Navy Report Card: South Alabama

Navy defeated South Alabama 42-14 on Saturday in Annapolis. GoMids.com's Jim Lawler grades Navy's performance in several key team areas.

PASSING OFFENSE: B
Keenan Reynolds completed 10-of-17 passes for 168 passing yards with one touchdown. Reynolds started the game with a five yard completion to Matt Aiken. Later in the drive, near the goal line, he was sacked when center Tanner Fleming never laid a hand on the nose guard. Keenan was forced to scramble the next play and throw away a pass on third down. Navy settled for a field goal. Geoffrey Whiteside (2 receptions, 33 yards.) caught passes during the next two touchdown drives for first downs. Plebe Jamir Tillman caught an 11-yard pass inside the ten which led to Shaun White's touchdown run. On the final drive before the end of the half Reynolds found Shawn Lynch for 19 yards and Casey Bolena made a nice 10-yard diving catch. Bolena (2 for 31) caught a 21 yard pass on the opening touchdown drive of the second half. DeBrandon Sanders made a 17-yard reception late in the third quarter. The drive ended with a Reynolds 45-yard touchdown pass to Matt Aiken (2 rec., 50 yards, TD). Reynolds hooked up with Aiken again for the two point conversion.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A+
Navy ran for 351 rushing yards, a 6.9 average and scored four rushing touchdowns. Darius Staten ran for a career high 127 yards and a touchdown. Staten ripped off a number of long runs and blocked well. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds carried the ball 17 times for 59 rushing yards and a touchdown. Fullback Quinton Singleton (4 att. for 11 yards) had a quiet game as South Alabama focused on the fullback and quarterback. Plebe B-back Shawn White ran six times for 34 yards and a touchdown. On White's 7-yard touchdown run he showed great strength as he carried the Jaguars defense into the end zone. With South Alabama shifting and stunting inside the perimeter was often wide open. Marcus Thomas ran four times for 40 yards. Thomas had an 18-yard run to set up Reynolds one yard touchdown run. Slotback Geoffrey Whiteside had four carries for 17 yards. Whiteside had a huge 8-yard run that converted a fourth down with Darius Staten making a nice block on the perimeter. DeBrandon Sanders had one carry for nine yards. Sanders only carry, followed by a pass reception was on the drive that made it 35-14. A-back Demond Brown's 14-yard run helped get the Mids out of a first-and-15 yard hole. Backup quarterback Tago Smith (3 for 38) showed his electric speed turning the corner of a 24-yard touchdown run. He played slotback last year at NAPS and was converted back to quarterback this year. Tago had played some quarterback in high school.

PASSING DEFENSE: B
South Alabama quarterbacks completed 21 of 36 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Clements had two tackles and broke up a pass. He had nice coverage on the opening drive on a go route and even when he was beaten on a fade route for 4-yard touchdown pass. Free safety Parrish Gaines (6 tackles) was late reacting to slot receiver Shavertz Smith on a 22-yard touchdown pass. Rover Wave Ryder made five tackles and broke up a pass. Myer Krah earned his first start in place of the injured Bertrand. Krah played well making three tackles, forcing a fumble and breaking up a pass. His forced fumble made it third and long and caused a punt. Defensive end Paul Quessenberry played very well. Paul had two tackles, made a sack and had two quarterback hurries. It was one of his best games.

RUSHING DEFENSE: A+
The Mids allowed the Jaguars just 120 rushing yards, 3.3 yards a carry and no rushing touchdowns. The inside linebacker Cody Peterson led the Mids with eight tackles. Peterson had two consecutive tackles inside Navy's own four yard line early in the fourth quarter to deny South Alabama a touchdown and keep it a two score game. D.J. Sargenti made 8 tackles. Starting nose guard Travis Bridges posted two tackles and did a nice job holding the point. Chris Johnson was all over the field. Johnson was in on nine tackles and broke up a pass.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B+
Kicker Nick Sloan hit both his field goal attempts from 37 and 21 yards. Punter Pablo Beltran averaged 43 yards on his two punts. Demond Brown dropped a kickoff return and had to just fall on it. He redeemed himself later with a 45-yard return. Marcus Thomas had to just fall on a pooch kickoff. Austin Grebe had just one touchback on eight kickoffs during a rainy day. Navy had a nice fake punt pass from Brandon Dudeck completed to Will Anthony wiped out by a bad officials call. Shawn Lynch had a punt return for eight yards. Navy's coverage teams continue to do an excellent job covering kicks and punts.

COACHING: A
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo had his team primed and ready to play on Senior day, It was a huge effort against a team who had lost five games by just a total twelve points. Ivin Jasper took apart the South Alabama defense once he saw how they were pinching inside. Buddy Green's defense played its best all-around game in weeks. The fake punt was well executed despite the fact it didn't count.

OVERALL GRADE: A
The Mids put the pressure on the Jaguars and they couldn't respond and keep pace. The defense shutout South Alabama in the second half. Despite the bad weather it was a perfect send off for Navy's seniors as they earned another bowl bid.

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