Xavier Moss

Army adds receivers coach to staff from Ball State

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Just a little under two weeks ago Army lost a running back coach. Today they added a wide receivers coach to the staff. Keith Gaither has joined the coaching staff in West Point following four years at the same position with Ball State.

“Keith brings not only playing experience but also coaching and teaching experience as well and that is important,” Army head coach Jeff Monken said in a released statement Thursday. “We are excited to have Keith join our staff and for him to have the spring to work with our wide receivers and all of our players. He has coached in bowl games and will be a great addition to the staff. “

Gaither brings 19 years of coaching experience with him to West Point, and Army hopes his experience will mesh well with what is expected to be a veteran receiver group in 2015. Army was 125th in the nation (out of 125 programs) in passing offense in 2015, so there is plenty of room for improvement for the run first, second and third Black Knights.

Army returns Edgar Poe, last season’s leading receiver (199 yards and one touchdown), along with DeAndre Bell and John Trainor. Xavier Moss has switched positions from receiver last year to defensive back this spring. Last season with Ball State, Gaither coached Jordan Williams (753 yards, six touchdowns) and KeVonn Mabon (717 yards, five touchdowns). Both were among the top receivers in the MAC.

Army starts strong, but Navy seizes momentum at half

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Looking to bring an end to a painful 12-game losing streak to their rivals from Navy, Army nearly pulled off about a perfect first half as it could muster. But Keenan Reynolds and the Midshipmen had a late rally in them just before the half to tie things up 7-7.

Josh Jenkins blocked a a Navy punt deep in the Navy end, and Xavier Moss picked up the loose ball and returned it seven short yards for a quick score. It was the first time since 2009 Army had scored first in the Army Navy Game, and it was the first blocked punt returned for a touchdown against Navy since 2008 (Notre Dame). Navy’s ensuing possession was not much better, with a second straight three-and-out before getting a punt away.

It looked for a while as though Army was going to find a way to the half with the lead, but Reynolds completed a 39-yard pass to Jamir Tillman to move Navy’s offense into Army territory. A couple of plays later Navy entered the red zone. A nine-yard touchdown pass from Reynolds to Tillman with 18 seconds left in the first half tied things up, perhaps seizing the momentum for Navy n the process at the best possible time.

The touchdown pass from Reynolds was his 23rd career touchdown pass. That moved him into a tie for fourth place in Navy program history with Jim Kubiak.

Of course, the pregame fanfare and show of unified patriotism was put on display as well.