Navy 38, Central Michigan 37: The Finish Of The Day

Here's how you know the finish is great: you yell in disbelief, which scares the tar out of the napping dog.

CMU had no business being in a position to win for most of the second half, but nobody is entitled to anything in sports. The defense was spending all day trying to chase down option quarterbacks and diving fullbacks, with little luck. But there they were, with a chance to win with one pass.

They were down 38-24 inside of four minutes, but one touchdown led to a kickoff, and the ensuing defensive stop led to a punt. That led to about an 80-yard drive with less than two minutes remaining (plus three timeouts) which might've been the most impressive drive by Ryan Radcliff all season, especially given the time, setting, and urgency.

And then the catch. Oh, lord, the catch. On a 4th and 2, Radcliff's pass for Cody Wilson was tipped up by the defender, but landed right in Wilson's arms, who grabbed it for six. (This was where the yell happened.) 38-37, 0:04 left. Because you read the headline, you're aware that the Chips went for two and Radcliff's pass sailed through the end zone. Nerts.

You gotta feel for CMU. To go into a bowl-eligible team's stadium and nearly beat them, while playing for nothing but pride (and a fourth victory), they stayed in there. Radcliff had some freaking numbers, the best of them was throwing 58 times and not being intercepted once. (Very impressive for a guy with 16 on the year.) They had more yards, fewer penalties, and zero turnovers. That's all you can ask ... they just didn't have any big plays. Chippewas fans oughta sleep easier knowing that Radcliff is going to figure this out next season.

Oh, but next season? This one's not quite over. One more test: a road game at Toledo the day after Thanksgiving. The Rockets are probalby getting a bowl themselves. CMU has two weeks to prepare. That's their bowl game.

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