Navy's Reynolds sets NCAA record in win over Army

Everett Merrill, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds grew up in the warm South, but that didn't prevent him from setting two records in the snow and ice Saturday in the 114th meeting against Army.
Reynolds ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns to lead Navy to a 34-7 win before 65,612 at frigid Lincoln Financial Field.
The Midshipmen (8-4) won for a record-setting 12th straight time, outscoring Army 400-132 during the streak. Army's only wins over the last 16 years occurred in 2001 and 1998.
The sophomore signal caller from Antioch, Tenn., broke the NCAA record for touchdowns in a season by a quarterback when he scored his 28th on an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter.
The previous record holders were Navy's Ricky Dobbs (2009) and Kansas State's Collin Klein (2011), who each ran for 27.
Reynolds added his 29th score on a 1-yard dive late in the game on fourth down.
Reynolds also set the Navy mark for most points in a season with 176, eclipsing Bill Ingram's 174 in 1917. In addition to his three rushing touchdowns on Saturday, Reynolds caught a two-point conversion pass to give him 20 points in the game.
"Coming into the game I wasn't too concerned about the records," Reynolds said. "If I broke it, I broke it. If not, oh well.
"I just wanted to get the W. If that involved me getting touchdowns and everybody else running and having a field day, then I was cool with that."
Reynolds thrived in the poor elements, directing the Navy triple-option to 351 yards on the ground.
"It was definitely a unique experience playing in the snow," he said. "We don't get too much snow in the South in the fall."
Navy practiced outdoors in the three weeks leading up to the game and seemed better prepared for the conditions. The Black Knights (3-8) turned the ball over three times, committing five fumbles. The Midshipmen had no turnovers.
"This game makes or breaks your season," Reynolds said. "It's our No. 1 goal every year to beat Army. We have three weeks of grinding practice. We call it Army Camp."
The game featured two of the top three ground attacks in the NCAA. Army averages 323.6 yards, second to Auburn (335.7), with Navy third at 320.1.
The Black Knights were limited to 157 yards on the ground, an average of 3.5 yards on 45 attempts in the slick field conditions. They committed four penalties for 50 yards, compared to just one flag on Navy.
"The game got away from us for the reasons any football game would get away," Army coach Rich Ellerson said. "You turn the ball over against a good football team, you give up big plays on defense and you take some big hits with penalties.
"So don't be surprised the score gets upside down."
Angel Santiago scored on a 4-yard run with 6:36 to go in the third quarter to give Army its first points against Navy since the third quarter of the 2012 game.
The junior quarterback, who replaced starter A.J. Schurr in the first quarter, directed the Black Knights on a seven-play, 71-yard scoring drive to make it a two-possession game at 17-7, but Navy scored 17 unanswered points.
The Midshipmen used two long touchdown runs and a field goal to grab a 17-0 halftime lead.
Reynolds raced 47 yards up the middle for his 27th rushing touchdown of the season with 2:38 remaining in the second quarter. He directed the triple-option offense to 196 yards in the half.
Navy fullback Noah Copeland ran 39 yards for his second rushing touchdown of the season, giving the Midshipmen a 10-0 lead with 8:15 left in the second quarter.
The Midshipmen took quick advantage of an Army fumble, grabbing a 3-0 lead on Nick Sloan's 20-yard field goal with 1:22 left in the first quarter.
The five-play, 60-yard drive was set up when Navy linebacker Chris Johnson recovered Schurr's fumble at the Navy 38-yard line.
Army managed just 31 yards on 15 plays in the snowy second quarter and was in Navy territory once in the first half.
Ellerson is now 20-41 in five years at Army.
"I thought we closed the gap the last two years, but clearly that gap opened back up," he said of the last two rivalry games. "There's no doubt this is the best Navy football team I've seen since I've been here.
"I could say that on the body of work we have made progress, but I was not brought in to make progress. I was brought in to win football games and beat Navy. I have lost to our rival five times."
NOTES: The silver dollar that was to be flipped by President John F. Kennedy at the 1963 Army-Navy game was used for the coin toss on Saturday. ... Army RB Terry Baggett was named to the Academic All-America Division I team. Baggett, a chemical engineering major with a 3.44 grade-point average, is the Black Knights' leading rusher, with 1,072 yards. ... Army has used four quarterbacks this season: Angel Santiago, A.J. Schurr, Kelvin White and Tevin Long. ... Sophomore QB Keenan Reynolds is the fourth Navy QB to rush and pass for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. Reynolds also is the ninth quarterback in NCAA history to score as many as 20 rushing touchdowns in a season.

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