Dobbs' 5 TDs Lifts Mids over Delaware

Navy junior quarterback Ricky Dobbs rushed for five touchdowns to lead the Midshipmen past Delaware 35-18 in front of 34,223 fans on Senior Day, Saturday in Annapolis. Dobbs has now scored more touchdowns (22) in a season than any player in Navy history, and he needs only one more rushing touchdown to tie the NCAA record for a quarterback. The Mids are now 8-3 and will face Hawaii in two weeks.

Only a week removed from a victory over nationally-ranked Notre Dame, Navy put to doubt any worries about them coming out of the gate flat. After Navy's defense forced Delaware to punt on their first possession, Dobbs went to work through the air on the first play, completing a 23-yard strike to Greg Jones. Nine running plays later, the junior signal caller found the end zone for the first time with a one-yard scamper. And the rout was in full gear…well, not exactly.


The Blue Hens wasted no time answering the Mids with an 11-play, 52-yard drive of their own. However, Delaware stalled at the Navy 30-yard line when the Mids' Wyatt Middleton broke up Pat Devlin's pass to Philli Thaxton on third down. Jon Striefsky kicked the first of his four field goals on the day, a career-long 47 yarder to make the score 7-3.


On the third play of Navy's next possession, slot back Marcus Curry, back after a three-game absence due to a leg injury, fumbled the ball and Delaware's John Higginson picked it up and returned it 16 yards to the Navy 19-yard line. However, the Mids' defense, led by Jabaree Tuani, kept the Blue Hens out of the end zone, again, forcing the visitors to settle for another Striefsky field goal.


On what would turn out to be its last possession of the half, Navy failed to take advantage of a roughing the punter penalty by Delaware as Dobbs tossed an errant pitch near midfield which was fortunately recovered by slot back Gee Gee Greene. A 42-yard punt by Kyle Delahooke gave Delaware the ball on its own 8-yard line with 8:39 to play before intermission.


The Blue Hens were able to use every second on the clock, putting together a Navy-like 18-play, 84-yard drive. It appeared that Delaware had scored a touchdown when Devlin connected with Tommy Crosby on a four-yard pass, but the Blue Hens were called for an offensive pass interference penalty. Replays indicated that the penalty appeared to be called away from the play, much to the dismay of the Blue Hens' fans. Once again, Delaware settled for a Striefsky field goal, this time though it put them ahead of Navy, 9-7.


At halftime, the statistics confirmed that Navy was definitely in for a dogfight with the Blue Hens as they were limited to only 79 yards rushing (105 total yards). Even more troubling was the fact that the Mids only had the ball three times and were getting beaten badly in the time of possession battle, 18:13 to 11:47.


However, the second half went a bit more like what Navy fans had expected. After Delaware limited fullback Alexander Teich, starting in place of the injured Vince Murray, to only 3 yards on 1 carry in the first half, it was the sophomore who got the Mids on track out of the locker room. Teich had 20 yards on three carries on Navy's first drive of the second half to put Dobbs into position for his second one-yard touchdown run of the day.


On Delaware's next drive, they once again advanced the ball deep into Navy territory and once again it was Wyatt Middleton who broke up a crucial third down play to force another Striefsky field goal.


With the score 14-12 and the game moving at an extremely brisk pace due to long drives by both teams, the third quarter ended two plays after a Navy punt and Delaware punted after two plays into the fourth quarter. That's when Dobbs, Teich and the Navy offense took over the game.


On first down from midfield, Dobbs kept the ball and rushed 46 yards, a career-long, to the Delaware four yard line. Two plays later he finished the drive with his third score of the game.


On Delaware's ensuing possession, Navy's Jabaree Tuani sacked Devlin on second down and in the process forced a fumble and recovered it.


It only took Navy four plays to go 37 yards to score again. This time it was Teich leading the Mids into the red zone with an impressive 22-yard run and Dobbs (no surprise), finishing off the drive with his fourth rushing touchdown of the game.


Delaware would add another score, but they failed to convert the two-point play which kept it a two possession game. Navy also added another Dobbs touchdown, his fifth, with under a minute to play.


Navy senior linebacker Ross Pospisil led all players with 11 tackles and Dobbs led all rushers with 100 yards on the ground.




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