6:00 PM ET, September 3, 2005
6:00 PM ET, September 3, 2005
BALTIMORE (AP) -- Sam Hollenbach threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Drew Weatherly with 61 seconds left, capping a frantic 82-yard drive that carried Maryland past Navy 23-20 Saturday night.
Hollenbach went 19-for-30 for 217 yards, and Mario Merrills ran for 149 yards on 30 carries to help Maryland recover from an early 11-point deficit in the opener for both teams.
After a 6-yard touchdown run by Matt Hall gave Navy a 20-15 lead with 4:43 left, Hollenbach brought the Terrapins back. The key play came just before the touchdown, when Lance Ball took a short pass on a fourth-and-8 from the Navy 31 and slipped several tackles during a 20-yard gain.
Hollenbach then fired the winning pass to Weatherly in the middle of the end zone before Merrills ran in the conversion.
A crowd of 67,809 nearly filled the Baltimore Ravens' stadium for the first meeting between the teams since 1965. Both athletic directors have expressed an interest in continuing the series on a periodic basis.
Hollenbach, who won the starting job during summer practice, threw two early interceptions that helped Navy take a 14-3 lead. But he and Merrills got the Terrapins' offense going in the second half, and Maryland's defense permitted only six points over the final three quarters.
Hall scored two touchdowns, and quarterback Lamar Owens ran for 122 yards for the Midshipmen. Navy was penalized eight times for 51 yards; last season, the Midshipmen did not have more than six penalties in any one game.
Navy coach Paul Johnson surprised Maryland with a fake punt midway through the third quarter, and Eric Shuey ran 7 yards to get a first down at midfield. Owens then hurt his hand on a second-down run, and the drive fizzled with backup Brian Hampton taking the snaps.
The Terrapins then launched a 58-yard drive that produced Dan Ennis' third field goal, a 40-yarder that cut Navy's lead to 14-9 with 6 seconds left in the period. Merrills ran for 45 yards on six carries during the march.
Owens returned from the locker room before Navy's next possession, but watched from the sideline as the Midshipmen went three-and-out.
By the time he returned, the Terrapins had taken the lead for the first time, on a 12-yard run by Merrills with 9:15 to go.
Owens ran for 80 yards and passed for 73 in the first half, and Navy scored touchdowns on its first two possessions in taking a 14-6 halftime lead.
After Maryland's Dan Ennis kicked a 26-yard field goal to cap a 66-yard opening drive, Navy answered with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Matt Hall. The Midshipmen converted four third downs, including a 37-yard pass from Owens to Jason Tomlinson on third-and-5 from the Navy 25.
The Terrapins' next possession ended with an interception by Navy linebacker Jake Biles. The Midshipmen promptly moved 50 yards in six plays, taking a 14-3 lead on a 7-yard run by Marco Nelson on the final play from scrimmage in the first quarter.