For the second year in a row, Navy lost its starting quarterback and the game before a huge crowd on homecoming weekend. Wake Forest took advantage of 3 Navy fumbles and amassed 409 yards in total offense en route to a 44-24 victory over the Midshipmen in front of nearly 37,000 fans in Annapolis.
Kenneth Moore had 15 catches for 181 yards and scored 2 touchdowns, and
Sam Swank kicked three field goals and only had to punt once for the Demon
Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner also had
a good day against the porous Navy defense, completing 22 of 28 passes for 213
yards and two scores.
As for Navy, homecoming once again included a scary moment for its option
quarterback. Last year, the
Midshipmen lost its starting signal-caller, Brian Hampton, in the first quarter
against Rutgers and would never get in sync in
the 34-0 defeat. This year, when
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada went down late in the first half with a neck injury
after what appeared to be an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit, disaster came on the
very next play. With the score tied
at 17, Wake
Forest's Alphonso Smith hit
Navy back-up quarterback Jarod Bryant causing him to fumble the ball. Matt Robinson picked it up and scampered
7 yards for the score to put the Demon Deacons ahead for good, 24-17.
According to Navy head coach Paul Johnson, the play was designed to be a
"We should have been able to do it.
We should have had a guy picking up the guy rushing off the edge," said
Sam Swank would add a 52-yard field goal before halftime to stretch the
lead to 27-17.
Navy opened the second half with an 80-yard scoring drive to cut the lead
to 27-24, but Wake
Forest answered with their
own 60-yard drive that took under two minutes to put the Demon Deacons up by ten
The Navy offense was poised to score once again on their next drive, but
fullback Eric Kettani fumbled on the Wake Forest 24-yard line which led to another
52-yard field goal by Swank. That's
when the back-breaker came. On
Navy's next possession, Bryant fumbled the exchange from center Antron Harper
and Wake Forest marched right down the field as Ryan Skinner
found Moore for
a 4-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach.
"Right now, we can't make mistakes," said Johnson. "We have no margin for
Navy slot back Shun White concurred with his coach, "The turnovers were
the difference [in the game]."
Wake Forest set the tone early with an 80-yard
kick-off return on the opening play of the afternoon.
"It's not exactly the way you would like to start the game," said
Kettani led Navy with 75 yard rushing and White scored twice for the Mids
who will look to get off to a better start next week against Delaware.