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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 4:13 p.m., Friday, September 5, 2008

CFB: Davis leads Ball State over Navy, 35-23

By STEVE HERMAN
AP Sports Writer

MUNCIE, Ind. Nate Davis passed for 326 yards and four touchdowns and Ball State's defense repeatedly came up with big stops in the second half in a 35-23 victory over Navy tonight.

The Cardinals, 2-0 for the first time since 1995, held the Midshipmen (1-1) on downs at the 3 after Navy threatened to take the lead late in the third quarter, then turned back another threat with B.J. Hill's interception at the 9 midway through the final period.

Navy got the ball back with under 5 minutes to go after a punt, but the Cardinals again stopped the Midshipmen on downs and ran out the final 1:45 for the victory.

Davis passed for 215 yards in the first half, including touchdowns of 61 yards to Dante Love on the third play of the game and 30 yards to freshman Briggs Orsbon late in the second quarter. Love, who tied a school record with his 11th game of at least 100 yards receiving, also rushed for a touchdown and caught a go-ahead 8-yard TD pass from Davis midway through the third quarter.

Love finished with nine receptions for 165 yards.

After Love's second touchdown catch put Ball State ahead 28-23, Navy threatened to take the lead again late in the third period. Shun White, who last week set a Navy rushing record with 348 yards and three TDs, was stopped at the 3, and quarterback Jarod Bryant, who ran for Navy's first two touchdowns, was held for no gain on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Cardinals.

Ball State then put the game out of reach with a 97-yard drive, scoring the clinching touchdown on a 35-yard pass from Davis to Darius Hill early in the final period.

Davis's 326 yards left him 13 yards short of the Ball State career record of 6,271 by Mike Neu in 1990-90.

Navy moved the ball easily against Ball State early in the game but had to settle for field goals by Matt Harmon on each of its first three possessions.

His first was a career-long 49 yards, but Ball State came right back on the next series, and passes of 37 yards to Love and 15 yards to MiQuale Lewis set up Love's 6-yard TD run for a 14-3 lead.

The only TDs for Navy were on runs by Bryant late in the first half and early in the third quarter. Bryant finished with 94 yards on 31 carries. White had 128 yards on 13 runs.