Maryland senior linebacker Adrian Moten celebrates with Terps… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene…)
Navy ran all over the field Monday. But in the red zone -- when and where it mattered most -- Maryland managed to stop the Midshipmen in a 17-14 victory in the season opener for both teams.
The Terps -- and particularly safety Kenny Tate -- stopped Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs near the goal line in the final minute to preserve the win.
The Terps ended a seven-game losing streak from last season. The teams were playing for the second time since 1965 in a rivalry game known as the "Crab Bowl." On its final drive, the Midshipmen were driving into the end zone that faced a sea of white worn by the Navy section. The red-clad Maryland students filled the other end zone seats, as well as many other sections.
Five times, Navy moved into the red zone without collecting a point. The Midshipmen rushed for 412 yards and collected 26 first downs.
There was a missed, first-quarter field goal from 32 yards, and a fumble by Dobbs. With the Terps ahead 14-7, Maryland linebacker Adrian Moten leaped over the top to hit Dobbs and force the second-quarter fumble.
Navy missed another scoring chance when it couldn't get the field-goal unit onto the field from Maryland's 2-yard-line as the first half expired. Then Dobbs fumbled again -- this time in the third quarter -- as he was about to cross the goal line but was hit by Kenny Tate. Linebacker Ryan Donohue -- subbing briefly for Alex Wujciak -- recovered.
Despite the gaffes, the Midshipmen persevered.
Navy tied the contest at 14 in the third quarter on a 76-yard drive that Dobbs capped with a 1-yard run.
Then it was Maryland's turn to commit a key error. With the score tied at 14, Tony Logan set the Terps up at the Navy 16 with a 57-yard punt return. But Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien -- in his first and only play of his career -- couldn't connect properly on a handoff to Meggett, who fumbled the ball back to Navy.
The Terps managed to take a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter on a 24-yard field goal by Travis Baltz, subbing for injured place kicker Nick Ferrara.
But Navy then launched its final drive. The drive was kept alive by a facemask penalty on defensive end Drew Gloster. It ended on Tate's hit.
Maryland defensive lineman Joe Vellano raised his arms skyward after the hit. Maryland's players leaped into the air on the sidelines when the game ended. Maryland scored on its first two possessions without completing a pass.
The Terps drove 59 yards in eight plays, scoring on a 5-yard run by Da'Rel Scott.
On their next possession, the Terps handed the ball to Davin Meggett, who went a career-long 67 yards down the left sideline. It was longer than any Maryland run last season. Meggett's 3-yard run made it 14-0.