Saturday, October 23, 2021

Navy Falls to #2 Cincinnati, 27-20

Navy lost a heartbreaker to visiting Cincinnati, 27-20.  The Mids played even with the Bearcats throughout the first half, trailing just 13-10 at halftime.  Cincinnati scored 14 points in the third quarter to force Navy out of their game plan by forcing them to play from behind.

Navy didn't disappoint by scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter and converting and onside kick to give the Mids a chance at tying the game with less than a minute remaining.  The Cincinnati defense came up with a clutch INT preserving the win.  

Cincinnati remains undefeated (7-0) and Navy falls to 1-6.  The Midshipmen take on Tulsa on Friday. 

Great Beginning

Cincinnati won the coin toss and elected to receive.  The Navy defense forced a two consecutive three-and-outs.  On the Midshipmen's second drive of the game, they put together a 13 play, 79-yard scoring drive.  Tai Lavatai capped off the drive with a two yard TD run to give Navy the early 7-0 lead.


Following Navy's impressive scoring drive, Cincinnati bounced back with a quick scoring drive of their own.  Following a Navy onside kick attempt, Desmond Ridder completed two consecutive passes, the last one a 31-yard TD pass to Josh Whyle.

No Quit

Not to be outdone, Navy battled back to take the lead after Cincinnati's quick score.  The Midshipmen took over at their own 49 yard line following a Maquel Haywood 48 yard kickoff return.  On the drive, Lavatai connected with Kai Puailoa-Rojas for a 21-yard completion.  The drive stalled at the Bearcats 16 yard line.  Bijan Nichols hit a 33 yard field goal to give Navy the three point lead, 10-7.

Cincinnati Got Hot!

After falling behind to Navy, 10-7, the Bearcats offense caught on fire and scored on four consecutive drives.  They connected on two field goals before halftime to take a 13-10 lead into the intermission.  To start the second half, Cincinnati scored TDs on two consecutive drives.  Jerome Ford found paydirt with a 43 yard run for the first score.  On the next Bearcat drive, Ridder connected again with Whyle for a score, this time from 3 yards out giving Cincinnati a 27-10 lead.

Look out for the injury bug

Two offensive linemen from Navy had to leave the game due to injuries.  Center Darrellson Masaniai went out in the first quarter.  Offensive Tackle Kip Frankland also left the game with an injury in the second quarter.

Never Quit

It goes without saying that Navy football players have a "don't quit" attitude.  Navy showed that this afternoon against #2 Cincinnati.  Navy had fallen behind the Bearcats 27-10 going into the fourth quarter.  Bijan Nichols kicked a 27 yard field goal with 7:34 left in the game cappaing off a 9-play, 48 yard drive, cutting the Cincy lead to two touchdowns.  

The Navy defense continued their scrappy scheme and forced a Cincinnati three-and-out.  The Navy offense drove down the field led by Tai Lavatai.  Lavtai threw nine passes on the drive which is unheard of in the current Navy offense.  Lavatai ended the drive with a one yard TD carry cutting the Cincinnati lead to 27-20 with 0:50 remaining in the game.  

The Navy kickoff team successfully kicked on onside kick and Jamal Glenn recovered the ball on the Navy 47.  The Navy comeback ended on a Lavatai INT with 25 seconds remaining in the game.

Strasemeier's Stat of the game

Scott Strasemeier, Navy's Senior Associate A.D./Sports Information, shared that Cincinnati's 271 yards in today's game were the least they've gained in 19 games going back to 2019.

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