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Football: Midshipmen overtake Falcons in OT, 16-13

Falcons running back Jared Tew runs upfield against the Midshipmen in the Air Force-Navy game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., Oct. 3, 2009. Navy won the game 16-13 on an overtime field goal. The Midshipmen have won the past seven matchups against Air Force, though the Falcons still lead the series overall, 25-17. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Falcons running back Jared Tew runs upfield against the Midshipmen in the Air Force-Navy game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., Oct. 3, 2009. Navy won the game 16-13 on an overtime field goal. The Midshipmen have won the past seven matchups against Air Force, though the Falcons still lead the series overall, 25-17. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Falcons running back Asher Clark runs the ball against Navy Oct. 3, 2009 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The Midshipmen won 16-13 with a field goal in overtime. Navy has won the past seven matchups between the two schools, but the Air Force leads the overall series 25-17. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tim Chacon)

Falcons running back Asher Clark runs the ball against Navy Oct. 3, 2009 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. The Midshipmen won 16-13 with a field goal in overtime. Navy has won the past seven matchups between the two schools, but the Air Force leads the overall series 25-17. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tim Chacon)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Air Force faced a devastatingly close overtime loss to Navy Oct. 3 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

In spite of a great effort, the Falcons could not answer the Midshipmen's overtime field goal and fell 16-13.

Air Force running back Savier Stephens led the team with 81 rushing yards, setting the Air Force up for two field goals scored by sophomore kicker Erik Soderberg.

"We didn't score enough points, period," said Falcons head coach Troy Calhoun. "If you don't win the game, there's plenty of work to do. There's always plenty of work to do anyway."

Falcons cornerback Anthony Wright scored Air Force's only touchdown with a 67-yard interception return in the second quarter.

"I like what we were doing on defense," Coach Calhoun said. "We've got a lot of really capable guys on that side."

Both teams played a tough game that went into overtime thanks to a Falcon field goal with no time left in regulation. The Midshipmen took the field in overtime and marched down to kick a 38-yard field goal to put the Navy up by three. Air Force then took their turn in overtime and moved the ball down to attempt a 31-yard field goal. Soderberg's kick sailed wide left to end the game.

The clash between two of the nation's top rushing teams made for an exciting game for the packed stadium, with Air Force gaining a total of 194 yards rushing and Navy gaining 182. The Falcons defense kept the Midshipmen at bay, allowing only one touchdown and three field goals.

Air Force dominated in offensive yardage but couldn't capitalize, forcing Brandon Geyer to punt five times. An interception and fumble near midfield kept the Falcons from taking the lead at any point in the game.

In the emotionally charged, tied fourth quarter, Air Force fans, cheerleaders, players and coaches alike were on their toes, praying for an upset.

"It's unbelievably tough," said Academy senior John Falgout. "This was one of those games where you give your blood and your sweat and sometimes, in the end, even your tears."

"By and large, physically it was an extraordinary football game," Coach Calhoun said.

Though Navy has won seven straight games in the series, the Falcons still lead the overall series 25-17.

"It's a heartbreaker," said Academy senior Ben Garland. "But we've just got to put this behind us and get ready for the Mountain West (Conference) next week."

The Falcons fall to 3-2 on the season and 2-0 in the Mountain West Conference. The Falcons return to the gridiron Saturday against conference foe Texas Christian University, which is 4-0 overall and ranked 10th nationally in the Associated Press Top 25. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.