Navy's Comeback Ends Short As Duke Prevails In Annapolis 34-31

A 24-point fourth quarter wasn't enough to give the Midshipmen a win.

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Navy's 24-Point Fourth Quarter Leaves Them 3 Points Shy Of Duke

Annapolis, MD (Sports Network) - Sean Renfree scored three touchdowns to lead the Duke Blue Devils to a 34-31 victory over the Navy Midshipmen in a non- conference tussle at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

Renfree completed 28-of-30 passes for 314 yards and one touchdown for Duke (2-6), and added two more scores on the ground. Conner Vernon hauled in five passes for 90 yards and one touchdown.

Ricky Dobbs rushed for 83 yards and one score for Navy (5-3), but what is surprising is that Dobbs finished with 227 yards and two touchdowns through the air as well. Greg Jones finished with 134 yards and one score on nine receptions in the loss.

The Blue Devils dominated the first half against Navy, scoring 24 consecutive points, beginning with a 30-yard field goal by Will Snyderwine early in the opening quarter.

Duke did not score again until early in the second stanza when Renfree plunged into the end zone on a one-yard run.

A six-yard run by Brandon Connette pushed Duke's lead to 17-0 midway through the quarter, and in the final minute of the half Renfree's 12-yard scamper gave the Blue Devils a 24-0 advantage as the two teams went into the break.

Navy finally got on the scoreboard midway through the third quarter when Dobbs scored on a five-yard run.

Duke went back up by 24 points late in the third frame when Renfree found the end zone again, this time scoring with a pass, as he connected with Vernon for a 29-yard scoring strike.

Navy continued to fight back, as Dobbs connected with Jones for a seven-yard touchdown pass just seconds into the final frame. Alexander Teich plunged into the end zone for a successful two-point conversion, cutting the Midshipmen deficit to 31-15.

Duke capped off a 12-play, 60-yard drive with a 40-yard field goal by Snyderwine, pushing its lead to 34-15.

Navy would not go away however, as Gee Gee Greene scored on a one-yard run and Dobbs added a two-point conversion to bring the Midshipmen with 11 points.

The Midshipmen continued to pull close when Dobbs hit Aaron Santiago with a 12-yard scoring strike. The two hooked up again for the two-point conversion, cutting Navy's deficit to 34-31 late in the final quarter.

However, Duke was able to hold on and claim the three-point victory.

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Navy Vs. Duke: Midshipmen Look To Become Bowl-Eligible With Win

Up in College Park, there's an NCAA Football team that has a chance to become bowl-eligible. But Maryland isn't the only local team with that chance today. With a win this afternoon over Duke, Navy will also get to that elusive six-win plateau.

The Midshipmen have bounced back well since their opening-game loss to Maryland. They have won five of their last six games, including a 35-17 blowout win over Notre Dame last weekend. Quarterback Ricky Dobbs is starting to show everyone why he was a darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate at the beginning of the year. Last week's win was Navy's third straight, and it came against a big-name opponent.

The Blue Devils, on the other hand, are struggling. They were blown out 44-7 by Virginia Tech last weekend, and have just one win on the season ... against Elon. They are winless in ACC play, and haven't even been competitive in many of their games. In this sense, they are an ideal opponent for Navy. Given the way both teams are playing, Navy should roll to a win and bowl eligibility. 

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