Saturday, October 30, 2021

Midshipmen Earn Second Win Against Tulsa, 20-17

Midway through the second quarter of a scoreless ball game, Tulsa's Anthony Watkins broke free and sprinted 78 yards to what looked like would be a Golden Hurricane touchdown.  Navy's Michael McMorris however, made what turned out to be the play of the game, catching Watkins from behind and tackling the runner on the Navy 7 yard line.  

The Mids defense played tough and held Tulsa to a 26-yard field goal.  The four point difference from McMorris's don't-give-up tackle was the difference in the game.  The Navy Midshipmen earned their second win of the year on the road against Tulsa, 20-17.

"Mikey's play was the play of the game, probably the play of the year," said Navy head coach, Ken Niumatalolo.

Navy and Tulsa battled defensively through the first half and the score was tied 3-3 at the intermission.

Tulsa got the ball to start the second half and Watkins took the Navy kickoff and returned the ball 97 yards for a touchdown giving the Golden Hurricane a 10-3 lead.

On the ensuing drive, the Midshipmen put together a 10-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a one yard TD run by James Harris to even the score, 10-10.

On Navy's next drive, Navy signal caller Tai Lavatai led the Midshipmen on 14-play, 80-yard drive that took over eight minutes off the clock.  Lavatai called his own number and scored from one yard out giving Navy their first lead of the game with 11:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Tulsa turned the ball over on downs on their next drive, giving Navy good field position at the Golden Hurricane 48 yard line.  A heavy dose of fullback Isaac Ruoss, Lavatai, and Harris moved the ball to the Tulsa 29 yard line.  Bijan Nichols converted a 48-yard field goal giving Navy a 20-10 lead with 4:14 remaining in the game.

Tulsa started the next drive at their own 35.  Quarterback Davis Brin led Tulsa on a must-score drive completing four passes for 68 yards including a two-yard touchdown pass to Ezra Naylor II.  The 8-play scoring drive left just over two minutes on the clock with Navy holding a 3-point lead.

Navy recovered the onside kick attempt and were able to run out the clock.

Navy ran the ball 60 times for 302 yards in the game and did not complete a pass.  Carlinos Acie led the Mids ground game with 80 yards on just 3 carries.

John Marshall and Diego Fagot led the defense with 8 and 7 tackles respectively.  Marshall also had a fumble recovery.  Rayuan Lane had an interception.

Navy (2-6) travels to South Bend next Saturday to take on Notre Dame.

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