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Candeto's 7 scores lead Navy

A record day for the Midshipmen QB ends 10-game skid with 58-12 beating of Army.

©Associated Press
December 8, 2002

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Craig Candeto's record-setting day gave Navy something to savor at the end of an otherwise forgettable season.

The quarterback accounted for seven touchdowns, including a school-record six rushing TDs, as Navy defeated Army 58-12 Saturday in one of the most lopsided games in the 103 meetings.

The Midshipmen (2-10) had lost 10 straight but gained a season-best 421 yards on the ground. Candeto had only 103 of those yards, but his six rushing touchdowns were the most in the history of the series.

Navy's 58 points also were the most by either team in the annual game, providing the second-largest margin of victory in the series, which Army leads 49-47-7.

While the game matched 1-10 teams, Candeto helped Navy dominate from the start. The junior only needed the first half to tie the touchdown record with a pair of 1-yard runs, a 42-yarder and a 7-yarder just before halftime.

He set the record from 3 yards on the first possession of the third quarter, but he wasn't done scoring. Candeto connected on a 23-yard touchdown to Tony Lane less than three minutes later.

Candeto added a 1-yard run for his seventh score of the day, which also tied the school record for touchdowns in a game. Candeto had 36 points before being pulled with three minutes left in the third.

His point total was the second-highest by a Navy player, behind Bill Ingram's 38 against Villanova in 1917.

Navy, which entered the game ranked fifth in the nation in rushing offense, rolled up 241 yards on the ground in the first half and took a 28-6 halftime lead. The Midshipmen scored on their first eight possessions.

Navy improved to 3-1 against Army at Giants Stadium. New Jersey officials are trying to bring more games in the series to the stadium; the contract to host the game expires after next year's contest, to be played in Philadelphia.

Things started poorly for Army (1-11) and only got worse. The Black Knights lost 5 yards on their opening possession, and they couldn't stop Candeto or the Midshipmen.

On its next two possessions, Army reached the red zone but came away with two field goals.

The win helped ease some of the heartbreak Navy has felt this season. In its last game, Navy lost 30-27 to Wake Forest when the Demon Deacons scored with 53 seconds remaining. Against Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish rallied for 15 points in the final 4:28 to win 30-23.

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