Saturday, October 20, 2018

Navy Falls to AAC Rival Houston, 49-36

Navy entered Saturday's contest against the Houston Cougars with a 2-4 record and three consecutive losses.  With a difficult remaining schedule, a bowl bid was also in question. 

Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium was energized early by beautiful fall weather, the march-on of Midshipmen, a flyover of F/A-18E Super Hornets, and a crowd of 33,924.  The Midshipmen used that energy to score on their first four drives of the game.  Navy led 24-14 with 5:19 remaining in the first half.

Unfortunately for Nayv, Houston's number three scoring offense in the country came alive in a big way at that point.  The Cougars scored touchdowns on five of their next seven drives to snatch the lead and the win from the struggling Mids.

The Houston defense also came up big, shutting out the Navy offense until just 4:03 remained in the game.  By that point, Houston held a 49-30 lead.  Some sloppy play by Houston backups late in the game gave Navy another scoring opportunity, but the Cougars came away with a big AAC West Division win, 49-36.

D'Eriq King was a thorn in the side of Navy all afternoon.  The Houston quarterback finished the game with 413 yards passing and 56 yards on the ground.  He was responsible for four total TDs, one on the ground and three passing.

Marquez Stevenson, Keith Corbin, and Courtney Lark all had over 100 yards receiving for the Cougars.  Stevenson finished with 141 yards on eight catches.  Corbin and Lark had 104 and 106 yards respectively with each receiver catching a TD pass from King.

Navy head coach, Ken Niumatalolo spoke highly of Stevenson. 

"Number 5 (Stevenson) was dynamic.  We haven't seen too many guys like him here in our stadium.  We had a hard time tackling him."

Navy played very much like they did in last week's 24-17 loss to Temple.  The offense started strong, but couldn't maintain that success through the second half.

Navy's offense was clicking early on the game.  Bennett Moehring tied the school record for most points in a career (192) for kickers when he kicked a 43 yard field goal to give Navy a 3-0 lead.  Later in the first half, Malcolm Perry found the end zone on a 32 yard touchdown run.  Moehring's PAT gave Navy a 10-7 lead and Moehring the career points leader record with 193 points.  

Zach Abey was called in to play quarterback on a short yardage situation in the second half.  Abey called his own number and scored from one yard out.  The touchdown gave Abey a touchdown in 13 of the last 17 games that he's played in.

Late in the second quarter offensive coordinator, Ivin Jasper made a great call.  Quarterback Garret Lewis pitched the ball to former QB, Malcolm Perry who found Taylor Jackson wide open for a 43 yard completion to the Houston 32 yard line.  Slotback Tazh Maloy scored his first career touchdown on the next play giving Navy a 10-point lead.  Maloy made a great read on a lead block and sprinted 32 yards for Navy score.  

Navy didn't score again until Myles Fells scored on a 14-yard carry with just 4:03 left in the game.  Taylor Jackson capped off Navy's scoring when he scored his first career touchdown on a 15-yard pass from Lewis with six seconds remaining in the game.

Navy falls to 2-5 on the season and travels to San Diego next Saturday to host undefeated Notre Dame.

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