East Carolina welcomed Navy to the American Athletic Conference in the most accommodating fashion Saturday as it allowed Midshipmen quarterback Keenan Reynolds to rush for an AAC-record five touchdowns to win their first-ever conference game, 45-21.
Navy (2-0, 1-0), which has played as an independent for 134 years before joining the AAC this season, was powered by Reynolds’ historic performance. The senior leader of Navy’s triple-option offense galloped for 142 yards on 24 attempts. Thanks to his five scores, Reynolds now has 70 career touchdowns, which ranks fourth on the NCAA all-time list, putting him one TD ahead of former Texas Tech star Taurean Henderson (2002-05).
Reynolds, who already was the NCAA all-time leader in rushing TDs by a quarterback, ranks fourth on the career rushing touchdown list behind former Texas running back Ricky Williams (75).
The star QB also completed four of his seven pass attempts for 41 yards. Navy fullback Chris Swain was nearly as effective, gaining 123 yards and one touchdown on 29 attempts.
The loss was the second straight for the Pirates, (1-2, 0-1), who fell 31-24 to Florida last week and is now 1-3 versus the Midshipmen during sixth-year ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill’s tenure.
The Pirates were led by wide receiver Isaiah Jones, who caught 10 passes for a game-high 130 yards, while Bryce Williams had five receptions for 47 yards and scored two touchdowns.
ECU quarterback Blake Kemp completed 36 of his 49 pass attempts for 325 yards, three TDs and one interception.