COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Offensive guard Jake Zuzek recovered a fumble in the end zone on the first possession of overtime and defensive end Wes Henderson knocked down a pass attempt on fourth down as Navy pulled out a thrilling 28-21 victory over service academy rival Air Force on Saturday in front of 38,927 fans at Falcon Stadium.
Navy got the ball first to begin overtime and covered the 25 yards in six plays. The Midshipmen were at the 1-yard line when quarterback Keenan Reynolds fumbled the snap from center. The ball squirted forward and Zuzek landed on it for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.
Air Force was unable to pick up a first down on its overtime possession with Navy linebacker Matt Warrick throwing running back Cody Getz for a 1-yard loss on third down. Facing fourth-and-6 from the 21-yard line, Dietz attempted a pass into the flat that was batted down by Henderson -- prompting the visiting Midshipmen to storm the field in wild celebration.
Starting quarterback Trey Miller rushed for 110 yards on 18 carries before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. Fullback Noah Copeland contributed 84 yards rushing for the Midshipmen (2-3), who snapped a two-game losing streak in the series.
Getz rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown to lead Air Force (2-3), which outgained Navy 507-359 in offensive yards. Wide receiver Drew Coleman caught four passes for 106 yards with two touchdowns for the Falcons.
Coleman gave the Falcons a 21-13 lead with 9:03 remaining in the game when he got past the defense and hauled in a 54-yard pass from wide receiver Dontae Strickland, who had taken a pitch from quarterback Connor Dietz.
However, Navy responded quickly as Reynolds directed a 75-yard touchdown drive that took just six plays and 2 1/2 minutes. Reynolds, a freshman, completed a 35-yard pass to slotback Gee Gee Greene to get the ball into Air Force territory. Reynolds then scored from 15 yards out on an option keeper.
Trailing by two with 6:35 remaining, Navy eschewed the extra point and went for two. Reynolds ran the double option to perfection by drawing a defender, then pitching to fullback Noah Copeland, who dove over the goal line to tie the score 21-21.
Reynolds, who had appeared in three previous games in a backup role, was forced into action after Miller suffered an ankle injury on the previous possession, which produced a 41-yard field goal by Nick Sloan that pulled Navy within 14-13.
Air Force reached midfield on its final possession of regulation before being forced to punt. Navy took over possession at its own 14-yard line with 1:40 to go, but was content to play for overtime -- calling three straight running plays before punting.
That strategy gave Air Force another chance and the home team moved the ball far enough into Navy territory to set up a 51-yard field goal attempt by Parker Herrington with five seconds left. The Midshipmen called two timeouts to ice Herrington, whose kick was wide left and sent the game into overtime. Herrington is 1-for-6 on field goals this season.
It marked the third time in four seasons the Air Force-Navy game went to overtime. Nine of the last 10 meetings between the teams have been decided by eight points or less.