Navy defeated Middle Tennessee State in the Armed Forces Bowl, overcoming dirty play from their opponents to win 24-6.
Navy took the lead early in the first quarter, when quarterback Keenan Reynolds was able to run into the end zone for a three-yard score. The two teams then went into field goal mode, with Middle Tennessee State kicking two and Navy kicking one, making the score 10-6 heading into the second half.
It was a chippy game, with multiple unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, a targeting ejection, an ugly incident in which a Blue Raiders player attempted to stick his fingers inside Reynolds' facemask, and a nasty collision just before the end of the first half that left players from both teams down on the field. Much of the dirtiness of the game fell on the side of Middle Tennessee State, which saw Roderic Blunt (the aforementioned finger-jammer) ejected after two unsportsmanlike penalties.
Middle Tennessee State forced two turnovers in the game against a Navy squad that had given the ball away just eight times all season, but the Midshipmen were able to come out on top. In the fourth quarter, Reynolds punched in another touchdown, and third-string safety George Jamison (who replaced the ejected Wave Ryder and the injured Lonnie Richardson, who was knocked out in the collision) intercepted Logan Kilgore's pass on the next drive to seal it. Just a few plays after the interception, DeBrandon Sanders ran 41 yards into the end zone to expand the lead to 24-6.
Box Score Hero: Keenan Reynolds. The quarterback ran 20 times for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team was ranked, and neither will be.
But Did They Cover? Navy was a 7-point favorite, so it did.