Saturday, November 16, 2013

Navy Handles South Alabama and Accepts Bowl Bid

Navy outscored South Alabama 22-0 in the second half to break open what was a close first half for a 42-14 win.  The win, Navy's sixth on the season, made them Bowl eligible and the Mids accepted an invitation to play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on December 30 in Fort Worth, Texas.  The Mids will play an opponent from the Mountain West Conference.  The bowl game will be Navy's tenth in the last eleven years.

The win was also coach Ken Niumatalolo's 46th victory and moves him to third place in victories at the Naval Academy.  Coach showed his emotional side this afternoon by being flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct during the game and then by getting emotional talking about his seniors at the post game press conference.

Senior Darius Staten led the Mids with 127 yards on just 7 carries and scored a touchdown early in the second quarter when both teams were trading scores.

Keenan Reynolds rushed for 71 yards on the afternoon and scored is 19th rushing touchdown of the season which ties him for the lead in the FBS this season.

Navy's offense racked up 519 total yards in the game and held a tough USA team to just 14 points, their lowest of the year.  Today's game was the third time this season that the Mids amassed over 500 yards of offense.

Navy finished the season undefeated at home, their first undefeated season at home since 2004, and now prepare to travel to San Jose State next Friday to take on the Spartans at 9:30 PM EST (ESPN2).

Navy finishes up the regular season against Army in Philadelphia on December 14.

Navy 27 - South Alabama 14, 3rd Quarter

There was only one score in the third quarter, a 1-yard TD rush by Keenan Reynolds.

Following that TD there were three consecutive three-and-outs.

USA is currently in an 11-play drive and in Navy's end of the field.

Navy 20 - South Alabama 14, Halftime

Navy and their 22 seniors that are playing their final game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium hold a 20-14 lead over visiting South Alabama.

There have been five lead changes throughout the first half and surprisingly, USA leads in time of possession 15:47 to 14:13.

Darius Staten leads the Mids in rushing with 101 yards on five carries with one TD.

Ross Metheny has been the difference for South Alabama's offense.  Metheny has completed 15 of 18 passes for 139 yards and two TDs to Shavarez Smith.  Metheny also leads the Jags in rushing (7-35).

Navy has yet to punt in the game.

Navy has played four games this season decided by 7 points or less.  In those games they are 2-2. USA has played in seven games decided by 7 or fewer points.  Their record this season is 2-5.

South Alabama 7 - Navy 3, first quarter

Navy forced USA to punt on their first drive and then drove 49 yards on 12 plays leading to a 37-yard FG by Nick Sloan.

The Jags answered Navy's scoring drive with a 14-play, 78-yard scoring drive of their own.  Ross Matheny found Shavarez Smith in the corner of the end zone to give USA a 7-3 lead.

Darius Staten led the Mids with 39 rushing yards.  Wes Saxton had four receptions for 41 yards for South Alabama.  Wave Ryder leads the Midshipmen with four tackles.

South Alabama at Navy - Pregame Notes

Today's game is televised on CBS Sports Network at 3:30 PM.

Today will be the first meeting between Navy (5-4) and South Alabama (3-5).

Today is senior day at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  Twenty-two seniors will be recognized before today's game.

The Midshipmen and Jaguars have one common opponent.  Navy lost at Western Kentucky 19-7 on September 28 while the Hilltoppers fell to South Alabama 31-24 on September 14.

With a win today, Navy will become bowl eligible and will accept an invitation to play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on December 30 in Fort Worth, Texas.

South Alabama is just 12 points away from being 8-0.  The Jags lost to Southern Utah (22-21), Tennessee (31-24), Troy (34-33), Texas State (33-31), and Arkansas State (17-16).

Sophomore QB, Keenan Reynolds leads the Midshipmen in rushing with 825 yards and 18 TDs. He is also completing over 50 percent of his passes for 814 yards and 6 TDs.

DeBrandon Sanders and Casey Bolena each have 10 receptions for 194 and 114 yards respectively.

Jay Jones leads South Alabama with 437 yards on 83 carries.  QB Ross Metheny also has 359 yards on 77 carries.  Metheny has completed nearly 62 percent of his passes with 1817 yards and 9 TDs.  Four receivers have over 26 catches with Wes Saxton leading the group with 39.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Keenan Reynolds Leads Navy over Hawaii

Keenan Reynolds
On a crisp fall afternoon in Annapolis, Navy's star quarterback, Keenan Reynolds rushed for 236 yards on 28 carries and scored four touchdowns leading Navy to a 42-28 win over Hawai'i.

Hawai'i was in the midst of a 10-day road trip that led to today's first-ever match-up between schools with head coaches of Polynesian decent.  The game was also significant as Navy's head coach, Ken Niumatalolo is a graduate of the University of Hawai'i, as is Navy's offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper.

Hawai'i's Norm Chow, who became head coach in 2012 followed Navy's Niumatalolo who became only the second Polynesian head coach when he was hired by Navy in 2009.

Hawai'i's road trip, which concluded this evening in Annapolis began at Utah State last week.  The team will travel over 9,800 miles and will have been away from the island for 10 days, which may partially explain their difficulty in stopping Reynolds.

The Midshipmen needed every one of Reynolds' yards and TDs to hold off a scrappy, although winless Hawai'i team.

The Rainbow Warriors' offense was effective on the afternoon as well.  Junior fullback, Joey Iosefa let the UH running attack with 192 yards on 35 carries (tied a school record).  Not to be outdone, Hawai'i's senior signal caller, Sean Schroeder threw for 246 yards and connected for three TDs.

But the afternoon belonged to Reynolds.  Reynolds was responsible for five touchdowns during the game (four rushing, one passing) and put points on the board in each quarter.

The Mids and their counterparts from the Pacific were tied 14-14 at halftime, despite Hawai'i's kicker missing two field goals wide left in the first half.

Quinton Singleton was able to put the first points on the board for Navy in the second half.  Singleton, who finished with 93 yards, put the Mids in the lead for good with a 12-yard run to cap off an 11-play, 70-yard scoring drive.  Nick Sloan, who was a perfect 5-5 on PATs, kicked the extra point to put Navy up 21-14.

Reynold's scored his second TD of the game on Navy's next possession and just missed scoring his third on their ensuing drive.  Reynolds cut inside from the one yard line not seeing that there was a seam outside the left tackle.

Hawai'i drove 99 yards after holding Navy and Iosefa scored his only TD of the game to cap off the drive.

Jasper and Niumatalolo both got on Reynolds for not scoring from the one yard line and Reynolds felt he had to redeem himself - and on the next drive he did just that.  Reynolds got great blocking on the right side and sprinted 67 yards to the end zone giving Navy a 35-21 lead.

The teams traded touchdowns and Navy earned their fifth win of the year and Niumatalolo earned his 45th as a head coach - moving him into a tie with Paul Johnson for third on Navy's career wins list.

Navy has three more chances to get win number six to become bowl eligible - South Alabama on November 16, at San Jose State on November 22, and against Army on December 14.

Navy has already clinched the Commander-in-Chief's trophy when Air Force beat Army last week.

Navy 28 - Hawaii 14 - End of 3rd Quarter

Navy scored two TDs in the third quarter to take a 14-point lead over the Rainbow Warriors.  They drove inside the one-yard-line on another drive, but were stopped on fourth down.

Quinton Singleton scored the first TD of the quarter from 12 yards and Keenan Reynolds scored the other from six yards.

Navy 14 - Hawai'i 14 - Halftime

The Rainbow Warriors outscored Navy 14-7 in the second quarter to tie the game 14-14.  Senior QB, Sean Schroeder completed TD passes of 40 and eight yards in the quarter.

Navy's QB, Keenan Reynolds found the end zone on a 1-yard scamper for the Mids.

Hawai'i outgained Navy 275-143 in the first half.

Navy 7 - Hawaii 0

At the end of the first quarter, Navy leads Hawaii 7-0.

Hawaii's Donnie King fumbled Navy's punt on the Hawaii 22-yard line.  Myer Krah recovered the fumble giving Navy a first down on the Hawaii 26-yard line.  On Navy's first play, Keenan Reynolds found a wide-open Geoffrey Whiteside in the end zone giving Navy the early lead.  Nick Sloan hit the PAT to give Navy the 7-0 lead.