Navy 28


Duke 21

(1-4, 0-2 ACC)

1:00 PM ET, October 1, 2005

Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC

1 2 3 4 T
NAVY 7 0 14 728
DUKE 7 0 3 1121

Top Performers

Passing: L. Owens (NAVY) - 87 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: L. Owens (NAVY) - 13 CAR, 106 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: T. Barnes (NAVY) - 2 REC, 65 YDS, 1 TD

Navy 28, Duke 21

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Three weeks of hitting teammates in practice instead of tackling opponents in a game had grown tiresome for Navy.

That unusually long hiatus also gave the Midshipmen a chance for a fresh start.

Lamar Owens ran for 106 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:18 to play Saturday to lead Navy past Duke 28-21, giving the Midshipmen their first win after a pair of frustrating losses to start the season.

Matt Hall and Karlos Whittaker each ran for scores for the Midshipmen, while Tyree Barnes added a 33-yard TD catch from Owens on the final play of the first quarter.

Navy (1-2) hadn't played since Sept. 10, when the Midshipmen lost 41-38 to Stanford. They were scheduled to play last week against Rice in Houston, but the game was postponed because of Hurricane Rita.

It was the longest regular-season layoff in program history, and it gave the players plenty of time to think about Navy's first 0-2 start in four years. But while coach Paul Johnson said he thought his team looked slow in its return to the field, Owens said he thought the layoff gave the team a chance to regroup.

The Midshipmen had chances to win their first two games. They lost 23-20 to Maryland in the opener after the Terrapins scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:01 left, and made it close after falling behind 35-24 after the third quarter against the Cardinal.

"We came out with the attitude that today was the beginning of our season," Owens said. "We tried to learn from those first two games and now we just want to keep pressing forward."

This time, the Midshipmen came up with their own late drive to answer a tying score from the Blue Devils (1-4). And they won despite committing nine penalties for 74 yards and watching Duke hold the ball for 39 minutes.

"We overcame a lot of mistakes and a lot of penalties to win the game," Johnson said. "We came back and that's a credit to our kids. They found a way to win."

After Duke tied it on freshman Zack Asack's 6-yard keeper and his 2-point conversion pass to Eron Riley with 3:20 left, Owens sprinted 52 yards on a keeper to put Navy at the 15. Owens finished the drive by leaping into the end zone for a 28-21 lead.

Duke had one last chance to tie it, driving to Navy's 24 with 4 seconds left. But David Mahoney broke up Mike Schneider's pass for Deon Adams in the end zone as time expired.

It was the latest disappointing loss for the Blue Devils, who fell behind 21-10 going into the fourth quarter of a game they had every chance of winning.

"We have to be able to finish the deal," Duke coach Ted Roof said. "We were in position to make some plays and we have to make those plays. This was a gut-wrencher, the way the kids fought back and the way it turned out."

Duke led 10-7 on Joe Surgan's field goal midway through the third quarter before Navy's offense finally got going. On the ensuing drive, Navy marched 85 yards in eight plays, getting a 52-yard run from Reggie Campbell to set up Whittaker's 5-yard score for a 14-10 lead with 5:17 left in the period.

Then, after forcing a three-and-out, Navy increased that lead on the next play when Hall carried up the middle then cut back to the outside for a 47-yard touchdown and the 21-10 lead.

Duke closed the gap to 21-13 with Surgan's second field goal, and tied it when Asack directed a 17-play, 66-yard drive lasting more than 8½ minutes.

Asack, who was making his first start, threw for 111 yards and ran for 58 while Justin Boyle ran for 64 yards and a touchdown.