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Navy runs through Fordham in opener, 52-16

Chris High led Navy with a career-high 176 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Chris High led Navy with a career-high 176 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

There are new players, but the same scheme is still running opposing team’s raged in Annapolis.

Without Keenan Reynolds, without Chris Swain and without Quentin Ezell or DeBrandon Sanders, the Mids out-rushed the Fordham Rams 427 to 162 on their way to a 52-16 rout in the 2016 season opener at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Navy opened the game with an immediate touchdown on the first offensive play of the game. Fordham kick returner Jihaad Pretlow fumbled the ball on the opening return. Taylor Heflin recovered it and set the Mids up just seven yards away from pay dirt. The first play, quarterback Tago Smith bolted forward for the score to give the Mids the early lead.

While their special team’s and running game shined in the opening moments of the game, it was the defense’s turn next. Fordham picked up three first downs but stuck in no-mans land they were facing fourth and three. Fordham quarterback Kevin Anderson dropped back, but the Mids forced the incompletion and turnover on downs to take control at their own 29 yard line.

And without any sort of surprise it was a heavy dose of running the ball, but on the third play Smith scrambled forward for a 62-yard gain to get in striking distance at the Fordham 17 yardline. Chris High then pushed forward for a gain of eight and gain of five. Myles Swain completed the drive with a four-yard dash into the endzone, giving Navy a 14-0 lead midway through the opening quarter.

High led Navy’s ground game with a career-high 176 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Smith scrambled for 109 yards and led the triple option offense. He split time at quarterback with Will Worth, who wasn’t nearly as much of a running threat but did lead the team in passing yards and tossed the only touchdown through the air.

With the success the Mids had on the ground, they did not at all look to pass the ball. Combined, Worth and Smith attempted only four passes, completing all of them. Worth went 3-for-3 for 78 yards and hit Toneo Gulley on a short pass. Gulley then went 57-yard for a touchdown with 2:53 remaining in the third quarter. Worth also ran in a touchdown from eight yards out. That was after Smith scrambled 11 yards for his second touchdown of the game with 4:29 remaining in the second quarter.

After Swain gave the Mids a 14-0 lead, Fordham went 62 yards on nine plays but had to settle for a field goal, which Makay Redd hit from 30 yards away. Following Smith’s second touchdown Fordham was finally able to put the ball in the endzone when Anderson hit Phazahn Odom for the touchdown.

High scored his first touchdown of the game with 5:07 remaining before halftime to give Navy a 35-10 lead at the break. Redd kicked in a 23-yard field goal to open the second half to inch a bit closer, but High came right back with a 70 yard run on the first play of Navy’s ensuing drive to land the knockout punch against the Rams.

High’s touchdown was followed by Worth’s strike to Gulley to put Navy ahead 49-13 at the end of the fourth quarter. Bennett Moehring finished Navy’s scoring with a 23-yard field goal. Redd gave Fordham three more points in the fourth quarter with his third field goal of the game.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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