Notre Dame strikes gold with freshman RB Tarean Folston
BY LaMOND POPE Sun-Times Media November 2, 2013 9:18PM
Tarean Folston leaps for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:47 left. “I was reading my keys and it was a big mess, so I just jumped over,” he said. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
NOTRE DAME 38, NAVY 34
Navy 7 13 0 14 — 34
Notre Dame 10 7 7 14 — 38
ND—G.Atkinson 41 run (Brindza kick), 12:12.
Navy—Reynolds 2 run (Sloan kick), 7:32.
ND—FG Brindza 26, 4:57.
Navy—C.Swain 11 run (Sloan kick), 8:04.
ND—T.Jones 36 pass from Rees (Brindza kick), 6:18.
Navy—Reynolds 3 run (kick failed), 2:07.
ND—Koyack 17 pass from Rees (Brindza kick), 6:25.
Navy—Reynolds 4 run (Sloan kick), 14:56.
ND—McDaniel 4 run (Brindza kick), 12:51.
Navy—Aiken 34 pass from Reynolds (Sloan kick), 8:55.
ND—Folston 1 run (Brindza kick), 3:47.
TEAM STATISTICS Navy ND
First downs 28 25
Rushes-yards 70-331 36-264
Passing 88 242
Comp-Att-Int 6-9-0 12-20-2
Return Yards 11 5
Punts-Avg. 2-39.5 0-0.0
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 0-0 5-55
Time of Possession 37:36 22:24
RUSHING—Navy, C.Swain 16-85, Singleton 16-77, D.Brown 7-55, Reynolds 22-53, Whiteside 7-48, Sanders 1-13, Lynch 1-0. Notre Dame, Folston 18-140, G.Atkinson 7-74, McDaniel 7-52, Daniels 1-2, Team 3-(minus 4).
PASSING—Navy, Reynolds 6-9-0-88. Notre Dame, Rees 12-20-2-242.
RECEIVING—Navy, Thomas 2-25, Bolena 2-17, Aiken 1-34, Dudeck 1-12. Notre Dame, T.Jones 4-111, Niklas 2-44, Koyack 2-34, Daniels 2-33, Prosise 1-13, C.Brown 1-7.
NOTRE DAME (7-2)
Aug. 31 Temple W, 28-6
Sept. 7 at Michigan L, 41-30
Sept. 14 at Purdue W, 31-24
Sept. 21 Michigan State W, 17-13
Sept. 28 Oklahoma L, 35-21
Oct. 5 Arizona State W, 37-34
Oct. 19 USC W, 17-10
Oct. 26 at Air Force W, 45-10
Nov. 2 Navy 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 9 at Pittsburgh TBA
Nov. 23 BYU 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 30 at Stanford TBA
Updated: December 4, 2013 6:45AM
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Navy is known for its option offense.
Turns out, Notre Dame has a pretty good option at running back in Tarean Folston.
The freshman rushed for a career-high 140 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown as Notre Dame topped Navy 38-34 on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
“I just go into every week and play my hardest and give it my all,” Folston said. “This is the outcome, and I feel great about it.”
Folston leaped to score on a one-yard run with 3:47 left in the fourth quarter to give the Irish the four-point lead.
“I was just reading my keys and it was a big mess, so I just jumped over,” Folston said.
Navy reached Notre Dame’s 31-yard line on its final drive. Needing four yards on fourth down, Navy ran a reverse. Outside linebacker Jaylon Smith stopped wide receiver Shawn Lynch for no gain to preserve the victory.
“I really just did my job,” Smith said. “The play initially went away and I had to stay back. I had to look for a boot, cut-back or reverse. Luckily, [safety Eilar Hardy] was there to slow the guy down initially, and I made the play.”
It marked one of the rare times the offenses didn’t come through.
“We didn’t make any excuses about guys being out of the lineup. We just went out and battled the best we could,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said. “There are no asterisks next to this one. This is a ‘W,’ and we’re excited about it.”
The teams combined for 925 yards of offense (506 yards for the Irish).
Navy (4-4) came into the contest ranked 10th nationally in rushing offense. The Midshipmen had another big day in that department, rushing for 331 yards.
Quarterback Keenan Reynolds accounted for four touchdowns (three rushing, one passing).
“I thought Keenan played great in a hostile, tough environment to play in,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “The kids prepared well for the game. Just one more play. That’s all it would have taken.”
His four-yard rushing touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter gave Navy a 27-24 lead.
Folston had rushes of 15, 15 and 14 yards to put Notre Dame (7-2) in position for its next touchdown. Cam McDaniel scored on a four-yard run.
Navy responded with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Reynolds to Matt Aiken.
Notre Dame went back to Folston. He had eight carries on the go-ahead scoring drive, and he scored the first touchdown of his career to give the Irish the lead for good.
“He was running well, and we just felt like we would stick with him,” Kelly said. “And they were blocking very well in front for him.”
Folston entered the game with 116 yards on 22 carries. He averaged 7.8 yards on 18 carries Saturday.
“Everybody’s time comes,” Folston said, “and I feel like my time came today.”