Football Falls To Navy, 41-31

Joe Gray threw for 322 yards and a career-best three touchdowns against Navy.
Oct. 25, 2014

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Annapolis, Md. ------ Navy ran the ball 68 times for 423 yards and scored on seven consecutive possessions on their way to a 41-31 win over San José State in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Keenan Reynolds, quarterback for Navy (4-4), accounted for 251 of those rushing yards on 39 attempts and scored three touchdowns.  The attempts and yards were career highs and mark the second game against the Spartans in which he has eclipsed 240 rushing yards.

On the first play of the game, San José State (3-4) forced a fumble and it looked like the day would belong to the Spartans.  Jimmy Pruitt dove on the loose ball and set SJSU up at the Navy 18. However, four plays later, on third and goal from the inside the 10, quarterback Joe Gray's first pass attempt of the game was intercepted by Navy safety Kwanzel Bertrand.

After stopping the Midshipmen on their next possession, the Spartans got the ball and went 79 yards in 18 plays.  They drove to the Navy 2-yard line, but had to settle for an Austin Lopez 22-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 2:15 to play in the first quarter.

The teams traded scores on their next three possessions with Navy ending up with a 14-10 lead with 7:51 left before halftime. The Middies got touchdown runs of 6 and 8 yards, respectively, from Noah Copeland and Reynolds on back-to-back drives of 75 yards. In between the Navy scores, San José State hit pay dirt culminating in a 6-yard touchdown toss from Gray to Billy Freeman

Reynolds' second touchdown came at the 4:56 mark before halftime, a 3-yard run at the end of a four-play, 61-yard drive for a 21-10 Middies' advantage. A Copeland 36-yard burst into the Spartans' secondary getting Navy down to the Spartans' 4-yard line was the key play.

San José State responded with its second 75-yard touchdown drive of the quarter.  The big play came on a swing pass to Tim Crawley in left flat.  On a career best receiving day, Crawley caught the ball and appeared to be taken down near the sideline by a Navy defender.  But instead of being put on the ground, Crawley rolled over the defender, landed on his feet and kept running for a 33-yard touchdown play.  The sophomore all-purpose player led the team with eight catches for 102 yards.  The Spartans were within four, 21-17, but it would be as close as they would get for the rest of the day.

The Midshipmen then took control of the game with 17 unanswered points from the end of the second quarter on a 20-yard Austin Grebe field goal on the final play of the half, Reynolds' third touchdown run of the game, a 2-yard carry, in the only scoring of the third quarter and an 8-yard run by slotback DeBrandon Sanders early in the fourth for a 38-17 lead.

Gray, who equaled career highs with 33 completions, 46 attempts for 322 yards, took the Spartans on a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown drives.

With 8:20 to play, Gray found Hansell Wilson for a 5-yard strike to complete a 13-play scoring drive.  The touchdown was Gray's third, a single-game best for him in 2014.Tyler Ervin's 8-yard run with 1:24 to play was the game's final score. Ervin led SJSU in rushing with 72 yards on 19 attempts.

San José State's next game is in Spartan Stadium on November 1, against Mountain West opponent Colorado State.  Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.