South Alabama falls to Navy 42-40

November 29, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football 
Jaguar seniors pose at midfield with head coach Joey Jones prior to their final home game against Navy.

Jaguar seniors pose at midfield with head coach Joey Jones prior to their final home game against Navy.

South Alabama converted two out of three 2-point conversion attempts, but suffered questionable penalties and did not convert the one that counted as the Jaguars fell to Navy 42-40 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

USA opened the game with an eight play, 73-yard drive to quickly take the lead. They recovered a Navy fumble and added a field goal to take a 10-0 lead at the 8:10 mark of the first quarter.

South Alabama looked to be firmly in control of the game after stopping the midshipmen on a 4th-and-1, but quarterback Brandon Bridge gave the ball right back to them when he floated a pass to a Navy defender. Two plays later the Midshipmen got on the scoreboard at the 4:56 mark of the first quarter.

The Jaguars responded with a nine play, 74 yard drive before Navy gained momentum and scored 21-unaswered points.

The Jaguars opted to kick a field goal late in the third quarter getting within eight points of Navy 28-20 with 3:43 left. Navy responded with a touchdown by quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who set a record today for the most career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

Again South Alabama responded early in the fourth quarter after recovering a Navy fumble and giving themselves the short field with 11:33 left in the game.

Keenan Reynolds added another touchdown to the record books to go up 42-27 with 8:22 left. Navy and Jaguar fans alike thought the game was all but over.

Brandon Bridge loaded up and threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Shavarez Smith to pull within eight of Navy with 5:31 left in the game. Navy had good field position after a short kickoff failed to allow the Jaguars a chance to recover the kick.

On 3rd and 9, Montell Garner forced Navy to fumble the ball for the third time in the game and the Jaguars recovered. Bridge successfully moved the chains on fourth down and found Jereme Jones for a 10-yard touchdown with only 39-seconds remaining for a score of 42-40.

Then theatrics began.

On the first attempt at a 2-point conversion, Bridge completed a pass over the middle, but a flag for ineligible receiver down field backed up USA to the 8 yard line for a second attempt.

On the second attempt, Brandon took the snap and rolled out to his left under pressure. He sprinted towards the end zone when he saw no one between him and the goal line. He leaped over a Navy defender around the 3 yard line and tumbled into the end zone, but this time it was negated by a hold.

On the third attempt from the 18 yard line, Navy blitzed and forced Bridge to roll to his left again, but this time he threw off-balance to the right side of the end zone and it was short for Shavarez Smith and intercepted three yards into the end zone.

Navy out gained South Alabama 430-415 and added 388 yards to their nation-leading total. The Jags rushed for 238 yards and threw for 177 more.

Terrance Timmons rushed 15 times for 124 yards and a touchdown as Kendall Houston added 80 yards on 21 carries for the Jaguars. Brandon Bridge went 19-of-28 for 172 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Hunter Vaughn went 2-of-3 for 5 yards.

Shavarez Smith caught six passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Danny Woodson caught five for 49 yards and a touchdown and Jereme Jones caught three passes for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran 10 times for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Noah Copeland rushed 17 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Swain ran nine times for 64 yards and a touchdown for the midshipmen. Reynolds was 1-of-4 passing for 42 yards.

The Midshipmen earned bowl-eligible status ahead of their annual season finale game against Army. South Alabama will wait to see if they receive a bowl invitation. The likely candidates for an invite include the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile or the Camellia Bowl in Montgomery.

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