Wake Forest Beats Navy 29-19 To Open Bowl Season

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Saturday, December 20, 2008.

WASHINGTON -- Riley Skinner found a perfect way to obliterate the miserable memory of his painful performance against Navy earlier this season.

Skinner went 11-for-11 and threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Ben Wooster with 7:52 left, leading Wake Forest to a 29-19 comeback victory over the Midshipmen in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl to open the bowl season Saturday.

The previous school record for accuracy was a 12-for-14 effort by Mike McGlamry in 1975. Skinner added a completion on a conversion attempt.

He finished with 166 yards passing and was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

It was a rematch of a September game played at Wake Forest, when Navy took advantage of five turnovers by Skinner -- four interceptions and a fumble -- to pull off a 24-17 upset.

Skinner took the blame for the loss, and in the days leading up to this game, the junior quarterback expressed an intense desire to "prove something and get a little revenge."

The Midshipmen scored the first 17 points in that game, and this time they used a 50-yard fumble return by Rashawn King to take a 13-0 lead.

But Skinner didn't flinch. He directed Wake Forest (8-5) to a touchdown in the final minute of the first half and opened the third quarter with a 73-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard run by Josh Harris for a 14-13 lead.

Navy (8-5) went back in front when Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada scored on a 2-yard run with 12:30 to go, but Skinner went 4-for-4 for 69 yards in an 80-yard drive that ended with his 8-yard pass to Wooster. Skinner then hit Devon Brown in the back of the end zone for the conversion that made it 22-19.

Rich Belton added a 35-yard touchdown run with 54 seconds left.

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