(Saturday, December 20th)
Final Score: Wake Forest 29, Navy 19
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Riley Skinner completed each of his 11 passes for 166 yards and hit Ben Wooster for the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, as Wake Forest avenged a loss to Navy earlier this season with a 29-19 victory over the Midshipmen in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl at RFK Stadium.
Josh Adams ran for a pair of touchdowns and Rich Belton scored on a 35-yard run in the final minute to seal it for Wake Forest (8-5), which opened the season with three wins before a 24-17 home loss to Navy on September 27 started a run of five losses in eight games.
Skinner threw four interceptions in the earlier game against the Midshipmen, but was perfect on Saturday as Wake Forest won its second straight bowl game and improved to 6-3 all-time in bowl action.
Kevin Harris ran for 136 yards and caught a pair of passes for 36 yards for the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest piled up 405 yards to just 253 for Navy.
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada ran for 83 yards with a touchdown, but also threw a costly interception for the Midshipmen (8-5), who have lost three straight bowl games by a combined 14 points. Shun White added 71 yards on the ground for Navy, which had posted shutouts over Northern Illinois and Army in its final two regular-season games.
Navy trailed 14-13 heading into the fourth quarter, but Kaheaku-Enhada broke free for a 35-yard run and scored on a two-yard carry a few plays later. The two-point try failed, leaving the Midshipmen with a 19-14 edge with 12 1/2 minutes remaining.
Wake Forest responded with an 80-yard drive to regain the lead. A 44-yard pass from Skinner to Chip Brinkman on 3rd-and-7 gave the Demon Deacons a first down at the Navy 10, and Skinner found Wooster in the end zone from eight yards away three plays later. The two-point pass to Devin Brown gave Wake a 22-19 advantage with 7:52 left.
White raced down the left sideline deep into Wake Forest territory with the ensuing kickoff, but it was called back for holding and the Midshipmen were forced to punt it away with just under 5 1/2 minutes to play.
Navy forced a Wake punt two minutes later, but the Middies were unable to pick up a first down. A fourth-down scramble by Kaheaku-Enhada came up short and Wake Forest put it away moments later when Belton broke through the stacked line and raced 35 yards for a touchdown with 54 seconds remaining.
The Middies tried to make it interesting, moving quickly into Wake territory following the ensuing kickoff. Needing 10 points, Navy tried for the first three on a 48-yard field goal attempt by Matt Harmon, but it missed wide right with 33 seconds left.
Navy scored on its opening possession, as White's 39-yard run on the Middies' first play from scrimmage set up a 40-yard field goal by Harmon for a 3-0 lead.
The Midshipmen extended the advantage a few minutes later when Rashawn King picked up a fumble and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
Harmon tacked on another three points for Navy just under 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter with a 47-yard field goal.
Sam Swank then missed a 49-yard field goal on Wake's next possession and Navy was in position to add to its lead with a first down at the Wake Forest 29, but Kaheaku-Enhada was intercepted just in front of the goal line to end the threat.
Skinner then engineered a 98-yard drive in just under four minutes to put the Demon Deacons on the board. A fumble call was reversed on the first play and Wake took advantage. Harris picked up a key first down early in the series with a 10-yard run and added a 24-yard carry moments later. Skinner completed passes of 30 and 21 yards to D.J. Boldin to set up Adams' four-yard touchdown run with 36 seconds to play before the intermission.
Adams gave the Demon Deacons a 14-13 lead on their first series of the second half, scoring on a five-yard run to cap a 10-play, 73-yard march. Harris took a short pass from Skinner 32 yards to key the drive.
Skinner, who also ran for 29 yards on seven carries, was named the game's MVP...Kaheaku-Enhada completed just 2-of-7 passes for 32 yards...Boldin finished with four catches for 66 yards...Navy was making its sixth straight bowl appearance and fell to 6-8-1 all-time in bowl games.
12/20 15:01:19 ET