ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Walt Harris walked into his post-game
interview carrying the game ball from his first victory with
"I'm not bringing it to boast," he said. "I'm bringing it
because I'm proud."
Thanks to a fine performance by quarterback Trent Edwards, the
Cardinal won their opener under Harris, building a 14-point lead
and holding on to beat Navy 41-38 Saturday night.
"It was a great game for our players to win. It was a great win
for us, man," Harris said. "I thought it was an excellent game
Harris, who spent the past eight years at Pittsburgh, is seeking
to turn around a program coming off three straight losing seasons.
The Cardinal lost their last five games in 2004, but are unbeaten
under Harris because of Edwards, who went 21-for-33 for 235 yards
and a touchdown.
T.J. Rushing returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score to help
Stanford turn back Navy (0-2) in the first meeting between the
teams since 1965.
Stanford played the second half without star receiver Evan
Moore, who dislocated his hip while being tackled late in the
second quarter. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays, and Harris
expected him to return home with the team.
Moore finished with three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Marco Nelson scored three touchdowns for the Midshipmen and
Karlos Whittaker ran for 110 yards on seven carries, becoming the
first freshman in Navy history to have a 100-yard rushing game.
But the Midshipmen, who fell to Maryland 23-20 last week, lost
another close one.
"It was disappointing," Navy coach Paul Johnson said. "That's
two weeks in a row we were in it until the very end. We have to
find a way to get the job done."
Nelson's third score, on a 54-yard pass from Lamar Owens,
brought the Midshipmen to 38-31 with 12:38 left. But Edwards moved
the Cardinal close enough for Michael Sgroi to kick a 47-yard field
goal, and Stanford held on.
Harris was delighted with the win, but it didn't take long for
him to start looking ahead.
"We're going to get home late, the guys are banged up and we've
got to get back to work," he said.
The Cardinal took a 28-21 lead by moving 65 yards for a
touchdown on the opening possession of the second half. Anthony
Kimble scored on a 3-yard run and accounted for most of the yardage
on the drive, catching a 12-yard pass and running for 34 yards.
A 38-yard run by Whittaker set up a Navy field goal, but late in
the quarter Stanford used a bit of trickery to open up a 35-24
After Edwards completed four straight passes for a total of 50
yards, receiver Gerren Crochet ran a reverse behind an excellent
block by fullback Nick Frank and scored on a 46-yard run.
Sgroi added a field goal to make it 38-24 with 14:47 left.
Navy made a game of it, but down the stretch looked very much
like a team with only six starters back from last year.
"I feel for the kids," Johnson said. "We just made some
critical mistakes. We're so young."
Stanford's first drive under its new coach couldn't have gone
much better. After forcing a punt, the Cardinal faced two third
downs before Edwards threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Moore.
Navy pulled even when Stanford punt returner David Marrero
fumbled when hit by Reggie Campbell, and Nelson ran 19 yards into
the end zone with the loose ball.
The deadlock lasted 12 seconds -- the amount of time it took
Rushing to cover the 93 yards on his second career kickoff return
for a touchdown.
Held to 13 yards on 10 carries in the first quarter, Navy found
its ground game early in the second period tied it when Whittaker
scored on a 44-yard run.
A 1-yard touchdown run by Nelson with 5:33 left in the half gave
Navy its first lead, but Stanford tied it on a 2-yard run by Frank.
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