Navy holds off UMass, 21-20

ANNAPOLIS-- Navy's Matt Hall rushed for 66 yards in four attempts as the Midshipmen withstood a furious effort by division I-AA Massachusetts to pull out a 21-20 home victory in a game that featured several lead changes.

UMass scored quickly by driving 79 yards in just eight plays and scoring on its first possession. Tim Washington's 5-yard run put the Minutemen up, 7-0, with 11:45 remaining in the first quarter.

Navy countered with an opening scoring drive of its own. Quarterback Brian Hampton scampered into the end zone from 4 yards to tie the game at 7-7.

After a UMass interception of Hampton, the Minutemen drove to the Navy 37. Quarterback Liam Coen found J.J. Moore for a 37-yard scoring pass giving Massachusetts a 14-7 lead with 2:31 remaining in the initial quarter.

Navy got its biggest gain of the game when Matt Hall scampered 53-yards to make the score 14-14 at the half. In that drive the Mids covered 80 yards in just 6 plays.

After a holding call stalled a Minutemen drive at the Navy 20, UMass re-took the lead when kicker Chris Koepplin connected on a 37-yard field goal. With 4:55 remaining in the third quarter Massachusetts led, 17-14.

On the ensuing kickoff after the UMass field goal, Navy's Reggie Campbell electrified the crowd of over 30,000 with a 72-yard return to the Minutemen 27. Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada took over as Navy's quarterback and scored Navy's winning touchdown from 19-yards to culminate a 3-play drive.

Trailing 21-17, UMass tried desperately to regain the lead but could only manage a field goal. Chris Koepplin made his second field goal of the day, this time from 36 yards, to make the final score Navy 21 Massachusetts 20.

The win improves Navy's record to 2-0. The Midshipmen next face Stanford on Saturday in Palo Alto, Calif. Massachusetts drops to 1-1. The Minutemen next travel to Villanova.

Photos by Ed Kujat. Top Stories