It took the offenses a few minutes, but once they geared up, the expected Military Bowl shootout took off.
Aspiring defensive coordinators, avert your eyes now.
After a Toledo missed field goal and a fourth-down “quick kick” by Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson (for about 15 yards), the Rockets scored 14 points in less than 30 seconds: A 17-yard scoring strike from Terrance Owens to Bernard Reedy was followed by an Air Force fumble on the kickoff, then a 41-yard scoring scamper by Adonis Thomas over left end.
Jefferson atoned for his lack of punting prowess on the Falcons’ ensuing drive, diving for a critical first down on 4th-and-inches near midfield, then scoring on a 22-yard quarterback draw to make it 14-7.
Comeback? Not yet: The kickoff went to Eric Page, one of the nation’s top wideouts (96 catches entering the game). He’s not bad on kick returns, either — the Falcons barely laid a hand on him as he ran 87 yards straight up the field and into the end zone.
Down by 14 again, Air Force answered by getting its option attack on track. Jonathan Warzeka took a Jefferson pitch around left end for a 60-yard gain, then Mike DeWitt scored on a 4-yard plunge to make it 21-14.
Thirty-five points. Fifteen minutes. Air Force managed a sack on the quarter’s last play to force a 4th-and-long, but that type of defensive play may be rare the rest of the way.