The 9th installment of the Military Bowl took place Tuesday at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in downtown Annapolis as the 23rd ranked Temple Owls lost to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 34-26
Wake Forest and Temple played in the Military Bowl for the second time in each school’s history. Wake Forest beat Navy in 2008 when the game took place at RFK Stadium. Temple lost their only other appearance to UCLA the following year. Temple came into this game riding their second straight 10 win season and a conference championship. Wake Forest started this season strong winning their first four games, but ended up 6-6 after a tough stretch against a strong ACC.
Celebrations kicked off early in the morning with a parade that marched from the Annapolis harbor to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. The parade featured both schools’ bands, the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales and Medal of Honor recipients including Maryland native and UMD alum Florent Groberg. The opening ceremonies included an aerial skydiving demonstration from the Fastrax Parachute team, an American flag that stretched the length of the field and a flyover by the United States Air Force.
Military Bowl Highlights
Temple began the game by intercepting Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford on the opening drive. Temple’s first offensive play was a 48-yard pass TD to wide receiver Adonis Jennings. Wake Forest responded by scoring 31 straight points against a very strong Temple defense. Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford threw 2 TD’s after his first quarter mishap and the offense rushed for two more scores and a field goal. Temple finally got some momentum back late in the second quarter by marching down the field and threatening to score, but game MVP Thomas Brown stopped the drive with a 3rd down sack, forcing Temple to settle for a 45-yard field goal. (STORY CONTINUES BELOW IMAGES)
All Images © 2016 Glenn A Miller Photography for Eye On Annapolis
Temple came back from the half with 10 unanswered points and 164 yards passing from their senior QB Phillip Walker. Things got worse for Wake Forest as Wolford left the game with an injury early in the third after rushing the ball. Wake Forest Backup QB Kyle Kearns went 3-3 on the ensuing drive before throwing a pick in the back of the end zone to Temple safety Delvon Randall. While Temple was able to drive down the field well behind the strong arm of Walker, the Wake Forest defense did just enough to hold the Owls to field goals when they needed touchdowns. Down eight points with less than a minute to go, Temple missed their opportunity on 4th down, and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons were crowned the 2016 Military Bowl Champions.
Play of the Game
With the clock running down and Temple having made it a one score game, Wake Forest return man John Armstrong took the ball 80 yards on the kick-off after a Temple field goal, setting up the final score of the game and cementing the Wake Forest Victory.
LB Thomas Brown, Wake Forest.
7 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Forced Fumble