Navy runs past Middle Tennessee 24-6 in AF Bowl

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 31, 2013 at 2:13 am •  Published: December 31, 2013
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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Keenan Reynolds has two more seasons at Navy and a chance to join another select group of players.

A half-century after Hall of Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy playing for the Midshipmen, their current quarterback is now only the fourth player to rush for more than 30 touchdowns in a season.

Reynolds ran for two more TDs, giving the sophomore 31 this year, and Navy ended the season with a 24-6 victory over Middle Tennessee on Monday in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Already with the NCAA record for touchdowns rushing by a quarterback, Reynolds put Navy (9-4) ahead to stay with a 3-yard score to cap the opening drive of the game. He added a 1-yarder in the fourth quarter, his 31st to match Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs for the national lead.

Only Barry Sanders (37) with Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin's Montee Ball (33) have run for more scores in a season.

"It's huge. You just say the name Barry Sanders and you can stop right there," Reynolds said. "He probably was the greatest college player there was. Just to be even in that conversation with guys like that is a humbling experience. I never thought I would be in that category."

Navy ran on 67 of its 74 plays and piled up 366 yards rushing while winning its fifth consecutive game. Reynolds had 20 carries for 86 yards, and eight other players had multiple carries — half of them gaining at least 37 yards. DeBrandon Sanders ran 41 yards for a score on the second play after an interception in the fourth quarter.

"That's a great testament to who we are. Just we're an unselfish team," Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "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."

But when asked what makes Navy's triple-option work so well, Niumatalolo pointed at Reynolds.

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