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December 18th, 2013

Navy Drives Past Army in Season Finale, 34-7

Army RB Terry Baggett (31) was credited with 41 yards against Navy on Saturday. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Playing on a snow-covered surface at Lincoln Financial Field, Army’s football team was overwhelmed by Navy, 34-7, in its season finale. The Black Knights were held to just 207 yards of offense, while the Midshipmen pounded their way to 353 en route to Army’s 12th consecutive setback to its service academy rival.

Army (3-9) was led by junior quarterback Angel Santiago who rushed for 40 yards and a touchdown while throwing for 50 yards on 5-of-10 completions. Classmate Terry Baggett was credited with a team-high 41 yards, while freshman Xavier Moss caught all five of Santiago’s completions, including a game-long 29 yarder. Senior Jarrett Mackey made a game-high 11 tackles, including two for a loss (five yards) and also forced a fumble.

Getting his first career start, Army sophomore quarterback A.J. Schurr struggled to get the Black Knight offense in rhythm in the first quarter, getting no farther downfield than the Navy 40-yard line and turning it over to the Midshipmen on a fumble.

Navy (8-4) did not fare much better out of the gate, taking advantage of Quinton Singleton’s game-long 58-yard rush to set up the lone points of the first 15 minutes, a 20-yard field goal by Nick Sloan.
Santiago replaced Schurr under center in the second quarter, but was intercepted on his second pass attempt on Army’s drive following Navy’s 39-yard touchdown rush by Noah Copeland.

The Midshipmen’s lead increased to 17-0 with 2:38 remaining in the half when quarterback Keenan Reynolds, the game’s Most Valuable Player selected by the Philadelphia Sportswriters Association, rushed for his first of three scores. Reynolds scored on a 47-yard run on the drive’s first play.

Santiago connected with Moss on a pair of passes the following drive, but the wintry mix of rain and snow caused the following three throws to slip through the hands of Moss and Chevaughn Lawrence.
The Black Knights cracked the scoring column with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter to make it a two-possession game. Santiago rushed four times for a combined 29 yards on the drive, capped by a four-yard score, his 10th of the season, to cut Navy’s lead to 17-7.

With the third quarter winding down, the Midshipmen stretched the margin to 20-7 on its ensuing drive as Sloan connected from 34 yards out for his second field goal of the game.

Army turned it over on downs on back-to-back possessions before Reynolds punched in his second touchdown of the game and capped the drive by catching the two-point conversion pass from wideout Brendan Dudeck.

Down 28-7 with 6:22 to play, Army lost the ball on its first play after the kickoff as Santiago fumbled on the Black Knight 35-yard line and Navy’s Will Anthony recovered. Reynolds ran for his third touchdown of the game on the Midshipmen’s drive after the turnover, sealing the game at 34-7 and leaving just 38 seconds on the clock for Army.

Hayden Tippett took a pair of handoffs on Army’s final possession as the clock ran out on the Black Knights’ season.

The 27-point final margin was the Army-Navy Game’s largest since the Midshipmen earned a 34-0 victory in 2008 in Philadelphia, Pa. Reynolds, who ran for 136 yards and three scores, established an NCAA single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 28. The Black Knights’ 207 yards of total offense was its lowest since Nov. 20, 2010, when Army collected 174 against Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium. 

Army wraps up the 2013 season with a 3-9 record, with wins against Morgan State, Louisiana Tech and Eastern Michigan.

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