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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Ken Niumatalolo
The teams playing in the Armed Forces Bowl on Monday have 8-4 records and average about 415 total yards a game, though the Midshipmen gain most of their yards on the ground with their triple option while the Blue Raiders are basically 50-50. Both have extended winning streaks after midseason slumps.
Keenan Reynolds ran through steady snow and swirling wind into the NCAA record book, helping Navy beat Army 34-7 on Saturday for its 12th consecutive victory in the series.
Reynolds can also put his name in the NCAA record book — again. He has 26 rushing touchdowns, one short of the single-season mark for a quarterback, shared by former Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs and former Kansas State standout Collin Klein (2011).
Darius Staten made his last home appearance a memorable one with a career-high 127 yards on seven carries with a touchdown to lead the Midshipmen to a 42-14 victory over South Alabama on Saturday night.
Reynolds finished with a career-high 226 yards on 28 carries. He now has 18 rushing touchdowns on the season, one behind Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs for most in the nation. With the victory, Navy (5-4) is just a win away from qualifying for a bowl game for the 11th time in 12 years.
Jaylon Smith and Eilar Hardy combined to snuff out an end-around by Navy's Shawn Lynch on fourth-and-4 in Irish territory, and Notre Dame held on 38-34 Saturday.
Although the Department of Defense has suspended athletic competition at the nation's service academies because of the shutdown, an exception was made for this event because it was funded by non-appropriated money.
Navy's sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds is prepared to take on the pressures of being a full-time starter this season. His coach has full belief in him and the Midshipmen to improve from last year's 8-5 record.
For all the talk about how Arizona State would handle Navy's triple-option offense, the real mismatch turned out to be when the Sun Devils had the ball.
Cody Peterson didn't settle in at a position in his first two years at Navy. And injury problems arose wherever he moved.
Brandon Turner hadn't witnessed a Navy football season end quite like last year's did.
Noah Copeland sputtered through his first two starts, bottled up as Navy's offense managed a combined 17 points in losses to Notre Dame and Penn State.
Navy couldn't have expected much more from Keenan Reynolds' freshman season.
Navy wide receiver Brandon Turner pleaded in the second half to somehow get him the ball.
Always kidding, always joking, Navy wide receiver Brandon Turner put on his most serious face recently as he approached Danny O'Rourke, his old position coach.
"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."
"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."