Army suffers “devastating” 17-13 defeat for strong navy on the defensive
It was a one-game season for a Navy football team not heading into the playoffs and the contenders made the most of it.
Quarterback Tai Lavatai scored his second touchdown in the third quarter and Navy (4-8) added a field goal in the fourth for a 17-13 win in front of a sold-out crowd at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. .
âWe were dominated and trained,â Army coach Jeff Monken said. âThey beat blocks. They destroyed blocks. They just passed us. It’s stuff we do every day. Credit to them. Better supervision at work and better work at work. It is very disappointing. ”
âIt’s a devastating loss for us,â added Monken.
The Army (8-4) has one game to play, a Dec. 22 game against Missouri (6-6) in the Armed Forces Bowl, but the Navy game is the crown jewel of every season and the Black Knights found themselves empty in their pursuit of winning the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the second consecutive season; instead, the trophy will stay at West Point “collecting the dust,” Monken said, as the three service academies tied in the annual series for the fifth time in 50 seasons.
The army was repeatedly forced into long conversions and saw its attack thwarted after a 13-7 lead at halftime.
Stopping Navy linebacker Diego Fagot in defense was a major concern for the military. He once again proved a handful and made the final save in hopes of the Army’s return, but it was his unexpected offensive play on a false punt that ultimately doomed the Black Knights.
Fagot took a surprise direct punt and worked his way to a 4-yard gain and critical first down early in the fourth quarter to keep a Navy practice alive. The contenders maintained possession, chewing on an eight-minute clock leading to an insurance placement.
âNobody asked for it,â Fagot said. âThe snapper just sent it to me. I did not expect that. I had no idea this was going to happen, honestly. I attribute that to God. I just reacted and I just played football. ”
The victory certainly saved a season for a Navy team that played the nation’s third toughest schedule and lost a number of close games, most notably to National Semifinalist Cincinnati.
âIt’s indescribable,â Fagot said. âI can’t really put it into words. All I know is it’s not about us, it’s not about me, it’s about everyone who supports us. One of our brothers, Brian Bourgeois, tragically passed away last week and we were playing for him. ”
The 43-year-old SEAL Bourgeois team commander died in a training accident on Tuesday. He was a goaltender for the Navy football team from 1998 to 2000.
Down four with 2:56 to go, Army got a first at his own 45. Christian Anderson threw two misfires, then found Tyrell Robinson for a 7-yard gain on the 45. Faced with a fourth down-and -3, Anderson rolled left two blocks of lead but was stopped with one foot. Jacob Busic grabbed Anderson from behind and Fagot made the standstop, ripping Anderson’s helmet off in the process. Anderson looked incredulous as officials scored the short ball and Fagot pumped his fists as he was on his back.
âWe had a little over two minutes left,â said Anderson. âWe entered our one-minute package. I missed a hitch (pass) on the outside. Honestly, it came down to this last round. I felt we were moving the ball pretty well and then we came into fourth place. I have to be able to do this race and get this conversion. ”
If anyone thought this game would follow last year’s scenario of two offenses that would struggle to gain yards, Anderson put an end to that notion. The Bronx senior hit tight end Cole Caterbone for a 14-yard pass in the second snap of the game. Two games later, Caterbone provided the key block outside for Anderson on his 56-yard touchdown down the left side for a 7-0 lead just two minutes away. the season of more than 50 meters.
The Navy responded with their own long landing but lost a key game plan option in the process. Lavatai started as the Midshipmen quarterback, but Xavier Arline – who started and played most of the 2020 game – took the third snap, gaining 10 yards but suffering from what appeared to be a the right thigh. Arline did not return and Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo had to throw aside a long play sheet that had been designed for Arline.
Army linebacker Andre Carter – the national sack-per-game leader, with 14.5 overall – almost stopped the Navy’s Jayden Umbarger for a loss in a reverse transfer, but the receiver just escaped the blast. Carter’s long range and ran 27 yards to Army 8. Lavatai narrowly missed Mychal Cooper on a quick oblique pass on a second down call and goal, but proved effective on ‘A draw, building up muscles thanks to a double shot from Army Marquel Broughton and Cedrick Cunningham on 3 and being shot into the end zone by his back, James Harris, for the tie score.
The Army rolled 75 yards on 12 plays, culminating with a 31-yard field goal by Cole Talley. The Black Knights headed for the Navy 13, but quarterback Tyhier Tyler slipped without a win and got no breakage for a 5 yard delay in the call of the game. Robinson was stopped for 4 yards, prompting the field goal for a 10-7 lead with 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
Consider this to be a 3-0 lead for the military heading into the fourth quarter a year ago.
Four three-and-outs followed. A false start sent Navy back 5 meters, and Navy Bijan Nichols’ 53-meter placement attempt was short and a little wide to the left. This gave the Army a good field position at its own 36. An 8 yard reception by Army Michael Roberts and a late strike call pushed the ball towards the Navy 39. Anderson found Robinson on a wheel road to the right for 23 yards until Navy 15 Tyler stepped in and struggled for two short wins and a 4-yard sack by Colin Ramos of the Navy. Talley posted a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the half for a 13-7 lead.
Navy opened the second half by driving 45 yards to Army 28. The midshipmen faced a fourth and four appeals. The contenders dug through the playbook for a double setback with Chance Warren. He dodged a tackle on his deployment to the right, avoided being pushed by Carter at first base and danced along the sideline to Army 2. That’s where Lavatai started. on the right with a reach over the goal line for his second score of the game and a 14-13 lead in the Navy with 9:02 remaining in the third quarter.
The army struggled mightily on the first try, failing to score more than 10 feet in 10 snaps in a row. An Army offense that scored 141 yards in the first quarter, only managed 46 over the next 38 minutes and more.
The army was a seven-point favorite entering the game.