Saturday, December 13, 2014

Navy Outlasts Army, 17-10

Army jumped out to an early 7-0 lead over Navy in the 115th edition of the Army-Navy game.  The Black Knights forced Navy to punt on its first drive and Josh Jenkins blocked Pablo Beltran's first kick of the day. Xavier Moss picked up the loose ball and returned it seven yards for the Army touchdown.  Unfortunately, Army wouldn't score again until just 1:51 remained in the game.

Navy was unable to move the ball for most of the first half as they fought to cut into the Army lead. Navy's rushing offense that leads the nation (357.8 yards/game) was held to just 12 yards in the first quarter.

The Mids were unable to sustain many drives in the first half until quarterback Keenan Reynolds found an open Jamir Tillman for 39 yards on Navy's last drive of the half.  Five plays later Reynolds hit Tillman in the end zone and Navy shifted the momentum in their favor.

Navy took the lead on their opening drive of the second half.  After a 41 yard kickoff return from Ryan Williams-Jenkins the Midshipmen were able to move into field goal range.  Austin Grebe hit a 45-yarder, the longest of his career, to give Navy the 10-7 lead.

The Midshipmen extended that lead to 17-7 when Keenan Reynolds found the end zone on a 1-yard scamper.  The touchdown was Reynolds' 62nd rushing touchdown run of his career moving him to within one touchdown of tying Ron Dayne from Wisconsin at number six all-time.

Army made the game exciting when Daniel Grochowski booted a 52-yard field goal to cut Navy's lead to seven with less than two minutes left in the contest.

Thomas Wilson recovered Army's attempted onside kick and the Mids were able to run out the clock giving Navy their 13th consecutive win over Army dating back to 2002.

With the win, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo became Navy's all-time winningest coach with a 56-35 record passing George Welsh.

Niumatalolo was humble when discussing the record. "I'm blessed; I coach great with great coaches."

Navy faces San Diego State on December 23 in the Poinsettia Bowl.

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