ANNAPOLIS, Md. >> Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran for a career-high 251 yards and three touchdowns, and the Midshipmen scored on seven straight possessions in a 41-31 victory over San Jose State on Saturday.
Reynolds missed Navy’s previous game on Oct. 11 with knee and shoulder injuries. After resting during a bye, the junior put on a performance that earned him a place in the school record book.
Reynolds’ three touchdowns gave him 52 for his career, breaking the Navy mark of 49 held by Ricky Dobbs (2008-10). Ten of Reynolds’ TDs have come against San Jose State, including seven last year in a 58-52 overtime win.
Joe Gray went 33 for 46 for 322 yards and three touchdowns for San Jose State (3-4). The Spartans hung with Navy (4-4) for a while, but they had no answer for Reynolds.
After falling behind 3-0, the Midshipmen peeled off five touchdowns and two field goals over their next six possessions. Navy used a 24-point second quarter to go up 24-17 at halftime, then took control in the third quarter with a 98-yard drive that ended with a touchdown and a 31-17 lead.
Reynolds ran for 93 yards on 11 carries during the 13-play march, including a 2-yard touchdown.
An 8-yard run by Navy’s DeBrandon Sanders made it 38-17 with 14:21 remaining, and at that point the Midshipmen could begin looking forward to next Saturday’s matchup against Notre Dame.
Reynolds had a career-high 39 carries and scored on runs of 8, 3 and 2 yards. He had 17 yards in the first quarter, 100 in the second quarter and added 106 in the third period.
His previous career high in yards rushing was 240, set last year at San Jose State.
At the outset of this one, Reynolds showed his rust by losing a fumble on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
Gray gave it back by throwing an interception near the goal-line, but the Spartans’ next possession lasted 18 plays over 7 1/2 minutes before Austin Lopez kicked a 22-yard field goal.
Because the San Jose State defense was jamming the line, Reynolds opted to test the nation’s top-ranked unit against the pass. Completions of 27 and 13 yards set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Noah Copeland on the opening play of the second quarter.
Gray promptly took the Spartans the other way and threw a 6-yard TD pass to Billy Freeman.
Reynolds then ran 47 yards to the San Jose State 12 before scoring from the 8 to put Navy ahead for good. Minutes later, Reynolds scored again to make it 21-10.
An impressive display of balance brought San Jose State to 21-17. Tim Crawley caught a short pass and was seemingly tackled by Quincy Adams, but Crawley twisted out of Adams’ grasp and regained his footing before sprinting into the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown.
Reynolds then took Navy 73 yards to set up a field goal on the final play of the half.