Reynolds, Navy sail by Army

DAVID GINSBURG AP Sports Writer Published:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- 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."

It didn't work that way at all. Reynolds ran 30 times for 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.

"The thought did come across my mind to take a knee," Niumatalolo said. "But then my thoughts went to, I have a kid that has a chance to break a record that's hard to come by."

Navy (8-4) won the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy for the second consecutive season and ninth time in 11 years. The trophy is awarded to the service academy with the most victories 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).

The Midshipmen will conclude their season in the Armed Forces Bowl against Middle Tennessee State on Dec. 30.

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.

"You turn the ball over against a good football team, you give up big plays on defense, you take some big hits in the penalty game against a good football team, don't be surprised if the score gets upside down," Ellerson said.

Ellerson's job could be in jeopardy, and he knows it.

"That's not my call," Ellerson said. "Obviously, in the body of work, we've made some progress. But I wasn't brought in to make progress. I was brought in to win some football games and beat Navy. I've lost to our rival five times."

The snow that was forecast in the morning hours began during the pregame pageantry that makes this game a one-of-a-kind spectacle. The snow, along with the freezing temperatures, created an uncomfortable setting for those in the packed stadium.

Many of them left after the first half, which ended with Navy up 17-0.

Making his first college start, Army quarterback A.J. Schurr lost the handle on the wet football with his arm cocked to throw. Teammate Larry Dixon recovered, but the 20-yard loss doomed the Black Knights to end their first possession with a punt.

Schurr fumbled on the next drive, too, and this time Navy recovered at its own 38. That ended his day.

"If you're struggling to hold onto the ball, that will get you out of there," Ellerson said.

Following the turnover, Quinton Singleton burst through a hole in the middle and ran 58 yards to the Army 4, setting up a field goal for a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Angel Santiago came in at quarterback for the Black Knights at just about the same time the intensity of the snow increased. On fourth-and-3 at the Navy 33, Terry Baggett lost three yards.

Midway through the second period, Noah Copeland ran 39 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0.

With 2:38 left in the half, Reynolds gingerly picked his way through the Army defense on his record-tying touchdown run.

In the third quarter, the snow turned to rain and Santiago did his best to make a game of it. After throwing a 29-yard pass to Xavier Moss, the junior quarterback scored on a 4-yard run to get the Black Knights to 17-7.

Reynolds answered with an 11-play drive that produced a field goal. Army then failed to convert a fourth-and-3 from its own 42, a futile gamble that all but assured the Black Knights another frustrating loss against their far more successful service academy rivals.

Reynolds scored his record-breaking touchdown with 6:22 left, and the conversion pass from wide receiver Brendan Dudeck made it 28-7.

DIVISION III

MOUNT UNION 41, NORTH CENTRAL 40

ALLIANCE -- Kevin Burke rushed for 131 yards with two scores and led Mount Union to a late touchdown and a 41-40 victory over North Central (Ill.), securing the 17th trip to the Division III championship game for the Purple Raiders.

Down 40-35 in the fourth, Mount Union drove 65 yards in 31 seconds to go ahead with 1:07 left.

Burke completed 12 of 19 passes for 163 yards and one touchdown.

Mount Union, appearing in its 19th straight semifinal, extended the nation's longest winning streak to 29 games and its own home winning streak to 77 games.

WIS.-WHITEWATER 16, MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR 15

BELTON, Texas -- Jordan Ratliffe ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns and Matt Behrendt passed for 197 yards to lead Wisconsin-Whitewater to a 16-15 victory over Mary Hardin-Baylor in an NCAA Division III semifinal.

The Warhawks (14-0) rallied from a 12-0 first-half deficit to reach the national championship game for the eighth time in the last nine years.

Ratliffe's 3-yard TD run just before halftime cut UW-Whitewater's gap to 12-7, and his 5-yard score midway through the third quarter gave the Warhawks the lead for good and kept alive their shot at a fifth title. UW-Whitewater won its first national championship in 2007 and three straight from 2009-11.

FCS

N. DAKOTA ST. 48, COASTAL CAROLINA 14

FARGO, N.D. -- Sam Ojuri rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns as top-seeded North Dakota State crushed Coastal Carolina 48-14 in a FCS quarterfinal game.

Brock Jensen completed 14 of 21 passes for 187 yards and two TDs as the two-time defending FCS national champion Bison (13-0) won their 22nd straight game. Jensen also ran for two TDs and 75 yards on 10 carries.

The win comes less than one week after head coach Craig Bohl said he was leaving NDSU to coach Wyoming.

TOWSON 49, EASTERN ILLINOIS 39

CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Terrance West ran for a record-setting 356 yards and five touchdowns on a snow-covered field and Towson overcame an early two-touchdown deficit to knock off Eastern Illinois Friday 49-39 in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals.

West set a record for rushing yards in an FCS playoff game.

Towson (12-2) fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter as sleet and snow fell in 30-degree temperatures. But West found his footing and ran them back into the game.

EASTERN WASH. 35, JACKSONVILLE ST. 24

CHENEY, Wash. -- Quincy Forte rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns and Eastern Washington pulled away from Jacksonville State in the second half for a 35-24 victory in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals.

Freshman linebacker Albert Havili returned an interception 77 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to break open the game for third-seeded Eastern Washington (12-2), which will host a semifinal game against Towson next Saturday.

Jacksonville State (11-4) twice took a one-touchdown lead in the first half, but lost quarterback Eli Jenkins to a knee injury just before halftime.

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