ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Craig Candeto and Navy's seniors finally
won a home game.
Kyle Eckel ran for two touchdowns and a career-high 129 yards as
Navy snapped a 14-game home losing streak with a 37-10 win over
Virginia Military Institute on Saturday.
The game was delayed by lightning for 58 minutes late in the
third quarter. Referee Jim Knight halted play with 54 seconds left
in the period and the game resumed nearly an hour later.
Candeto ran for 96 yards and scored twice for Navy. The
Midshipmen had not won at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium since
beating Tulane 45-21 on Nov. 13, 1999.
"It feels great," Candeto said. "(Losing) wears on you
big-time. You come out each week and don't have success in football
games. Trying to come out hard in practice gets tough every week."
The Midshipmen gained 598 yards of total offense, including 370
yards on the ground.
"I'm happy to have a win, proud of the effort," second-year
Navy coach PaulJohnson said. "We made a lot of mistakes and
there's a lot of room for improvement. But that usually happens in
Gary Price scored a touchdown for VMI. The Division I-AA Keydets
have not beaten a I-A opponent since defeating Virginia Tech 6-0 in
"We were playing with a new quarterback and we never got going
on offense," VMI coach Cal McCombs said. "When you play a team
like them, you have to make some first downs and stay on the field.
The Midshipmen, who have won consecutive season openers under
Johnson, took a 7-0 lead on an 18-yard touchdown run by Tony Lane
midway through the first quarter. Navy then scored on three
successive second-quarter possessions for a 28-0 halftime lead.
Eckel ran 3 yards off left tackle on the first play of the
second quarter, extending the lead to 14-0. After VMI was forced to
punt, Candeto needed only 1:50 to direct a six-play, 70-yard drive
that ended with a 2-yard run by Eckel.
On the next Navy series, Candeto threw a 47-yard completion to
Jason Tomlinson and a pass interference penalty on VMI cornerback
Sean Hill in the end zone put the ball at the Keydet 2.
One play later, Candeto scored on a 3-yard keeper, making it
VMI's Mike Maleski recovered a fumbled punt early in the second
half and Price scored on a 6-yard run, falling backward over the
goal line in the third quarter.
After the delay, Matt Sharpe kicked a 46-yard field goal early
in the fourth. Navy responded with a 70-yard drive capped off by
Candeto's 2-yard touchdown run, and a 42-yard field goal by Geoff
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