Devils Survive In Annapolis, 34-31

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Quarterback Sean Renfree threw for 314 yards and one touchdown while rushing for two additional scores to lead Duke to a 34-31 win over Navy in front of a capacity Homecoming crowd of 34,117 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

The Blue Devils improve to 2-6 on the year while the Mids fall to 5-3.

Renfree established a new Duke single-game record for pass completion percentage at .933 by connecting on 28-of-30 pass attempts. He also connected on his first 16 passes on the afternoon to match the school record for consecutive completions, equaling the standard set by D. Bryant against N.C. State in 2000.

"All three phases did what they needed to do today," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe.

Duke opened the game with a 10-play, 68-yard drive that resulted in a 30-yard field goal by Will Snyderwine. The march was highlighted by Sean Renfree's four completions in four attempts for 39 yards as well as a 17-yard run by Desmond Scott.

Navy's first offensive possession ended when Duke's Wesley Oglesby recovered a fumble, and the Blue Devils took advantage of the miscue by driving 76 yards on 14 snaps for a one-yard scoring plunge by Renfree. The drive, which was highlighted by a 27-yard pass from Renfree to Donovan Varner, clipped nearly seven minutes off the clock and pushed Duke's lead to 10-0 with 13:19 remaining in the second period.

Duke's third offensive series produced points as the Blue Devils marched 45 yards on 10 plays for a six-yard touchdown run by reserve quarterback Brandon Connette. The scoring dash, Connette's team-leading fourth of the season, pushed Duke ahead by a 17-0 margin at the 6:00 mark of the second quarter.

Duke perfectly executed its two-minute offense to take a 24-0 lead into halftime. Taking possession at the Duke 36 yard line with 2:19 on the clock, Renfree directed an eight-play march that finished when the redshirt sophomore signal caller scrambled out of the pocket and reached the end zone from 12 yards out on the ground. Prior to the touchdown run, Renfree hit on six-of-seven throws for 52 yards on the drive.

Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs put the Mids on the scoreboard with 6:01 left in the third quarter with a five-yard touchdown run - the 44th rushing score of his career to establish a school record. Duke responded with a 10-play, 70-yard scoring drive that produced a 29-yard scoring toss from Renfree to wideout Conner Vernon. On third down and six yards to go from the 29, Renfree threw a short pass complete to Vernon, who then sprinted down the sideline to the end zone.

The Midshipmen scored early in the fourth period when Dobbs hit Greg Jones for a seven-yard touchdown pass. Fullback Alexander Teich rushed for the two-point conversion to make the score 31-15. Snyderwine's 40-yard field goal capped a 12-play, 60-yard drive for the Blue Devils, extending the lead to 34-15 with 8:34 remaining in the fourth period.

Navy scored two touchdowns in the final 6:16 to account for the final margin.

The Blue Devils return home next Saturday to host Virginia at 12 noon.


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