb in four straight contests.

So, he’s more than ready to play on Saturday and perhaps leave an impression with an unsuspecting prospect who might become intrigued by the style of play he finds at Falcon Stadium.

“These are the games you want to see,” he said, “you’ve got the military atmosphere, the football atmosphere; they’re fun.”

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