Sports

Rutgers ground attack too much for Navy, Reynolds in 31-24 win

  • Rutgers running back Justin Goodwin, center, rushes through a hole in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy in Annapolis, Md., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Rutgers running back Justin Goodwin, center, rushes through a hole in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy in Annapolis, Md., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rutgers running back Justin Goodwin (32) celebrates his touchdown with teammates in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy in Annapolis, Md., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Rutgers running back Justin Goodwin (32) celebrates his touchdown with teammates in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy in Annapolis, Md., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)  (The Associated Press)

  • Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, left, celebrates his touchdown with teammate Jamir Tillman in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers in Annapolis, Md., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, left, celebrates his touchdown with teammate Jamir Tillman in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Rutgers in Annapolis, Md., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)  (The Associated Press)

Justin Goodwin ran for 104 yards on 26 carries, replacing the injured Paul James, as Rutgers beat Navy 31-24 on Saturday.

James left the game with an apparent leg injury with 11:01 left in the second quarter. He had 96 yards on seven carries before being helped off the field.

Navy trailed by 14-points in the fourth quarter but pulled to within a touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Keenan Reynolds to Brendan Dudeck with 5:26 left. The Midshipmen got down to the 6 in the final minute, but could not convert.

Quarterback Gary Nova ran for a pair of touchdowns and the Scarlet Knights (3-1) amassed 284 yards rushing.

Reynolds was 12 of 22 for 231 yards with a touchdown and ran for two more scores.

Trailing 24-14 at the half, Reynolds found Jamir Tillman for 53 yards on the second play of the third quarter, setting up a 35-yard field goal by Nick Sloan. However, the Midshipmen (2-2) could not contain Rutgers, which increased the margin back to 14 on the next drive on a 1-yard run by Nova.

Navy mounted a comeback but could not overtake the Scarlet Knights.

Midshipmen linebacker James Britton suffered a broken left foot in the second quarter.

Navy got off to a quick start as linebacker Jordan Drake forced a fumble on the first play from scrimmage that was recovered by Quincy Adams on Rutgers' 25. Two plays later, Geoffrey Whiteside scampered 19 yards, setting up a 1-yard touchdown run by Reynolds.

Rutgers tied the game with 3:45 left in the first quarter on a 38-yard touchdown run by James. On the ensuing possession, a Reynolds fumble eventually led to a 21-yard field goal by Kyle Federico, increasing the Scarlet Knights' lead to 10-7 with 14:53 left in the half.

Navy has lost five fumbles in three games this season after losing six all of last year.

The Scarlet Knights increased the margin to 17-7 midway through the second quarter with a 10-play, 80-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard run by Nova. Navy responded on the next possession with a 7-yard touchdown run by Reynolds.

Rutgers scored then again with 27 second lefts on a 91-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard run by Goodwin for a 24-7 lead at the half. It was the longest scoring drive of the season for the Scarlet Knights.