The 2012 Navy football season may not have ended as the Midshipmen would have liked but it was not without its highlights. Here, in no particular order, is a look back at the top five moments for Navy football in 2012. 1) Keenan Reynolds emerges
Perhaps the biggest single big moment for Navy football in 2012 was the sudden emergence of Keenan Reynolds as a bona fide FBS level starting quarterback. With Trey Miller struggling at the start of the season and Navy quickly falling into a 1-3 hole it would have been easy enough for the season just to fade into obscurity. Obviously the Navy passing attack will never put up big numbers, but Reynolds showed surprising ball security for a freshman on his way to 19 total touchdowns. The future at quarterback for the Mids will only get better from this point onwards.
2) Five game win streak
The switch to Reynolds by Ken Niumatalolo helped spark a five game winning streak and turned around the season. Sometimes you just need a little momentum and the quarterback change led to better ball security as the Mids tore through the middle half of the schedule winning in both blowouts and close games. Exam fatigue and the wear and tear of the season slowed the Midshipmen down late, but the month of October was about as perfect as Navy football can be.
3) Beating Air Force in overtime
The most tense game of the season was also arguably the most important. Air Force and Navy were tied at 21-21 in overtime when Reynolds made probably his biggest mistake of the season fumbling at the goal line. It was at the point in the season though where everything Reynolds did was golden and the fumble was no different. Guard Jake Zuzek dived on the ball in the end zone and the clash of the two Service Academies had its most unlikely winning touchdown scorer in history. One big defensive stand later the Mids were half way to the Commander -in-Chief's Trophy.
4) Winning the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy
And that led to this. The odds of two CIC games in a season being essentially decided by a fumble are long, but in 2012 Navy got the right bounce of the ball twice when it mattered to take home the hardware. Though Army played their best game of the season, the Mids were scrappy and dogged, doing enough to keep the Black Knights at bay for the 11th straight time. "It means everything," Niumatalolo said after the game. "That's our No. 1 goal, to get the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. I'm just so happy for these guys."
5) Dublin calling
Though the game itself ended up in a Notre Dame blow out this trip will have been one to remember for the players, staff, and fans involved. Getting to play football in another country in front of new fans is something few ever have the chance to do, and the bonding and team building aspect of the trip cannot be understated. It would be great for the Academy if trips like this could be worked into the schedule every four to six years.
Top Five Navy Football Moments of 2012
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