Abey on pace to shatter Navy single-season record for rushing attempts

Navy quarterback Zach Abey is stopped during the Navy-Air Force football game at Annapolis, Md., Oct. 7, 2017. Abey rushed for 214 yards and two TDs in a 48-45 Navy win.


By BILL WAGNER | The Capital, | Published: October 18, 2017

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Navy’s triple-option offense is specifically designed to force defenses to defend three potential ball-carriers on every play. Factor in the threat of a downfield pass and there are actually four options to worry about.

For much of this season, the Midshipmen have been somewhat one-dimensional. Quarterback Zach Abey has been the dominant running threat through six games, making the fullback dive and slotback pitch less less of a factor than in years past.

Abey has received a whopping 183 carries, almost as many as the rest of the team combined. Twelve other offensive players have totaled 202 rushing attempts. Fullback Chris High ranks second on the squad with 89 carries, less than half as many as Abey.

Head coach Ken Niumatalolo was asked after practice on Monday if he is concerned about the wear and tear on Abey, who has proven his toughness repeatedly this season.

“There’s always concern. You look at the numbers and you’re concerned,” Niumatalolo said. “Our quarterbacks over the years have carried the ball a lot, but they are human.”

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