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(Saturday, November 2)
Final Score: Notre Dame 38, Navy 34
Notre Dame, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Tommy Rees threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Notre Dame Fighting Irish hold off the Navy Midshipmen, 38-34, in a tight, back-and-forth battle at Notre Dame Stadium.
Rees completed 12-of-20 passes for the Irish (7-2), who won their fourth straight game and hope to return to national polling prominence. Tarean Folston (18 carries, 140 yards) rushed for the decisive, late touchdown. George Atkinson III (7 carries, 74 yards) also rushed for a touchdown and TJ Jones caught four passes for 111 yards and a score.
The Midshipmen (4-4), who have won just 12 times in 87 meetings with Notre Dame, stuck mostly to the running game, led by playmaking quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who kept the ball himself and rushed 22 times for 53 yards and three touchdowns. Chris Swain (16 carries, 85 yards, TD) and Quinton Singleton (16 carries, 77 yards) were the team's other notable rushers.
Atkinson III capped off the game's first drive with a 41-yard touchdown run to put the Irish on the board.
Navy would respond five minutes later with a touchdown off a two-yard scramble by Reynolds. The quarterback kept the ball on the ground throughout the first half, attempting just five passes,
Kyle Brindza's 26-yard field goal with five minutes left in the quarter pushed Notre Dame ahead, 10-7.
Navy got out to its first lead of the afternoon seven minutes into the second quarter with an 11-yard touchdown run by Swain.
Less than two minutes later, however, Jones hauled in a 36-yard touchdown pass to put the Irish back up, 17-14.
Reynolds ran in his second touchdown from three yards away, but after a failed extra point, the team would only go back up by three, 20-17.
The Midshipmen intercepted Rees with two minutes remaining in the half, then attempt a 50-yard Hail Mary in the final seconds, which fell incomplete, taking them into halftime with the slim lead.
Ben Koyack gave Notre Dame back the lead midway through the third quarter, catching a 17-yard pass from Rees, the only scoring play of the frame.
Reynolds continued his standout game, running in a touchdown from four yards out on the opening play of the fourth quarter. His third touchdown of the day once again put Navy on top, 27-24.
The Fighting Irish responded two minutes later, with Cam McDaniel rushing in a four-yard score.
Not ready to throw in the towel, Navy scored four minutes later with Reynolds connecting on his longest completion of the day, a 34-yard touchdown pass to Matt Aiken, which gave it a 34-31 lead.
In the game's eighth and final lead change, Folston converted a rushing score at the goal line with 3:47 left to play. The Irish defense had a crucial fourth-down stop on a Navy reverse, giving them back the ball and letting them run out the rest of the clock.
Notre Dame won despite losing the time-of-possession battle by more than 15 minutes.
11/02 20:48:14 ET
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