Report Card: Navy vs. Wake Forest

Navy avoided a second straight loss with a tremendous 10-play drive last minute drive to defeat Wake Forest 28-27 on the road. Quarterback Ricky Dobbs was knocked out of the game on the previous drive then returned for the final series to hit Greg Jones for a six-yard touchdown pass. The comeback win improves Navy's record to 3-2.




Wake Forest


Ricky Dobbs completed 8 of 19 pass attempts for 94 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Dobbs was on his way to earning his second consecutive 'D" passing grade until his clutch passing on the final drive secured the win. Dobbs opened the game and completed both passes on the first drive. Dobbs 6-yard touchdown pass Alexander Teich tied the game at 7-7. Dobbs overthrew a number of open receivers throughout the game. Greg Jones had three catches for 35 yards. Jones caught the game winning 6-yard touchdown pass. Gee Gee Greene had three catches for 44 yards. Ricky made the throw of game on the final drive. Dobbs scrambled and hit Greene for a clutch 34-yard reception on third-and-10. Plebe Matt Aiken caught a 61-yard pass that was called back on a questionable holding penalty. Navy's offensive line allowed only one sack.
Navy ran for 274 yards and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. Ricky Dobbs carried 22 times for 100 yards and scored two touchdowns. Dobbs looked a lot like his old self as he broke his longest run, 41 yards, of the year. Aaron Santiago, after being limited by a hamstring injury most of the season, showed his speed. Santiago ran six times for 66 yards. Santiago's six yard run on fourth-and-1 kept final game winning drive alive. Fellow slot backs Gee Gee Greene and Andre Byrd both added 25 yards. For "B" backs it was a battle of attrition with starter Vince Murray, 3 carries for 14 yards, leaving with a knee injury. Backup Alexander Teich battled with a sore shoulder to carry 10 times for 43 yards before being knocked out with a concussion. Third string fullback Delvin Diggs (one carry for 1 yard) finished the game at 'B' back. The offensive line helped sustain five drives over 40 yards but their play was inconsistent as the Midshipmen endured four-three and outs.
Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price took advantage of Navy's defensive scheme to run underneath passes all night. Price completed 37of 53 passes for 326 yards and two touchdown passes. Nose tackle Chase Burge had five tackles and a quarterback hurry playing in place of Shane Bothel. Cornerback Kevin Edwards had 8 tackles, forced a fumble and broke up a pass on a route he jumped and missed an interception that would have been a sure touchdown. Rover Wyatt Middleton had an uncharacteristically quiet game with two tackles as the Demon Deacon passed almost exclusively in the flat. Kwesi Mitchell had four tackles and forced a fumble. De'Von Richardson had the first start of his Navy career in place of injured free safety Emmett Merchant. Richardson posted seven tackles and showed good speed and the ability to deliver a hit. Navy's bend but don't break defense was pushed to limit and gave up two passing touchdowns. After the final kickoff was returned to midfield Navy's pass defense did a great job creating pressure and covering to force three straight incompletions. The Mids were more lucky than good when Josh Adams dropped a pass in the flat with no one around him.
The Mids allowed only 77 yards rushing and a touchdown and made the Demon Deacon one dimensional. Wake Forest only averaged 3.2 yards a carry on 24 attempts. Aaron McCauley had another terrific game with 13 tackles, two for a loss and a fumble recovery. Jabaree Tuani was a warrior playing through pain and had eight tackles three of which were behind the line of scrimmage. His hit forcing a fumble McCauley recovered at the 4- yard-line with the Demon Deacons going in was a huge play early in the game. Tuani had another huge play when he tackled Harris for a six yard loss when Wake Forest was attempting to run out the clock. The three and out forced a Demon Deacon punt that gave Navy its last chance to pull out the upset. Chase Burge played well in place of Shane Bothel at nose guard. Inside linebacker Max Blue recorded 7 tackles. Blue missed Harris when he had a chance to tackle him behind the line of scrimmage on a fourth down play which eventually led to a field goal. Tyler Simmons had ten tackles and a fumble recovery. Wyatt Middleton had a huge game saving tackle on Harris that helped force a field goal on the Demon Deacons last scoring drive.
The special teams kickoff coverage struggles continue as Wake Forest averaged 165 yards on five returns. The Demon Deacons opened the game with a 53-yard kickoff return. They nearly went the distance on their last return following Navy's touchdown. Freshman Marcus Thomas' speed was the only thing that prevented a touchdown. Kyle Delahooke looked to be back on track as he averaged 46.4 yards on his five punts. Kyle's 61-yard punt was able to get the Mids out of the shadow of their own goal post in third quarter. Joe Buckley was bailed out by a Wake Forest penalty after his first extra point hit the upright. Alex Teich, Gee Gee Greene and Bo Snelson averaged 23.6 yards on their five kickoff returns.
Ivan Jasper made a number of formation changes in the red zone. After struggling all year Navy scored on four of five trips inside the 20. Jasper had Navy run a tight formation. Jasper did a terrific job of calling plays especially late in game. Gutty win by team and the never say die attitude comes from the top.
It was a tremendous, gutty come from behind win especially after losing to Air Force the week before. Navy

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