Smith Leads Navy To A 27-23 Win At East Carolina
It took the Navy (3-2, 3-0 in the AAC) offense a little while to get going but the “B” back duo of Nelson Smith and Jamale Carouthers made sure they left East Carolina (1-3 overall 1-2 AAC) with a 27-23 win. Smith had 17 carries for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Carouthers added 18 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. Coach Ken Niumatalolo felt enough confidence in Smith that he decided to go for a fourth down and two at their own 44. They converted and were able to run all but 27 seconds off the clock. Quarterback Dalen Morris left the game in the third quarter with an upper body injury. He was hit in the ribs while sliding and left the game immediately. Tyger Goslin came in after struggling at Air Force and the offense didn’t miss a beat.
East Carolina played without starting QB Holton Ahlers and RB Darius Pinnix among others. The Pirates had positive Covid tests on Monday. These players either tested positive or were around the players who did. Freshman Mason Garcia started in place of Ahlers. He rushed for 63 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown. He had a couple runs to pickup first downs and keep drives alive. Another freshman Rahjai Harris replaced Pinnix. He rushed for 172 yards on 22 carries. This included an 80 yard touchdown run that brought ECU back to within a touchdown.
The Navy defense got three of their four injured starters back. Safety Evan Fochtman was still injured. One of the returnees was Diego Fagot. The linebacker had 12 tackles and a sack. Navy also got 8 tackles apiece from Mikey McMorris, Kevin Brennan, and Nicholas Straw.
The Midshipmen return home to face Houston next Saturday at 3:30. The Cougars are 1-1 with a win over Tulane and a loss to BYU last night. It was announced earlier this week that the Brigade of Midshipmen will be the only fans in attendance for the game.