Navy QB Keenan Reynolds had some mistakes and only 26 total yards, but did just enough for the Midshipmen to pull out the win.
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In a low-scoring affair that ended on a missed FG, the Navy Midshipmen defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 17-16 to win their second Poinsettia Bowl, and first back-to-back bowl games in a decade.
Most QBs who finish a game with 17 yards passing and 9 yards rushing and two turnovers don’t walk away victorious, but Navy QB Keenan Reynolds isn’t most QBs. The FBS leader in rushing yards among QBs led the Midshipmen to a TD early in the 1st quarter on a one-yard run (his first of two on the day), but the Aztecs responded quickly with a TD run of their own by star RB Donnel Pomphrey, who scored from 5 yards out. The Aztecs added a 43-yard FG from PK Donny Hageman at the end of the first quarter, and later in the second quarter, to take a 13-7 halftime lead.
Early in the third quarter Reynolds scored again for the Midshipmen on a 6-yard TD run to give Navy a 14-13 lead, but a third FG from Hagemen gave the Aztecs a 16-14 lead at the end of the third quarter. In a fourth quarter than featured four turnovers between the two teams, the Midshipmen stayed competent just long enough to make a long scoring drive culminating in a successful FG from PK Austin Grebe to give Navy the 17-16 lead with 1:30 left in the game. The Aztecs drove all the way down the field and were in position for a 34-yard FG from Hageman – who was already 3-for-3 on the day – but his kick sailed right and the Navy Midshipmen were the winners.
Keenan Reynolds was named the Offensive MVP and LB Jordan Drake was named the Defensive MVP of the game. In their record-setting 4th appearance in the Poinsettia Bowl, the Midshipmen were victorious for their second time. With the win, the Midshipmen also recorded their 2nd ever two-year winning streak in Bowl games – their first was from 2004-2005.