ANNAPOLIS – The Naval Academy went out with a bang last Thursday in the Military Bowl.
The Midshipmen, who attempted only one pass the entire game, erased an early first-quarter deficit en route to a 49-7 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers.
Virginia’s Joe Reed returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, but the Midshipmen responded immediately by scoring one of their own on the ensuing possession.
Navy quarterbacks Malcolm Perry and Zach Abey combined for seven total touchdowns to help lead Navy to the win.
Abey’s one-yard touchdown run on Navy’s opening possession capped a 14-play, 69-yard drive and helped the Midshipmen head into the locker room with a 28-7 advantage.
Perry rushed for 114 yards on 16 carries and two scores while Abey finished with 88 yards rushing on 13 carries and scored five touchdowns.
“Malcolm did a masterful job,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. “The kid’s phenomenal, man. He brings another dimension to our offense. To Zach’s credit, he came in there and played really, really well.”
Navy senior fullback Chris High, who rushed for 101 yards on 19 carries, also contributed to the win as the Midshipmen (7-6) registered a Military Bowl-record 452 yards rushing.
Virginia (6-7), who made their first bowl appearance since 2011, could not contain Navy’s triple-option offense and had no success moving the football.
“They just outplayed us,” said Virginia free safety Quin Blanding. “That’s the bottom line. They came ready to play, and we didn’t.”
Notes: Representing Montgomery County in the game were Navy’s Jonnie Lee (Good Counsel), Monte Armstrong (Quince Orchard/Bullis), David Forney (Georgetown Prep) and Virginia’s Kirk Garner (Good Counsel), Andre Levrone (Good Counsel) and Charles Snowden (Blake).