ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Aaron Polanco threw a touchdown pass, ran
for another score and finished with 259 yards of total offense to
help Navy beat Duke 27-12 on Saturday night in the season opener
for both teams.
Polanco ran for 130 yards on 23 carries and was 8-of-9 for 129
yards, including a 58-yard touchdown pass to Jason Tomlinson at the
end of the first half.
Kyle Eckel fumbled twice in the first half for Navy, but scored
on a pair of 3-yard runs in the second half. He finished with 100
yards on 23 carries.
"We moved the ball well in the first half, but we just turned
it over," Navy coach Paul Johnson said. "Once Aaron settled down,
I thought he played well."
Polanco carried the ball for most of the yardage on Navy's final
59-yard drive, which ended with Eckel's second score with 3:06 to
Navy, which led the nation in rushing last season, gained 301
yards on the ground and had 430 yards of total offense.
"It is always good to get a win, especially with how we played
in the first half," Polanco said. "We had some trouble holding on
to the ball, but once we did, we settled down."
Polanco's scoring pass to Tomlinson with 12 seconds left in the
first half tied the game at 6.
Duke's Cedric Dargan rushed for a career-best 114 yards on 20
carries. He had 101 yards on 17 carries in the first half.