Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds returned to the lineup after two weeks off at the top of his game as the Midshipmen defeated the San Jose Spartans 41-31. Reynolds had suffered knee and shoulder injuries with had limited his effectiveness. He looked completely recovered as he ran for a career-high 251 yards and three touchdowns in Navy's Homecoming day victory. Reynolds three touchdowns gave him 52 for his career and broken Ricky Dobbs career record of 49. San Jose took a 3-0 first quarter lead and moved the ball well but they couldn't stop Reynolds as the Mids scored on seven straight possessions. The victory evens Navy's record at (4-4).
PASSING OFFENSE: A
Keenan Reynolds passing accuracy returned as well this game as he completed 4-of-7 passes for 56 yards against the nation's best pass defense. He opened the second drive with an eight yard completion to Jamir Tillman. He opened the next drive with a 27 yard pass completion down the seam to DeBrandon Sanders as the Spartans were loading the box against the run. Later in the drive he hit plebe Brandon Colon for 13 yards. Reynolds threw three incompletions in during a two minute drive to end the first half.
He did hit wide receiver Brandon Dudeck with an eight yard pass to end the drive and set up Austin Grebe's field goal to make it 24-17 at the half. Reynolds didn't pass in the second half. The offensive line didn't allow a sack.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A+
Reynolds fumbled and lost the opening snap. After that the offense rolled all day. Navy ran for 423 rushing yards, 6.2 per carry and five touchdowns. Keenan ran for career highs of 251 rushing yards on 39 carries while he scored three times. Reynolds has rushed for 491 yards and 10 touchdowns in two games against the Spartans. He looked in top form with his usual burst and the ability to cut as he played without the knee brace for the first time in weeks. Reynolds carried 12 times for 93 yards on a long 98 yard drive after a San Jose punt placed the ball at Navy's own 2-yard line.
The B-backs teamed for 115 rushing yards. Noah Copeland ran nine times for 70 yards and a touchdown. He scored Navy's opening touchdown from six yards out. Copeland ripped off a 36-yard run to set up another touchdown. Chris Swain (8 for 41) had the Swain Train rolling has he ran over Spartans. Quinton Singleton added four yards on two carries.
Slotback DeBrandon Sanders (3 for 26, td) broke the game open with his 8-yard touchdown run to extend the Mids lead to 38-17. Dishan Romine 93 for 29) showed his speed on the edge. Toneo Gulley started but was shaken up and left. Calvin Cass Jr. had a carry for six yards. The Mids rushing game was helped by the return of er Tanner Fleming who played well.
PASSING DEFENSE: C
The Mids secondary allowed three touchdowns as QB Joe Gray completed 33-of-46 passes for 322 yards. Rover Kwazel Betrand
(7 tackles, INT) bailed out Keenan Reynolds after his fumble on the first snap with an interception to end the Spartans opening drive.
Quincy Adams (8 tackles, TFL) looked like he had Tim Crawley down after a short pass but Crawley spun out his tackle attempt and broke free for a 33-yard touchdown. Myer Krah (5 tackles) saw a lot of playing time in place of Brandon Clemens (1 tackle) who left the game. Inside linebacker Daniel Gonzalez (4 tackles) made a nice tackle on Tim Crawley on the first possession of the third quarter to force a rare punt. Parrish Gaines (3 tackles) and the entire secondary allowed San Jose to play pitch and catch in front of them. The Mids posted no sacks.
RUSHING DEFENSE: B
The Mids did a good job against the Spartans running game. They allowed 100 rushing yards, 4.0 yards a carry and a touchdown. Obi Uzoma (3 tackles) tackled Tyler Irvin for a three yard loss to force the Spartans to settle for a field goal. He later left with what looked to be a hamstring injury. Chris Johnson was active with seven tackles. Up front Will Anthony (6 tackles, 1 1/2 TFL) continues to play well and get off blocks.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A
Kicker Austin Grebe hit both his field goal attempts from 20 and 33 yards. He had three touchbacks on seven kickoffs. Punter Pablo Beltran only punt was for 43 yards inside the twenty yard line. DeBrandon Sander returned a punt 19 yards. Demond Brown had two kickoff returns for 30 yards. Noah Copeland dropped the dangerous Irvin for a two yard loss on a punt return. Navy continues to do an excellent job in kick coverage.
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo's said that Keenan Reynolds was going to have a big game and it proved prophetic. Both Reynolds and Sanders took the time off to get healthy and shed their knee braces. The Mids offense looked much more explosive and in synch. Ivin Jasper kept it simple and stuck with the run game that was working.
Buddy Green defense scheme allows spread attacks to play pitch and catch against it.
OVERALL GRADE: A
Navy beat a tough team and played well after struggling much of the year. With Reynolds healthy and the offense rolling all Navy fans should feel better about its bowl chances the rest of the way.
Discuss this story with other Navy fans in GoMids forums: LINK.
Navy Report Card: San Jose State
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