Navy Sports Central

A Triple Option Savant, A Perfect 4 For 4, and Two Unbreakable(?) Records

April 12, 2022 Episode 29
A Triple Option Savant, A Perfect 4 For 4, and Two Unbreakable(?) Records
Navy Sports Central
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Navy Sports Central
A Triple Option Savant, A Perfect 4 For 4, and Two Unbreakable(?) Records
Apr 12, 2022 Episode 29

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Welcome to Navy Sports Central - The Official Podcast of the Navy Sports Nation!

In this episode, we will continue with our look at 20 years of the Triple Option at Navy by breaking down two particularly memorable games against Air Force and Army. 

I’ll also discuss a couple records held by a Navy player that may not ever be broken. And you’ll hear my reasons why too. 

Our sports update will include a look at how Navy Football spring practices have been going, and we will have our usual Question of the Day and Mid Watch segments.  So please join us!

 Links Related To This Episode:

We want to hear from you. Respond to our updated Question of the Day. And be sure to comment too! The most engaging comments will be read on the next podcast!

Keenan Reynolds was the first Navy starting quarterback to go 4-0 vs. Army. Besides him, how many starting Navy quarterbacks have beaten the Black Knights at least twice without a loss in the last 20 years?

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
This question will be posted on the Navy Sports Nation group Facebook page by the end of day. You can share your answer there. Extra credit for naming the quarterbacks!

Follow Navy Sports Central wherever you get your podcasts:

Check out the Navy Sports Nation group on Facebook

Music is provided courtesy of Audio Jungle. Artists featured in order:

  • Seven In Music (Intro)
  • Alexiaction (Deep Dive)
  • Loka Music (Deep Dive Pt. 2 Lead In)
  • Artlss (Question of the Day Lead In)
  • Cinematic Alex (Closeout Music)

Do You Like What You Hear?

  • If so, consider supporting the podcast by clicking o

Support the Show.

You can click on the hyperlink above to make a $1 donation through Cash App if you like what you hear. You can also support the Mids and the show at the same time. Navy Sports Central is a proud affiliate partner of, the Ultimate Fan Gear Store! Click on the link to start shopping now!

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Welcome to Navy Sports Central - The Official Podcast of the Navy Sports Nation!

In this episode, we will continue with our look at 20 years of the Triple Option at Navy by breaking down two particularly memorable games against Air Force and Army. 

I’ll also discuss a couple records held by a Navy player that may not ever be broken. And you’ll hear my reasons why too. 

Our sports update will include a look at how Navy Football spring practices have been going, and we will have our usual Question of the Day and Mid Watch segments.  So please join us!

 Links Related To This Episode:

We want to hear from you. Respond to our updated Question of the Day. And be sure to comment too! The most engaging comments will be read on the next podcast!

Keenan Reynolds was the first Navy starting quarterback to go 4-0 vs. Army. Besides him, how many starting Navy quarterbacks have beaten the Black Knights at least twice without a loss in the last 20 years?

  • 0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
This question will be posted on the Navy Sports Nation group Facebook page by the end of day. You can share your answer there. Extra credit for naming the quarterbacks!

Follow Navy Sports Central wherever you get your podcasts:

Check out the Navy Sports Nation group on Facebook

Music is provided courtesy of Audio Jungle. Artists featured in order:

  • Seven In Music (Intro)
  • Alexiaction (Deep Dive)
  • Loka Music (Deep Dive Pt. 2 Lead In)
  • Artlss (Question of the Day Lead In)
  • Cinematic Alex (Closeout Music)

Do You Like What You Hear?

  • If so, consider supporting the podcast by clicking o

Support the Show.

You can click on the hyperlink above to make a $1 donation through Cash App if you like what you hear. You can also support the Mids and the show at the same time. Navy Sports Central is a proud affiliate partner of, the Ultimate Fan Gear Store! Click on the link to start shopping now!

Karl  0:14  
Hi, everybody. My name is Karl Darden, and I'd like to welcome and thank all of you for joining us today here on Navy Sports Central. I am your host, and this is the official podcast of the Navy Sports Nation, where we take a deeper dive into Navy sports. 

Karl  0:26  
In this episode, we'll continue with our look at 20 years of the triple option that Navy by breaking down two particularly memorable games against Air Force and Army. And I'll also discuss a couple of records held by Navy player that may never be broken. And you'll hear my reasons why for that as well. So stick around. We'll get started as soon as we come back.

Karl  0:56  
Okay, thanks again for joining us, everyone. This is episode 29. And before we jump into the sports update, I wanted to let you all know that as we enter our second year at Navy sports Central, I will be adding a transcript for each show within a couple of days of the release date. 

Karl  1:11  
In fact, I started it with the last episode that came out a couple of weeks ago. This is just another way to add some value and possibly increase our reach. Anyway, if you're hearing the show for the first time, I hope you'll become a regular listener. And if you've heard us before, welcome back. Either way, thanks for making us part of your day. 

Karl  1:27  
Right now, let's get into our Sports Update. A couple of weeks ago, I commented on the Navy Sports Nation group Facebook page that spring football practices were just cranking up, and today I just wanted to provide a quick recap on how things were looking on offense. 

Karl  1:41  
Now unlike last year, there's no debate as to who the starting quarterback will be. Ty Lavatai is a clear cut starter and by all accounts he continues to develop at a rapid rate. There was an article written by Bill Wagner in the capital Gazette that spoke to his improving ability to recognize the defense's that coach Newberry is throwing at him, and he's done a great job of getting the offense in the right play. And as we all know, that's absolutely critical in order for the triple option to be effective. 

Karl  2:04  
As of right now, Xavier Arline and Maasai Maynor are still listed as second and third on the depth chart. And actually Arline was getting some decent time as an attackman on the lacrosse team this spring. In fact, he got his first start in that win over Johns Hopkins last month, and scored  his second goal of the year. But unfortunately, he aggravated a lower leg injury and didn't play in the second half. In fact, he was in a walking boot on the sidelines for the rest of the game. So hopefully it's not too serious, but he hasn't played since that Hopkins game. 

Karl  2:04  
Anyway, Arline has been attending team meetings to stay up to speed on everything. So that's good news. It also means that Maasai Maynor has been getting more reps at quarterback, and he's been improving quite a bit as well. 

Karl  2:44  
Now of course, having the right quarterback is great, but without a solid offensive line in front of them. Life could get pretty tough. The Mids bring back two seniors. Right tackle Kip Franklin and left tackle Jamie Romo. Franklin is the most experienced of the two but Romo's got some, you know decent playing time as well. One of the things that offensive line coach Ashley Ingram wants to do is make sure he's got at least two players who are interchangeable at all five positions if necessary. That's one of the things he was talking about in one of the local press conferences. 

Karl  3:15  
Everything starts with the center and right now, the team's got three rising sophomores who are listed on the depth chart. They are Brent Self, David Hixon and Declan Moriarty. Juniors,  Ahmad Bradley and Lirion Muretzi are listed at number one on the depth chart and left and right guards respectively. But again, Coach Ingram isn't all that focused on who's listed as the starter. His goal is to develop his player so that they can play multiple positions. That way, it just gives him the most flexibility. 

Karl  3:42  
So right now, the number on the depth chart doesn't really matter all that much where the offensive line is concerned. At slotback. The Mids will be without Chance Warren and Carlinos Acie, who will be graduating next month. But they've got some pretty talented players ready to take over. Among them is Maquel, Haywood, who made a name for himself on special teams last year for returning a kickoff for a touchdown against East Carolina. And he also had a key reception in the game against Army back in December. 

Karl  4:05  
I'd have to say the fullback is the biggest question mark. The coaches are working with a group that is certainly smaller than guys like Isaac Ruoss and James Harris, but they are more athletic. Now it's just a matter of seeing who emerges a starter Anton Hall and Mike Mauai  only had about seven snaps between them last year, and Logan Point who will be a sophomore, didn't see the field at all. Now that being the case, fullbacks coach Jason McDonald is pretty excited about the group he's been working with. One of the things he stressed was the vision and agility of all three players. So once they get the offense down, things could get pretty exciting. 

Karl  4:38  
And finally, with respect to the wide receivers, Mark Walker and Jay Umbarger will be the primary targets. Both have big play ability, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they'll be used this year. Lavatai has shown that he can throw the ball well when he gets some time, while Walker and Umbarger  are definitely capable of stretching the defense. 

Karl  4:55  
Overall, I think the coaches are pretty happy what they've been seeing so far, spring practices will be completed. by this Friday, April the 15th and in our next episode, I'll give you all an update on the defense. 

Karl  5:06  
Okay, before we move on, I did want to give a quick shout out to the Intercollegiate Sailing team. They competed in the Prosser trophy regatta for the Mid Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association team race championship last weekend, and they ended up winning the whole thing. Their record was 16-3 three across the two day event, which gave them their first Prosser trophy since 2017. And it also earned them an automatic bid to the 2022 College sailing team race national championship which is going to be taking place next month. 

Karl  5:34  
The event was hosted in Annapolis and feature the top eight teams from the Mid Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association based on regular season results. Now in the first round Navy posted a 6-1 record, which got them out front early. And then in the next round, they went 5-2. That combined record of 11-3 was good enough to get them into the top six round on Sunday. And from here, they just slammed the door on everyone else winning all five races. 

Karl  5:58  
By the way, you're winning skippers for the mids were Gray Benson, Olivia de Olazarra and JC Hermus. Now the team has several races over the next few weeks. And they will all serve as preparation for the college team race national championships, which will be held in New Orleans, May 16 through the 18th. 

Karl  6:15  
So congratulations to the intercollegiate Sailing team for the great season they're having so far. And I gotta tell you, I took a look at their schedule just a couple of days ago. And I was surprised at how many races they get in. This is one of the sports that basically compete year round, except for maybe taking a few weeks off in the wintertime. But they are racing virtually, you know, three to four weekends a month. And oftentimes they'll go ahead and split their teams and go to two different locations. So they stay pretty busy. 

Karl  6:42  
I think it might be kind of fun to have somebody on the show who used to compete on the sailing team, just to kind of get a bit more insight there. Because I'll be honest with you, I have not been on one of those boats since plebe year, and I have no idea how those races are set up or how long they are or anything like that. But I do have a classmate who has a lot of sailing experience. So I may reach out to her and see what we can set up because I think it'd be kind of fun to learn more about that sport. Okay, that does it for sports update and our deep dive segment is next.

Karl  7:28  
Alright, it's time to jump into our deep dive segment. And those of you who tuned into Episode 27 know that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the triple option becoming synonymous with Navy football. Paul Johnson began installing it in the spring of 2002. And it turned out to be a major inflection point in the program. I did take a look at each of Coach Johnson six seasons leading to Midshipman in my last blog post and I'll go ahead and put a link to that in the show notes. 

Karl  7:54  
Now, last month in Episode 27, and we started looking at some of the coaching Niumatalolo's most significant games, I picked out five of them that we're going to be looking at. And we started off last month by breaking down Navy's 35-17 win over Notre Dame in 2010 in a game that was played at the Meadowlands. And I will tell you that of all the games that I've seen in the last 20 years or so that was probably one of the most complete games the Mids have ever played on both sides of the ball. 

Karl  8:21  
Today, we're actually going to look at two games that took place a little over three years apart. And they were against the Mids two biggest rivals. So let's go ahead and get started with our first game.

Karl  8:30  
 It took place on October 6, 2012 when Navy played Air Force and Colorado Springs, let me go ahead and give you some of the backstory first. Navy had suffered its first losing season the previous year in 2011 since Paul Johnson's very first year that he took over in 2002. The Mids finished 5-7, and really could have easily have gone 7-5 had not been for a few mental lapses in some of the games. I think there was a there's a couple of . . .  I probably, when I look at that season again, there's probably about four or five plays that made the difference between going 5-7 and 7-5. And ironically, one of them was against Air Force when Navy played him at home. In any case, it was only a 10th straight wins over Army that kept the year from being a total loss. 

Karl  9:15  
But when the 2012 season got started, things didn't look much better. The Mids got off to a 1-3 start, and that included an embarrassing loss to San Jose State at home. The defense only gave up 12 points, so they did their part. But the offense got shut out and only managed 70 yards rushing total all afternoon, so they ended up losing 12 to nothing. 

Karl  9:34  
One of the biggest reasons the Mids had stumbled out of the gate was ball security. That was a major,major issue. Navy had turned the ball over 12 times in the first four games, which was just a ridiculous number. Especially when you consider how important it is for them to hold on to the ball to stay competitive. 

Karl  9:48  
And Coach Niumatalolo basically put Navy quarterback Trey Miller on notice. He told him, "Look man, you got to take better care of the rock, or we're going to need to make a change. 

Karl  9:55  
Now, Air Force had started the year 2-2, but they were pretty confident heading into the Navy game. Both of their losses were on the road including one to 19th ranked Michigan and at home they'd outscored their opponents by a 91 to 42 margin. They also defeated the Mids the last two years, finally breaking Navy's stranglehold on the Commander in Chief's trophy. And coming into the game, there was really nothing in particular the Mids could point to that would lead them to believe that this outcome would be any different. 

Karl  10:20  
But like I always say, the games aren't played on paper. They're played between the lines. So let's see how things played out and what I consider to be Navy's most improbable win of the season. 

Karl  10:32  
They took it 28 to 21 in overtime, and it didn't surprise me that the game was close because most of them were during that time. But if you take a look at the team statistics, it's, it's hard to believe Navy came out on top. Air Force had 80 more rushing yards, and they finished with nearly 150 more total yards in the Mids. They were also more efficient on third and fourth down, had more total first downs and were penalized once for only 10 yards. 

Karl  10:54  
But the Falcons also led in one category where it tends to work against you, and that was turnovers. The offense coughed up the ball three times. Meanwhile, the Mids managed to get through the game without putting the ball on the ground once. Air Force miscues allowed Navy to hang around. They converted one of them into a touchdown. But with nine minutes to go, they were still behind 21 to 13. At that point, I thought the Mids still had a pretty good chance of winning the game.

Karl  11:17  
But things went south in a hurry because Trey Miller suffered an ankle injury, and he was done for the afternoon. Up until that point, Miller had actually been playing pretty well. And when he went down, I just didn't have a whole lot of hope that the kids would be able to pull that out and they were looking at a third straight loss to Air Force.

Karl  11:35  
The guy that came in to replace him was Keenan Reynolds, who was a freshman from Antioch, Tennessee. And that was my first introduction to him. I know that he had gotten some previous playing time, just basically mop up duty against Notre Dame and Penn State. But this was the first time he was going to be jumping into a game where there was a lot on the line. Now the one thing I noted was the coaches had a ton of confidence in him. The very first two plays that Coach Jasper called were passes and I wouldn't exactly call that standard practice for a kid who comes into a pressure situation for the first time. 

Karl  12:05  
Both passes were completed for nice gains though. And four plays later, Reynolds took the snap and headed right and got a really nice block. Then he cut inside and wove his way through the defense for a 15 yard touchdown run. The Mids went for the two point conversion and Reynolds . . . on this one man he held a pitch until the last possible moment before getting it out to Noah Copeland who got hit early, but he was able to fight his way into the endzone to get the two points. 

Karl  12:29  
So now with seven minutes of play, the game was all tied up. Both teams wound up trading punts on the next two possessions. And Air Force did get the ball back in good field position with less than a minute to go. They got all the way to the Navy 34 yard line and had a chance for a game winning kick. But the 51 yard attempt wasn't even close. So that took the game to overtime. 

Karl  12:48  
Navy got the ball first and after carries by Reynolds, Copeland and GeeGee Greene, the Mids were sitting on the one yard line just waiting to punch it in. And on that play. The snap was mishandled I swear I almost had a heart attack when I saw the ball ended up in the endzone and fortunately it wound up right next to center Jake Zuzek who actually was able to get an arm out, and you know pull the ball in and recovered it so a rare moment for him,  certainly. You don't see too many offensive linemen scoring touchdowns especially in a game that big. 

Karl  13:16  
The Mids kicked the extra point to take a 28 to 21 lead. And now all they had to do is keep the Falcons out of the end zone on their possession to come away with a win. Air Force' s first two plays got them five yards so they're looking at a third and five from the Navy 20. And that's when Matt Warrick just made a huge play and took down Air Force fullback Cody Goetz for a one yard loss. 

Karl  13:35  
So now it's fourth and sixth and Air Force has to convert to stay in the game. Quarterback Connor Dietz took the snap and looked right to make a throw. And he had a receiver open at the first down marker. But Navy lineman Wes Henderson got a hand up there just as he threw it and knocked it down and the game was over. So somehow the Mids had managed to scratch out at 28 to 21 win in overtime after being behind by eight with nine minutes to go. And I can tell you I certainly didn't see that one coming after Troy Miller went down. But Keenan Reynolds came in and got the job done. And most importantly, the Mids were now in the driver's seat when it came to the commander in Chiefs trophy and that was absolutely huge. 

Karl  14:11  
Okay, so that's a quick recap of the game. And now I'm going to go into the reasons why this particular one made my list. And basically it's for two reasons. First of all, this game literally turned things around for the Mids that year. Again, you will call they went into it with a 1-3 record. They ended up winning that one and then they went on to take six of their next seven regular season games. And they were 8-4 going into bowl season. And even though they dropped that bowl game to Arizona State, that season was a huge success in my book considering the fact that they got off of that awful 1-3 start. 

Karl  14:44  
And that actually brings me to the second reason why this game stood out to me and it's basically because it launched a career of, in my mind the best triple option quarterback to ever play college football. Up until that point Navy had never had a freshman running the triple option. But Coach Ken just had a feeling.  Reynolds was named the starting quarterback after he led the Mids to a win over Central Michigan because Trey Miller had not healed from his ankle injury yet. And then after that, he went on to rewrite the Navy record books. He led the team to three Commander-In-Chief trophies, and no Navy quarterback has ever done that. 

Karl  15:16  
Okay, so that brings us to the end of this game. And we're gonna go ahead and jump into the next one here shortly and just so you know, we're not quite finished discussing Keenan Reynolds, because he plays a key role in this next game on our list as well. 

Karl  15:26  
All right, we're gonna step away for a quick break. But before we do that, I did want to share something with all of you real quick. I've seen where there have been a lot of podcasters out there who are shifting to a model where they've started charging their listeners to hear bonus content, or they've moved totally to a paid model. I'm here to tell you that I will never do that. The idea of charging people money to listen to me run my mouth seems a little over the top. Besides, I'm just a one person operation here. And when it comes to moving to any kind of paid model, there is an additional time factor that's involved in creating that additional content for listeners who choose to go that route. So that being the case, the time just is not there for me to even do that in the first place, even if I wanted to. 

Karl  16:11  
That being said, if you do like what you've been hearing on the Navy Sports Central podcast and would like to show your support, you can do that a couple of different ways. And they are really easy. 

Karl  16:21  
First, you can donate $1 by using the Cash App link at the bottom of the show notes. You'll see it no matter which platform you listen to your podcast on. The Cash App is the most popular banking app to transfer small amounts of money. Most of you probably have it and if not, it's pretty easy to set up. 

Karl  16:36  
So that's one way. And judging from the average number of listeners, I'm figuring that an annual donation of $1 would go a long way towards covering the web hosting fees and things like that. 

Karl  16:48  
Now, if you're feeling really generous and want to donate $19.84, email me your address, and I'll send you one of my Navy Sports Nation challenge coins. I'll go ahead and put a picture of one of those in the show notes. So you can check it out. I've got about 20 of them left. And just so you know, there's at least one listener who had his coin in the Meadowlands at the last Army-Navy game. Not saying that had anything to do with the outcome, but every little bit of positive Mojo helps. 

Karl  17:12  
And finally, if you're ever in the market for some new Navy fan gear, please consider using the link that I'll post at the bottom of the show notes to make some of your purchases. I have an agreement with, where they'll send me a certain percentage of each sale. And that's what I used to basically cover the cost of running the blog and the podcast. And by the way that the Navy online store gets a lot of their stuff from Fanatics as well. So you're basically just talking about the same gear and the pricing is about the same because I've checked it out. So that's it. That's my public service message. And as always, thanks to all of you for your support. All right. We'll be right back.

Karl  18:00  
Welcome back to Navy Sports Central . . . Karl Darden here with you. And we're going to take a look now at the second game I mentioned earlier. This one also featured Keenan Reynolds. Now, in the game against Air Force in 2012, no one outside of Annapolis really knew who he was. But by the time the Army-Navy game rolled around his senior year, his name was familiar to pretty much anyone who followed college football. So let's take a look back at Reynolds final Army-Navy game which took place on December 12th, 2015 in Philadelphia. 

Karl  18:26  
To be honest, this game had upset written all over it. On one hand, Navy had taken the American Athletic Conference by storm in their first season as members. They came into the game with a 9-2 record and had a legitimate shot at winning 11 games. Now Army was 2-9, but they were much better than the record indicated. They were a very productive team. But usually it was a key mistake that wound up you know, putting them on the wrong end of the score. 

Karl  18:48  
Now the good news for the Black Knights was that recently they've been going toe to toe with the Mids except for the one game in 2013. Army coach Jeff Monken, who was a former Navy slot backs coach under Paul Johnson was hired after that loss and Army had figured out a way to slow down Navy's triple option in the previous year. But the Mids still managed to extend the winning streak to 13 by way of a hard fought 17 to 10 win. This year, Army had the added incentive of trying to deny Keenan Reynolds a chance to become the first Navy quarterback to go 4-0 as a starter against them. And as expected, the Black Knights came ready to play. But at the end of the day, there's no way Reynolds was going to lose this game. He was just not going to be denied. And here's basically how it went down. 

Karl  19:29  
Just like in that Air Force game that we talked about earlier, statistically Army outperformed Navy in a bunch of key categories including total yardage gained, time of possession, uh . . . what were a couple of the other ones, total rushing yards, you know, that sort of thing. But probably one of the most important stats was that their defense limited the Mids to just three of 15 on third down conversions. Now some quick math will tell you that that's about a 20% conversion rate. And that was well below the Mids average on the year which is basically 51% So And by the way that 51% conversion rate on third downs put them at third in the country which is one of the reasons they were able to get into the red zone so often by sustaining those drives, and racking up the nine wins to date. 

Karl  20:13  
Anyway, Army cut the Mids off guard in the first half by going into a pretty efficient passing game. Quarterback Chris Carter had three completions go for more than 30 yards. And his favorite target that day was a wide receiver by the name of um . . . get this  . . . Edgar Allan Poe. That that is his real name by the way. Poe hauled in like five of Carter's passes for 121 yards, and they included a 39 yard strike that put Army ahead 17 to 14 at the half. So it was pretty clear that the Mids had their hands full. 

Karl  20:41  
Navy's two touchdowns in the first half came courtesy of Reynolds on a 58 yard run and also he scored from one yard out on a third and goal. But it was pretty tough sledding from there as far as the ground game was concerned. 

Karl  20:53  
In the second half, the Mids totally shut down Army's attack. The first four possessions resulted in negative 20 total yards. The Navy D forced three consecutive three and outs before getting the ball back with six minutes to go in the third quarter. The Mids first two possessions in the second half also resulted in punts, but this time around, it only took them one play to score. 

Karl  21:13  
They were on the 50 yard line and Reynolds found Jamir Tillman running free across the middle of the field. And the pass only went for 10 yards, but he hit him perfectly in stride, and it was just at the right angle. Tillman picked up a block and he didn't stop running until he got to the end zone. He covered that last 40 yards  in what seemed like just a couple of seconds, and when Navy got the extra point, they had a 21 to 17 advantage. 

Karl  21:38  
Army did put together a pretty decent five minute drive that took them into the fourth quarter, and they had a chance to go for a 29 yard field goal to pull within one. But it missed badly and that really did seem to deflate them because their next three possessions went fumble,interception, interception. 

Karl  21:55  
But the Mids couldn't convert any of those turnovers into points. They just ended up punting the ball right back to the Black Knights. So Army still had a chance to win the game on their very last possession. But they ended up having to try a long Hail Mary pass, and it just fell harmlessly to the ground. There's no way it was gonna make it but that gave Navy their 14th consecutive win over the Black Knights and it put Keenan Reynolds in the record books yet another time. He was the first Navy quarterback in history to go 4-0 against Army.

Karl  22:23  
 Alright, so that pretty much covers the game. Now we're going to talk about why it made my list. Some fans might wonder why didn't pick the 2012 Army-Navy game. It's definitely a worthy choice. For starters, it had a great storyline.  Keenan Reynolds was a freshman and he led the Mids to a win over the Black Knights quarterbacked by senior Trent Steelman. And it was only at that late fumble recovery that preserve the win for Navy. 

Karl  22:45  
The main reason I went with the 2015 game was because it was a win that kept the momentum going in what turned out to be a record setting season. Navy had already finished tied for first in their division and just their first season in the American Conference. They didn't get a chance to compete in the in the championship game. But they did win their third straight bowl game after defeating Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl. 

Karl  23:07  
And that was another first. The victory over the Panthers gave the Mids 11 for the year, which is a school record. So let's think about that for a minute. Okay, the program went 99 years between 10 win seasons, that being from 1905 to 2004. And then it only took Coach Ken two years to match that in 2009. You remember he took over at the beginning of the 2008 season and the Mds notched their 10th win in 2009 when they defeated Missouri in the . . . in the Texas bowl. 

Karl  23:33  
But yeah with the 11 wins that the Mids pulled down in 2015. That definitely was the new high watermark for the program and something to really be proud of. It also meant that Coach Ken Niumatalolo had become one of the most sought after coaches in Division one football. In fact, many including me thought he would leave Annapolis and head for BYU when they came calling at the end of the season. But in what he called the toughest decision he had ever made professionally, Niumatalolo decided to stay, and I will tell you that every Navy football fan across the country breathe a collective sigh of relief. That's for sure. 

Karl  24:07  
Now, before we move on, I did want to mention one more thing as it relates to Keenan Reynolds. And this has to do with the record he's set that I think will be around for a really long time. And uh,  who knows there's a chance that might not ever be broken. 

Karl  24:20  
When Reynolds scored from nine yards out with just over four minutes to go in the game against Pittsburgh, it was his 88th career rushing touchdown. And that established a new division one record for an offensive player. Now I think it is conceivable for another running back to come along and break that record. A lot would have to go right for that to happen. And there's no question about that. But given how much the game has changed over the last 10 years, I think the chances are fairly slim. 

Karl  24:44  
Running the ball isn't nearly as big as it was back in the day. Now there's a guy Marshall right now. His name is Rashid Ali. As a freshman last year, he had 23 rushing touchdowns. But he would have to average 22 over his last three years to break the record. And let's suppose that does happen. Even if he did pass Reynolds, there's no other quarterback within shouting distance of 88 career touchdowns. I mean, that's why I think that uh, 88 career rushing touchdowns for a quarterback could be one of those records that falls into the same category as Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak, which means it could quite possibly be unbreakable. 

Karl  25:17  
And here's why I think that's the case. First, you need a quarterback in a system where running the ball is the priority. And these days, the college game has more of a spread, slash Run-Pass Option type of look. So it's fair to say that passing the ball is the goal at least 50% of the time. Now, if you look at the programs that rely heavily on the run, that leaves you basically with the three service academies. They all run some version of the triple option. New Mexico also runs one, and they actually do theirs out of the shotgun. And last year, I think even or maybe it's two years ago, even Nebraska tried it out on occasion.

Karl  25:49  
But realistically, if a quarterback is going to break in and Reynolds record, he almost certainly has to come from either Navy, Army or Air Force. Just about all the other Division 1 schools are more committed to throwing the ball. 

Karl  25:59  
Now, just because you have a talented quarterback calling the signals at one of the service academies, that doesn't mean he's going to be a threat to break the record. The biggest reason is the complex nature of the triple option itself. I mentioned earlier that until Reynolds came along, no freshman had ever led the Navy offense in the triple option era. And if it ever happened at Air Force or Army, it was because they were just getting killed with injuries and had to do it out of necessity. 

Karl  26:23  
It takes a quarterback a good year or two to become proficient running the triple option attack. First of all, he's got to be really good at making that pre-snap read. But he's also got to make the right decisions in real time after the ball is snapped in order to be the most effective. Now, Reynolds was practically a savant when it came to running the option he had a really good grasp of it from his freshman year, whereas most quarterbacks that maybe didn't have it down until they started their junior season. 

Karl  26:47  
So it was that extra couple of years that gave Reynolds the time he needed to set that record. He scored 10 rushing touchdowns as a freshman, but then followed that up with an eye popping 31 as a sophomore, which included seven in one game against San Jose State. Then he finished up his career with 23 and 24 in his last two seasons to get to that number of 88. So for another quarterback to even have a chance he would need to be a four year starter. And he would also need to be able to get through each season without getting seriously banged up. 

Karl  27:14  
Now in in the final analysis, I guess it could happen that a quarterback could come along and break that record. But to tell you the truth, I don't think it's all that likely. And the main reason is the time it would take to learn the triple option well enough to run it effectively. Now, I mentioned Trent Steelman's name earlier. Now, he was a four year starter at Army, and he had the offense down pretty well by the time he was a senior. But in his first two years, he really took a beating. And I think he only finished with about 45 rushing touchdowns for his entire career. 

Karl  27:41  
So again, four year starter . . . , injury free . . . running oriented offense . . . there's just not that many of them around. And that's why I think Reynolds' record is going to stick around for quite a long time. And by the way, He also holds a mark for a career rushing yards by a quarterback with 4,559. And that one could be around for a long time for the same reasons. 

Karl  28:00  
Okay, that does it for our Deep Dive segment. We're gonna go ahead and take a quick breather and our Question of the Day is next.

Karl  28:23  
We are back. We are back. Thanks for staying with us everyone. Now it is time for our Question of the Day. So let's go ahead and take a look at the responses to the one from our last show. The question was which spring sports teams do you think we'll win the Patriot League championship this year, and you're allowed to pick as many as three teams. The choices were men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, men's outdoor track, women's outdoor track men's tennis and women's tennis. For this one, the top vote getter was men's lacrosse with 17 of you going with them. After that was women's lacrosse, they got 12 votes. Women's outdoor track was next with nine then came men's outdoor track and women's tennis with six votes apiece and then finally men's tennis with five votes. 

Karl  29:02  
Okay, those are all pretty good choices. I think. For my money. I've got to go with both track teams and women's tennis for my three. All them are playing extremely well right now. And they're just looking really strong as they finish off their season. Right behind them. I'd probably go with women's lacrosse. Loyola is still the favorite. The Greyhounds have cruised through their regular season schedule so far, but you never know what might happen. Coach Timchall has the Mids really focused and I do think they can stay with Loyola if they play their best game. 

Karl  29:30  
Alright, now let's get to the question for today's episode. We know that Keenan Reynolds was the first Navy quarterback to go 4-0 against Army. We talked about that earlier. Now besides him, how many starting Navy quarterbacks have beaten the Black Knights at least twice without loss in the last 20 years? is the number 0,1, 2 or 3? 

Karl  29:47  
So think about that one for a little bit. In the meantime, I'll post it in the form of a poll question on the Navy Sportsnation group Facebook page by the end of the day, and then you can just post your answer there. 

Karl  29:57  
Okay, we're gonna go ahead and wrap things up with our Mid Watch segment. So let's see what Reagan Roelofs has been up to the last couple of weeks. The women's lacrosse team has played three games since our last show and they won all of them, beating Lafayette 17-5, Colgate 12-5, and Boston University 16-6. Against the Leopards. Roelofs scored three goals and added two assists for a total of five points and she also had five draw controls. In the Colgate game, she scored twice and won 10 draws, which is just a ridiculous number. And finally against BU Roelofs had a team high five goals, two assists and eight draw controls. So far this year, she is first on the team in goals with 33 and assists with 13, which of course makes her the points leader with 46. She also leads in draw controls by a wide margin with 72. The next closest is Kasey Dietzel with 53. Roelofs has been playing some outstanding lacrosse so far this year. If she and her teammates can keep up this high level of play, they can definitely challenge Loyola, who really hasn't been tested so far where their conference schedule is concerned. 

Karl  30:57  
Now let's go ahead and move on to the men's team. Patrick Skalniak was a little quiet these last three games, Navy did beat Holy Cross 14-8, but then they had two really rough outings. The first was against the Patriot League favorite Boston University. The Mids dropped that one 17-9. After that they lost a Loyola 18-7. Skalniak came up with a total of two goals in those three games and was shut out against BU, meaning he had no goals or assists. I'm not sure if those defenses are starting to key on him or not. They've got Lafayette this weekend. It's a game they should win. So I'm gonna watch at least part of it to see what's going on for the year Skalniak leads the team and goals with 22. He is second in assists with 16 and is the overall points leader with 38. If the Mids are going to challenge for the Patriot League title once a tournament rolls around, I think he'd be the first to tell you that he needs to crank things up a little bit going into these last three regular season games. 

Karl  31:47  
That's gonna do it for this edition of Navy Sports Central. Thank you all so much for joining us. Now if you like what you've heard, make sure to follow us wherever you get your podcasts. And remember to spread the word to all the other Navy fans out there. We have been getting a great response to our Question of the Day. So if you want to jump in on that, just go to the Navy sports Nation group Facebook page, and I'll go ahead and pin that to the top so you won't miss it. And just a quick reminder, the views expressed on Navy Sports Central are my own and do not reflect those of the U.S. Naval Academy or Navy Athletics. By the way, the music use and Navy sports central comes to you courtesy of Audio Jungle. This is a great site for purchasing the rights to use music from thousands of artists around the world. And those we feature in the podcast will be credited in our show notes. Talk to you soon everybody. Until next time, this is Karl Darden . . . Go Navy1 Beat Army!