Oct. 20, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Three turnovers by Navy and a big day for Riley Skinner and Kenneth Moore enabled Wake Forest to win its fifth straight game.
Skinner threw 15 passes to Moore for 181 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Demon Deacons beat the Midshipmen 44-24 on Saturday.
"You saw how explosive our offense is, how hard it is to stop," said Skinner, who completed 22-of-28 passes for 213 yards. "Today we were the closest we've been all year to playing a four-quarter game."
Moore tied the school record for receptions for the second time this season.
"He's all right. He's more than all right, he's special," Skinner said of Moore, who now has 56 catches in eight games and three 100-yard receiving games. "You give him the ball, you kind of hold your breath and see what he does. He made me look good a couple times on some throws."
The defense of Wake Forest (5-2) also played a large part in the win, turning three Navy turnovers into 17 points. The biggest one came in the second quarter with the score tied at 17.
Just after the first of Sam Swank's three field goals tied the score, Navy quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada was knocked out of the game with a neck injury. Jarod Bryant replaced him and fumbled on his first play. Matt Robinson scooped the ball up for Wake and returned it 7 yards for a touchdown and a 24-17 lead with 2:19 left in the half.
Swank's 26-yard field goal put the Deacons up 27-17 as the half ended.
Navy (4-3) closed to 27-24 on its first possession of the second half on a 12-yard run by Shun White, but Wake countered with a 2-yard run by Micah Andrews for a 34-24 lead with 11:15 left in the third.
"There were two big swings of momentum. At the end of the first half when they kicked the field goal and in the second half when they scored after we had cut the lead back to three points," said Navy coach Paul Johnson.
On its next possession, Navy fumbled at the Wake 25 and Kevin Patterson recovered. The Deacons turned the takeaway into a 52-yard field goal by Swank and a 37-24 lead.
Another fumble by Bryant on the next series was recovered at the Navy 39 by John Russell. The Deacons turned that into a score when Skinner hit Moore for 22 yards just eight seconds into the final period.
"I was proud of our team today," said Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe. "I don't think we turned the ball over and we forced a few turnovers that saved us, really, defensively, because they were getting after us pretty good."
Josh Adams rushed for 131 yards on a season-high 27 carries for the Deacons. Kevin Marion had kickoff returns of 80 and 46 yards that set up Wake's first two scores and helped the Deacons to a 14-3 first-quarter lead.
For Navy, Eric Kettani rushed for 75 yards and White added 63 yards and two touchdowns for the Midshipmen. Bryant added 56 yards including a 43-yard run that set up White's second score.
"We didn't play well enough in any facet of the game to win," Johnson said. "When you are struggling on defense it doesn't help when they return the kick to the 20-yard line. We still have to move the ball on offense. We can't turn the ball over."