Northwestern 49, Navy 40

Sept. 21, 2002 at 5:20 PM
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ANNAPOLIS, Md., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Jason Wright and Noah Herron each ran for their third touchdowns of the day six minutes apart in the fourth quarter Saturday as Northwestern held on for a 49-40 victory over equally defenseless Navy.

The game featured 12 touchdowns -- 10 of them capping drives of less than three minutes -- with 58 first downs and 1,223 total yards. Navy (1-2) ran for 378 yards, threw for 300, punted just once and still lost.

It was just the second time since 1948 that the Midshipmen had 300 yards rushing and passing in the same game. Navy also did it against Tulane on Nov. 11, 2000.

The 678 yards were just 35 shy of the most allowed by Northwestern in school history.

The Midshipmen took a 35-31 lead -- their first since the opening quarter -- with 10:42 to play on a one-yard touchdown run by option quarterback Craig Candeto, who carried 30 times for 138 yards and three scores.

The Wildcats responded with a 59-yard drive in just 80 seconds capped by a three-yard run by Wright, who ran for 186 yards on just 21 carries.

Navy drove into Northwestern territory before Kyle Eckel fumbled a reception at the 21. With Wright and Herron running hard, the Wildcats needed just six plays to move 79 yards and open a 49-38 lead with 3:26 to play.

The touchdown came on an 18-yard run by Herron, who had 95 yards on 16 carries.

Candeto threw an end-zone interception for Navy's fifth turnover and Northwestern took an intentional safety in the final minute. Candeto, who completed 13 of 23 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown, drove the Midshipmen to the Wildcats' four. He threw an incompletion before Bryce McDonald was stopped at the two after catching a short pass, and time ran out.

Brett Basanez was 20 of 26 for 260 yards and a touchdown for Northwestern, which

amassed 515 yards and committed no turnovers. As they enter Big Ten Conference play, the Wildcats are allowing more than 40 points per game.

Eckel ran for 71 yards and McDonald added 64 for Navy, which fell to 0-3 in the all-time series with its 11th straight home loss. Eric Roberts carried four times for 71 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 137 yards and a score.

The Midshipmen have allowed 116 points in their last two games.

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