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Troy's passing trumps Navy's ground game

The SportsXchange

TROY, Ala. -- In a game of contrasting offensive styles, Troy's spread passing attack outscored Navy's run-oriented option attack 41-31 Saturday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Troy (5-5) came into the game averaging 315 yards per game passing, ranked 15th in the nation. Navy (6-4) entered the contest rushing for 268 yards per game, seventh in the nation.

It was Troy's passing game that heated up first.

The Trojans struck first when Deon Anthony flipped a screen pass to Chandler Worthy, who raced 34 yards for the touchdown. It was Troy's seven-longest scoring play of the season.

After a 6-yard touchdown run from Shawn Southward, the Trojans continued the early onslaught when Corey Robinson completed a 62-yard touchdown pass to B.J. Chitty with 13:57 left in the first half.

Troy led 21-0 early in the second quarter, but the Midshipmen would rally after that.

"We started out behind and that's not our style," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "We normally like to be ahead. Props to Troy. They got on us early."

Navy cracked the scoreboard when quarterback Keenan Reynolds kept the ball on an option and ran right for a 5-yard touchdown. The Midshipmen added the extra point to cut the Trojans' lead to 21-7.

Reynolds scored again on another 5-yard run after completing a 68-yard pass to Shawn Lynch. An interception by Wave Ryder killed a deep Troy drive before Navy's second scoring possession.

The Trojans answered with Anthony's career-best 44-yard run for a touchdown that put Troy up 28-14 with 4:07 left in the second quarter.

Troy could not stop Reynolds from bringing the Midshipmen closer, capping a 7-play, 39-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run to make it 28-21 at halftime.

"We started settling down. We stopped shooting ourselves in the foot," Reynolds said of the Midshipmen's first-half rally.

After Will Scott kicked a 25-yard field goal to give Troy a 31-21 lead in the third quarter, Navy running back Gee Gee Greene countered with a 59-yard touchdown run on a pitch play. It was the longest running score Troy has allowed all season.

The Trojans scored again with 12:35 left in the game. Taking advantage of a Navy fumble, the Trojans moved 47 yards, capping the drive with another Anthony touchdown run. At that point, Troy led 38-28.

"It's the same stuff -- we've got to take care of the ball," Niumatalolo said.

Troy completed 34 of 40 passes for 415 yards. The Trojans also ran for 182 yards and three scores.

"That comes from on and off the field activities," Chitty said. "We're real cool with each other. I mean, it's just good chemistry for the offense right now. Everybody is playing their role.

"we're making plays when we have to. Little short dumps and deep balls when we have to. It's just going good right now."

Navy's Nick Sloan kicked a 27-yard field goal and Troy's Will Scott added a 23-yard field goal to round out the scoring.

NOTES: Chitty's 62-yard touchdown reception was the longest of the redshirt sophomore's career. He had a 44-yard catch in the 2011 season. ... Troy wide receiver J.J. Harbin made his first career catch and defensive lineman Xavier Melton made his first career sack. ... Reynolds completed a 68-yard pass to Shawn Lynch, the longest pass play for Navy this year ... The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Midshipmen. ... The announced crowd was 24,321, fifth largest in Veterans Memorial Stadium history.
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