Dec 13, 2014 6:22 PM
Navy make it 13 in a row over Army 17-10
The Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP) Navy extended its winning streak over Army to 13 games, using a strong defensive performance and the versatility of quarterback Keenan Reynolds to carve out a 17-10 victory Saturday.
After Army turned a blocked punt into a touchdown in the first quarter, the Midshipmen used the passing of Reynolds to pull even at halftime. Navy (7-5) then took a 10-7 lead before Reynolds scored from the 1 with 12:07 left to put the Mids in control.
Ken Niumatalolo became the winningest coach in Navy history, breaking a tie with George Welsh. Niumatalolo (56-35) also became the first Navy coach to win his first seven games against Army (4-8).
Reynolds ran 26 times for 100 yards and completed six of eight passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.
As the clock ticked down the final seconds, the thousands of Midshipmen in attendance jumped, yelled and cheered from their perch in the end zone.
The 13-game run by Navy is the longest in the history of a series that began in 1890. Before the Midshipmen went on their unprecedented run, neither team in this storied rivalry had won more than five in a row.
In the previous 12 games, Navy outscored Army 400-132 including 34-7 last year. Although the score in this one was closer, the result was the same.
Army hasn't defeated the Midshipmen since 2001. First-year coach Jeff Monken became the sixth coach to lose to Navy over that span.
After scoring a touchdown late in the first half to draw even at 7, Navy opened the third quarter with a 41-yard kickoff return by Ryan Williams-Jenkins. That led to a 45-yard field goal by Austin Grebe for a 10-7 lead.
Army then wasted a 50-yard drive, moving to the Navy 30 before Daniel Grochowski hooked a field goal try to the left.
Reynolds subsequently directed a 12-play march that lasted nearly eight minutes and ended with the 5-foot-11 junior bulling over the goal line for a 10-point cushion.
Naturally, the Cadets didn't quit. But a possession that moved to the Navy 38 ended with a fumble by quarterback A.J. Schurr, and that pretty much left Army the prospect of lamenting yet another loss to their rivals for the next 365 days.
A 52-yard field goal by Grochowski made it 17-10 with 1:51 left, but Navy recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Early on, it appeared as if this game might be different from the 12 that preceded it.
The Cadets went up 7-0 in stunning fashion, holding Navy to four yards on its first series before Josh Jenkins blocked a punt and Xavier Moss scooped up the ball and sprinted seven yards into the end zone.
Navy senior Pablo Beltran never had a punt blocked before that play it was his 151st kick and it marked the first time since 2009 that Army scored first against the Midshipmen.
It was a horrid first quarter for Navy, which gained 15 yards on three straight three-and-outs.
Army maintained the upper hand in the second quarter, but the momentum turned when Cadets quarterback Angel Santiago was stuffed on a fourth-and-1 from the Navy 30 with just over two minutes left.
The Midshipmen then turned to a seldom-used weapon the forward pass to pull into a tie at the break.
Reynolds completed a 39-yard pass to Jamir Tillman to the Army 31 and connected with Ryan Williams-Jenkins for 12 yards before throwing a 9-yard TD pass to Tillman with 18 seconds to go before halftime.