Navy Falls to Western Kentucky, 19-7
Fullback Quentin Ezell
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) - Antonio Andrews ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers downed Navy 19-7 Saturday.
Andrews outgained the nation's best rushing offense as Western Kentucky (3-2) held Navy to 107 yards, well below the 398 yards the Midshipmen averaged through the first two games. The Hilltoppers outgained Navy 417-183 in total offense.
Navy (2-1) was trying to open the season 3-0 for the first time since 2006. The Midshipmen averaged 552 yards offense through two games but just couldn't keep the chains moving against the Hilltoppers. Quarterback Keenan Reynolds was injured in the second quarter and was replaced by John Hendrick.
The Hilltoppers gave up 410 yards rushing in losing to Navy in 2011. This time, they were ready for the triple option and got their first win over Navy in their third try.
Navy led 7-3 when the Hilltoppers put together their best drive of the day, going 88 yards and chewing up more than 6 minutes off the clock. Andrews, the senior who set a school record rushing for five TDs last week, kept the drive alive converting a fourth-and-1. He then capped the drive with his 2-yard run with 5:41, giving the Hilltoppers their first lead of the day.
Andrews finished with a season-high 32 carries, and he helped seal the victory in the fourth quarter. Andrews scored on an 11-yard TD run with 9:39 left.
Navy led 7-3 at halftime with the Hilltoppers adjusting quickly to the triple option after Navy went 67 yards on its opening possession with six different Midshipmen getting at least one carry. Reynolds capped the 67-yard drive with his fourth carry, a 1-yard keeper, for a 7-0 lead.
Western Kentucky had scored on the opening drive of each game this season. This time, the Hilltoppers went three-and-out, choosing to punt on fourth-and-1. The Hilltoppers started slowing down Navy's triple option and got on the board with a 30-yard field goal by Garrett Schwettman early in the second quarter. He hooked a 36-yarder wide left just before halftime.
Brandon Doughty, benched as the starter a week ago because of eight interceptions in a two-game stretch, started as crisply as coach Bobby Petrino could have wanted. Doughty completed his first nine passes only to have his 10th intercepted by Parrish Gaines. Western Kentucky's defense bailed Doughty out by stopping John Hendrick on fourth-and-1, stopping him a couple inches shy of the first down late in the first half.
But Doughty was 25 of 31 for 198 yards.