Saturday, November 15, 2014

Navy Outruns Georgia Southern on Senior Day

Navy QB Keenan Reynolds
Navy junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds showed why he's one of the most prolific rushing quarterbacks in NCAA history as he rushed for 277 yards and six touchdowns against Georgia Southern.

His six TDs give him 58 rushing touchdowns for his career which is 9th all-time in NCAA history. They also led Navy to a 52-19 win over the Eagles on a day that the Midshipmen recognized 26 seniors that would be playing their final game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Navy needed every one of his rushing yards to match the nations' top rushing football team. Georgia Southern came into the game averaging 386.5 yards rushing per game, 36 more per game than the Mids.

Georgia Southern took the opening kickoff and pounded out a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a two yard touchdown run by L.A. Ramsby.

Navy countered with a 10-play, 62-yard drive of their own that was capped off by Keenan Reynolds' first of his six rushing touchdowns in the game.

For fans of smash-mouth football, this game seemed like an early Christmas present.

The prolific Georgia Southern rushing attack was stymied by Navy's swarming defense and the Eagles wouldn't get back on the scoreboard until just 1:27 remained in the third quarter. Navy defensive coordinator, Buddy Green's troops forced three turnovers in the game and the Navy offense capitalized on each one scoring 17 points off those miscues.

Meanwhile the Midshipmen offense would continue to roll behind Reynolds. Navy put points on the scoreboard on seven of their next 11 series. The end of each half and two punts were all that kept the Mids from scoring every time they had possession of the football.

Austin Grebe booted a 36-yard field goal in the second quarter to give Navy a 17-7 lead. Since becoming the starting kicker on October 11, Grebe has been a perfect 23-23 on PATs and 4-4 on field goals.

For the game, Reynolds had a hand in all seven of the Navy touchdowns - six rushing and one passing. Reynolds hit sophomore wide receiver Jamir Tillman on a 14-yard scoring strike in the second quarter. Reynolds was able to find the end zone with his legs on carries of 1, 22, 1, 27, 15, and 39 yards.

Although they weren't able to put many points on the board, Georgia Southern ran with the Mids yard-for-yard gaining 375 yards on the ground against 394 for Navy. The Eagles were led by sophomore running back Matt Breida.  Breida gained 211 yards on 17 carries including an 88-yard TD run in the third quarter.

With Breida and Reynolds both rushing for over 200 yards, it became just the 7th time in NCAA history that two players rushed for over 200 yards in the same game. The last time was in 2005 when Northern Illinois and Northwestern accomplished the feat.

Keenan Reynolds, with 58 career rushing touchdowns, trails just Eric Crouch (Nebraska) and Colin Kaepernick (Nevada), who each have 59 TDs on the all-time career rushing touchdowns for quarterbacks.

Navy travels to South Alabama on November 28 and then will play Army on December 13.

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