Miscommunication helps Navy beat Army West Point 17-13
In a season where the Navy football team hasn’t had breaks go their way, they got a big one yesterday. In the fourth quarter Navy had a 4th and 1 on their own 34 leading 14-13. Coach Ken Niumatalolo had dispatched the punting unit. Army needed to block the kick, so they overloaded one side of the field. Navy’s Diego Fagot saw that and tried to change the protection. Long snapper Ethan Nguyen misunderstood the call. He thought a fake punt was called. The snap went to Fagot and hit him in the helmet. He managed to catch it, go through one defender, and jump over another for 4 yards and a first down.
That drive ended with Bijan Nichols making a 43 yard field goal to increase the lead to 17-13. Fagot also stopped Army quarterback Christian Anderson on a 4th and 3 near midfield to seal the victory for the Midshipmen. Navy quarterback Tai Lavatai was another key contributor. He had 20 rushes for 62 yards and two touchdowns. Through the air he was 4 of 6 for 82 yards. The Midshipmen finished with 198 yards rushing and 34 minutes in time of possession.
This win was dedicated to former Navy player Brian Bourgeois. He was a member of Seal Team 8 who died in a training accident on December 7th. Bourgeois kept in contact with the coaching staff and attended a game this season. After the game his wife spoke to the team and his youngest son was tossed in the air by the team while they sang the fight song.
Navy’s final record was 4-8 but this win means some tough conversations between athletic director Chet Gladchuk and Coach Niumatalolo can be avoided. The 2022 season starts on September 3rd with a visit from Delaware.