Annapolis, MD (ASU) – Arkansas State sophomore quarterback Ryan Aplin broke two single-season passing records for the Red Wolves (4-7), going 22-of-30 with 178 yards in the air and a passing touchdown, but the Navy Midshipmen (8-3) put up 465 yards of total offense to capture the contest, 35-19, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium Saturday in front of a crowd of 27,501.
Aplin's one-yard completion to senior wide receiver Anthony Robinson in the third quarter broke the school record for passing yards in a single-season. Aplin finished the game with a total of 2,813 yards on the year. The previous mark was 2,721 and was set by Cleo Lemon during the 1998 season.
The Red Wolves finished the game with 365 yards of total offense, 178 in the air and 187 yards on the ground.
Junior running back Jermaine Robertson led the Red Wolves on the ground, rushing for a career-high 92 yards. Allen Muse led A-State in receiving, pulling in nine catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Taylor Stockemer had four catches for 59 yards, including a game-long 19-yard reception.
Aplin and freshman running back Sirgregory Thornton added 46 yards each on the ground, including a rushing touchdown for Aplin.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior safety M.D. Jennings led the Red Wolves with 11 tackles that included seven solo hits. Senior linebacker Javon McKinnon was second on the squad with eight tackles.
Navy drove the opening kickoff 76 yards to score on a 12-yard rush by sophomore running back John Howell at the 9:19 mark of the first quarter, giving the Midshipmen a 7-0 lead.
Navy then capitalized on a fumble by junior running back Derek Lawson on the first play from scrimmage for the Red Wolves, taking over at the ASU 12. The Midshipmen took four plays to reach the end zone when senior quarterback Ricky Dobbs rushed for a one-yard score at 7:34 in the opening frame, moving the score to 14-0 in favor of Navy.
At the end of the first quarter, Jennings recovered a fumble by Navy running back John Howell and returned the ball 17 yards to the Navy 48-yardline. On the ensuing drive, ASU moved the ball 37 yards and capped the drive with a 35-yard field goal by freshman kicker Brian Davis to cut Navy's lead to 14-3 with 12:51 remaining in the half.
Navy used their longest play of the season to go up 21-3 when Dobbs connected with senior wide receiver Greg Jones for an 85-yard touchdown reception.
On the following kick off, freshman R.J. Fleming took the ball from the end zone and returned it to the Navy 19 for an 81-yard pickup. The Red Wolves capitalized on the long return when Aplin took the ball into the end zone on a seven-yard touchdown plunge at the 10:52 mark of the second half. Following the kick by Davis, A-State had shrunk the Navy lead to 21-10.
On the last drive of the second half the Red Wolves took over the ball at the Navy 49 and drove down to their own 3. Davis kicked a 20-yard field goal to end the half going into the locker room with Navy in the lead 21-13.
Aplin connected with Muse at the 8:41 mark of the fourth quarter for a five-yard touchdown pass, moving the Red Wolves to within nine points of the Midshipmen, 28-19. Aplin converted the two-point conversion on a pass to Dwayne Frampton, but it was called back due to offensive pass interference. Davis attempted the extra-point from the 25-yard line, but the kick was blocked by Navy's Chase Burge.
The Red Wolves will complete their regular season when they travel to Florida International for a Sun Belt Conference matchup with the Golden Panthers. The game will be televised by the Sun Belt Network and kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (CDT).