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Reynolds to stay Navy’s starting QB after impressive play

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ANNAPOLIS — Keenan Reynolds will remain Navy's starting quarterback after helping the Midshipmen collect two straight road victories.

Coach Ken Niumatalolo said the Mids (3-3) will stick with Reynolds even though erstwhile starter Trey Miller is listed as probable this week with a left ankle injury.

Reynolds, who became the first Mid since 1997 to throw three touchdown passes in a game in Friday's 31-13 victory over Central Michigan, will draw his second start Saturday against Indiana (2-4).

"Every time the guy goes out there, he amazes you," Niumatalolo said. "What he did at Air Force was amazing, but to come back in that game and I thought he played well. Even some of the little runs, he tucked it up and got some positive yards when he could have had negative yards. I thought he played smart."

Reynolds, who became the first plebe to start at quarterback for the Mids since 1991, replaced an injured Miller in the middle of the fourth quarter Oct. 6 against Air Force.

He led Navy on a game-tying drive, then guided the Mids to a go-ahead score in overtime of the 28-21 victory over the Falcons.

Miller, who committed 10 turnovers in the first four games, did not play at Central Michigan but dressed for the game.

"He's a quiet kid, but I'm sure it's weighing on him some," offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper said. "I think as a whole, he understands the situation. [Keenan] got off to a great start and came in and played well. He saw the writing on the wall if Keenan came in, we were going to go with him and that's the way it worked out."

Fullbacks splitting time

Navy was pleased with its platoon at fullback after Prentice Christian's career day against Central Michigan.

Christian saw plenty of work in the second half against the Chippewas. Sophomore Noah Copeland had 15 carries for 70 yards, and Christian more than doubled his previous career attempts total with 13 rushes for 64 yards and a touchdown.

"Us going back and forth kept us refreshed," Copeland said. "We kind of looked at each other when we were on the sideline when the defense was on and I asked, 'I feel good, how do you feel?' and he said, 'I feel good, too.' It was good to have a breather and when you went back in being able to go full speed."

Copeland started each of the first six games and leads the Mids with 344 yards. Christian, a senior who did not play in a varsity game in his first three years, had only 12 carries entering last week.

It was the first time since Sept. 26, 2009, that two Navy fullbacks received at least 10 rushing attempts in a game.

"That's kind of been our goal, to get two guys up to where we felt we could win a ballgame with both of them in there," fullbacks coach Mike Judge said. "It's a long season, and Noah's not going to last 12 games if he took every rep."

Pescaia impresses

Senior center Kahikolu Pescaia played the second half against Central Michigan after starter Tanner Fleming left with an undisclosed injury.

Niumatalolo said Fleming was "day to day" but said he was impressed how Pescaia handled himself in the first extensive playing time of his career.

"I thought Kolu did a good job," Niumatalolo said. "Him and Keenan have gotten a ton of reps in camp, so I think there's a lot of familiarity between those two. I thought he had a good game."

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