DURHAM, N.C. -- Redshirt junior quarterback Anthony Boone completed 31-of-38 passes for a career-high 295 yards and three touchdowns to lead Duke to a 35-7 victory in his first game back from injury. Four different Duke players registered touchdowns, while the Blue Devil defense forced Navy into a season-high three turnovers.
Junior wide receiver Jamison Crowder led all receivers with 10 catches for 88 yards, and sophomore running back Jela Duncan led a balanced ground game with 45 yards from nine carries. Three different Duke receivers had at least five catches, while six had three-plus on the afternoon.
Defensively, Duke was outstanding in the second half. The Blue Devils held the Midshipmen to 73 yards and only five first downs following the intermission. The 319 total yards by Navy are the fewest by a Duke opponent since Memphis managed just 237.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Blue Devils put points on the scoreboard first with a 27-yard strike from Boone to redshirt junior Issac Blakeney for a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. Boone and senior Juwan Thompson highlighted the 12-play, 80-yard drive, capped by Boone’s first touchdown of the season, with the Duke signal caller throwing for 42 yards and Thompson adding 24 yards on the ground.
Less than two minutes later, the Midshipmen evened the score after Marcus Thomas raced up the Navy sideline for 47 yards to the Duke 12-yard line. Two players later, Darius Staten found the end zone for six with a seven-yard dash with 7:49 to play.
Redshirt junior Josh Snead took over on the ensuing drive for Duke, carrying the ball for a total of 21 yards as the Blue Devils became just the second team this season to score multiple touchdowns against the Midshipmen in a single quarter. Following a two-yard rush to the Navy three-yard line by Boone, the Duke quarterback found sophomore Max McCaffrey in the back corner of the end zone to put the Blue Devils up 14-7 with 4:35 to play in the period.
After allowing Navy to drive to the Blue Devils’ 10-yard line, the Duke defense forced quarterback Keenan Reynolds to fumble, allowing Duke to head into the locker room up 14-7 at the half. Linebacker Kelby Brown recovered the fumble, the fifth of his career and first of the 2013 campaign. Brown’s fumble recovery was able Duke’s first since it picked up a pair Sept. 7 at Memphis.
Duke, with the help of a stout Blue Devil defensive effort, extended its lead to 21-7 behind the arm of Boone. The redshirt junior went 4-of-5 for 73 yards on Duke’s opening drive of the half, including an 18-yard connection to Blakeney for his second touchdown of the afternoon.
On the strength of a Jeremy Cash interception at the Navy 33-yard line, Duke quickly made it a 28-point game on a seven-yard rush by Shaquille Powell into the end zone. The Blue Devils converted a fake field goal attempt from the 17-yard line en route to scoring their fifth touchdown on the previous six possessions. The touchdown was Powell’s first of his career as the sophomore became the fourth Blue Devil to find the end zone on the afternoon.
Defensive end Justin Foxx keyed a solid performance from the Duke defense as the redshirt senior led the Blue Devils with eight tackles, including four solo stops. In addition to his interception, Cash was one of four Duke players with seven tackles and also added a tackle for loss, while defensive end Kenny Anunike contributed seven tackles, a quarterback sack and a forced fumble.
Duke returns to ACC action next weekend, hitting the road to take on Virginia Oct. 19 at 3:30 p.m.