Earn Commander-In- Chief’s Trophy again
PHILADELPHIA – All Keenan Reynolds wanted was to beat Army. The nimble-footed quarterback got his wish, dashing through the snow and a weary defense all the way into the NCAA record book.
Reynolds ran for 136 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Midshipmen to a 34-7 victory Saturday, their 12th straight in the series.
“It’s hard to beat anybody 12 times in a row,” coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “But to beat your rivals, I’m very proud of them.”
Reynolds scored on runs of 47 yards, 11 yards and 1 yard. The sophomore has 29 rushing touchdowns, breaking the single-season mark for a quarterback previously held by Ricky Dobbs (Navy, 2009) and Collin Klein (Kansas State, 2011), both of whom had 27.
“Coming into the game, I wasn’t too concerned about the record. If I broke it, I broke it. If not, oh well,” Reynolds said. “My main concern was trying to get the ‘W’. If that involved me getting zero touchdowns and everyone else having a field day, I was good with that.”
However, it didn’t work that way at all. Reynolds ran 30 times on a frozen, snow-covered field. He also caught a 2-point conversion pass on a trick play following his second touchdown.
His third score – with 46 seconds left in a lopsided game – gave him 176 points for the season, breaking the school record of 174 set by Bill Ingram in 1917.
Army (3-9) fumbled five times and was intercepted once in its fifth straight defeat. Embattled coach Rich Ellerson fell to 0-5 against the Midshipmen and 20-41 overall since taking the job in December 2008.
Navy (8-4) won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the second straight year and ninth time in 11 years. The trophy goes to the service academy with the most wins in games between Navy, Army and Air Force.
The Midshipmen haven’t lost to Army since 2001 and lead the series 58-49-7. Navy’s 12-game run is the longest in the history of the rivalry that began in 1890.
“I’ve got a lot of good friends on that side,” Niumatalolo said. “They’ve got great kids over there. They go through what our kids go through. But ultimately, I’ve got to think about our team.”
Niumatalolo became the second coach in Navy history to start his coaching career 6-0 against Army, matching Paul Johnson (2002-07).
Navy closes its season in the Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee State on Dec. 30.