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COLLEGE FOOTBALL : Irish Win Despite Bad Break : Nonconference: Quarterback Powlus injures arm but backup Krug is steady enough in 35-17 victory over Navy.

November 05, 1995|From Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Tom Krug had every reason to be nervous when Notre Dame starting quarterback Ron Powlus broke his arm. Krug had played less than seven minutes this season and hadn't thrown a pass.

But the junior showed the poise of a veteran, throwing for two touchdowns and rallying No. 8 Notre Dame to a 35-17 victory over Navy on Saturday.

"He kept telling me, 'Thomas, you can do it,' and that confidence rubbed off on me," Krug said of Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz.

Powlus, who sat out his freshman season because of a broken collarbone, is out for the rest of the year after breaking his left humerus, the bone that leads from the elbow to the shoulder. Powlus was taken to a hospital, where doctors set the arm in a cast.

Surgery is a possibility if the cast cannot immobilize the break, said Dr. Will Yergler, a Notre Dame physician. Powlus' arm will be X-rayed again Sunday and next week, he said.

"Ron was very disappointed," Yergler said. "His main thing was, 'Here goes another season.' "

Krug faced a daunting task when he went in with about 11 minutes left in the third quarter. Besides his limited playing time, the Irish (8-2) were trailing, 17-14, and couldn't seem to do anything right.

But six minutes later, Krug connected with Derrick Mayes on a 42-yard touchdown to put the Irish ahead, 21-17.

Krug barely had time for a breather when Lyron Cobbins intercepted Ben Fay's pass on the first play of Navy's next series. Krug tried to go to Marc Edwards in the end zone, but the ball was fumbled and recovered by Navy (3-5).

The Midshipmen were called for illegal participation, however, and Krug threw to Mayes for a three-yard touchdown to make it 28-17.

Tailback Autry Denson's 24-yard run with 10:54 left capped Notre Dame's scoring.

Krug finished five for eight for 90 yards. Mayes caught four passes for 81 yards. He needs 29 more yards to break Notre Dame's career record of 2,493 receiving yards, held by Tim Brown.

It was Notre Dame's final home game, and fans swarmed the field as time ran out. It also was Notre Dame's 32nd consecutive victory over Navy, tying the national record for longest winning streak in a series. Oklahoma won 32 in a row over Kansas State from 1937-68.

Navy was running all over Notre Dame and seemed to have the game in hand until Powlus got hurt.

Powlus was scrambling when Navy's Fernando Harris grabbed him around the collar from behind and slammed him to the ground. Powlus landed hard on his left shoulder and didn't get up.

He was on the ground for about five minutes before being taken to the locker room, where X-rays showed the broken bone.

Powlus was four for eight for 64 yards. He also threw for one touchdown and ran for one.

"I feel sick about it," Holtz said. "It really hurts us."

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