ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)—After sitting out last Saturday’s blowout loss to Notre Dame, there was no way Navy quarterback Kriss Proctor was going to miss the Senior Day game against Troy on Saturday, even if he did have a dislocated left elbow.
Proctor ran for two touchdowns and passed for another, leading Navy to a 42-14 rout of Troy.
Navy (3-6) played its best game of the season, led 35-0 at halftime and snapped a six-game losing streak.
“I knew after Notre Dame (a 56-14 loss), I didn’t care how it felt, I was coming back,” said Proctor, who had been injured in the team’s loss to East Carolina on Oct. 22. “It feels good now, it felt good before the game … but it still doesn’t feel normal. It’s a dislocation and there is always a chance it could slide out like it did in the ECU game.”
Proctor scored on rushes of 1 yard and 5 yards and threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Gee Gee Greene before being replaced at halftime by backup Trey Miller. He also completed 4 of 6 passes for 127 yards.
“I didn’t know if he (Proctor) would play two hours before the game,” Navy coach said Ken Niumatalolo. “I saw Kriss on the training table before the game and he just smiled. I didn’t have to ask him if he was going to play. I knew he would.”
Seniors Aaron Santiago, returning after missing six games with a broken left forearm, and Alexander Teich, led the Mids on the ground. Santiago had 80 yards and Teich added 71 yards and a 5-yard scoring run as Navy gained 390 of its 517 yards offense on the ground.
Greene also scored on a 10-yard run and Mike Stukel added Navy’s lone second-half score on a 1-yard run.
Navy had 385 yards offense in the first half in building its biggest halftime margin since leading Temple 35-0 on Nov. 18, 2006.
Santiago’s return to the lineup was earlier than expected and his presence in the backfield with Proctor, Teich and Greene added an extra element that had been missing during the losing streak.
“It meant a lot to me to be able to play with everyone again, especially here at Memorial Stadium,” Santiago said.
Navy broke its longest skid since 2002 when it lost 10 in a row, and kept alive its hopes of playing in a bowl game for a ninth straight season.
“It feels great. Sometimes you forget what it feels like to get a win,” Teich said. “I was so proud of how everyone showed up today. We kept fighting. I hope the same team that showed up today shows up again next week.”
Navy hadn’t won since September 10. Now, the Mids must win their final three games to qualify for the Military Bowl.
“We have a case of amnesia when it comes to September and October,” Niumatalolo said. “We don’t remember those losses. We’re just looking ahead to SMU (its next foe) and the rest of the season.”
Troy (2-6) lost its fourth straight game for the first time since 2006 and is now assured of finishing with its first non-winning season since 2005 (4-7).
The Trojans had 330 total offense, getting just 109 and six first downs in the first half. They scored on a 1-yard run by D.J. Taylor on their first possession of the second half and on a 22-yard pass from Corey Robinson to Chandler Worthy on their final possession.
Troy starter Corey Robinson completed 19 of 26 passes for 152 yards and backup Jamie Hampton was 8 for 11 for 60 yards. Shawn Southward led Troy with 68 rushing yards and Eric Thomas had seven catches for 60 yards.
“We didn’t have it today on either side of the ball,” Troy coach Larry Blakeney said. “We started with two good drives and then had two turnovers. Any team will beat you if that happens.”