Navy scored on its opening drive via a 3-yard run by Keenan Reynolds who finished the game with a pair of rushing TDs. Reynolds has a quarterback record 31 rushing TDs for the season.
The Mids had nine player rush for a combined 378 yards, led by Reynolds with 86 yards. Noah Copeland gained 59 on 11 rushes. DeBrandon Sanders gained 53 yards on five carries (10.6 ypc). He had a 41-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter was the final nail in Middle's coffin. After the game Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo discussed the impressive number of Mid ground gainer.
"That's a great testament to who we are, said Niumatalolo. "Just we're an unselfish team. We're going to take what people give us. It's kind of been our thing all year. There are a lot of guys that carry the ball, and we're an unselfish team. Everybody knows if it's their turn to carry the ball, they're going to do the best they can."
Navy's defense was solid, limiting the Blue Raiders to just 309 total yards, including 91 on the ground. DJ Sargenti and George Jamison each had key interceptions for the Mids.
A happy Niumatalolo spoke proudly of his defense following the win.
"I thought our guys played really, really well, played physical," said Niumatalolo. "We knew it would be a physical ballgame. I'm just proud of the way our guys battled and kept them out of the end zone."
Navy is now 8-10-1 all time in bowl games. This was the Mids' first bowl victory since a 2009, 35-13 rout of Missouri in the Texas Bowl. Navy finishes its season with a 9-4 record. That last time Navy finished with nine victories was in 2010 (9-4).
Navy wins Armed Forces Bowl, 24-6
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