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Reynolds, Navy top MTSU in Armed Forces Bowl
Fort Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) – Record-setting quarterback Keenan
Reynolds ran for two more touchdowns Monday to help Navy beat Middle Tennessee
24-6 in the Armed Forces Bowl.
The score could have been even more lopsided if not for Reynolds fumbling
twice deep in Middle Tennessee territory.
Reynolds paced Navy’s option offense with 86 yards on 20 carries and finished
the season with 31 rushing touchdowns, the most in a single season by a
quarterback in NCAA history.
DeBrandon Sanders also ran for a touchdown as the Midshipmen (9-4) closed out
the campaign on a five-game winning streak.
Logan Kilgore totaled 218 yards on 19-of-33 passing, but threw two fourth-
quarter interceptions to foil Middle Tennessee’s comeback bid.
The Blue Raiders (8-5) had won five games in a row heading into the bowl game,
during which they averaged 42.6 points.
“I thought our guys played really, really well, played physical,” Navy head
coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “We knew it would be a physical ballgame. I’m
just proud of the way our guys battled and kept them out of the end zone.”
Navy came up with a critical fourth-down stop on defense in the third quarter.
Middle Tennessee, trailing 10-6, faced a 4th-and-2 from the Navy 7 and kept
its offense on the field, but fullback Corey Carmichael managed only a yard.
Reynolds coughed up the ball a second time on the ensuing drive and the Blue
Raiders recovered inside their own 10.
After Middle Tennessee punted to conclude the third quarter, Reynolds atoned
for the giveaway by capping an 11-play, 80-yard sequence with a short TD run.
Sanders then followed up a Kilgore turnover with a 41-yard sprint to the end
Kilgore was picked off near the goal line later in the fourth.
“Really proud of my team. It hurts to lose this game, but I was really proud
of how we played and how we competed out there,” said Middle Tennessee head
coach Rick Stockstill.
Navy opened the game by covering 59 yards in 10 plays, and Reynolds capped the
drive with a 3-yard keeper.
Cody Clark nailed a career-long 43-yard field goal on the Blue Raiders’ first
possession and hit a 24-yarder to trim the deficit to 10-6 with 6:38 remaining
in the second quarter.
The Midshipmen answered Clark’s first kick with a 32-yarder by Nick Sloan and
were looking to counter again as they reached the red zone, but a Reynolds
fumble derailed the drive.
Reynolds became the fourth player in FBS history to rush for 30 or more
touchdowns in a season. He joined Barry Sanders, Montee Ball and Kapri Bibbs
… Navy recorded its first bowl victory since beating Missouri in the 2009
Texas Bowl … Navy safety Wave Ryder was ejected in the second quarter for
targeting a defenseless player … Middle Tennessee linebacker Roderic Blunt
was ejected in the fourth quarter after picking up a second unsportsmanlike