Navy fights until the end but falls to #2 Cincinnati 27-20
Second ranked Cincinnati escaped Annapolis with a 27-20 win over Navy. The Midshipmen recovered an onside kick with less than a minute left but Tai Lavatai’s third down pass was intercepted to seal the Bearcat win. A key stretch happened at the end of the first half. The game was ties at 10 and Navy was driving but a sack on second down set up a 51 yard field goal with 10 seconds left was blocked and returned for 28 yards. That return set up a 52 yard field goal by Cincinnati to give them a 13-10 halftime lead.
After stopping Navy to start the second half the Bearcats scored to give them a 20-10 lead. They would score again to lead 27-10 after three quarters. Navy cut it to 27-20 with 50 seconds left to set up the onside kick and the interception. Lavatai finished 11 for 16 for 116 yards and an interception. He had 21 rushes for 40 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Navy defense held a powerful Bearcat offense to 271 total yards. That is their lowest output since Temple in 2019. That is a 19 game stretch. Jamal Glenn had 11 tackles, an interception, and he recovered the onside kick. Diego Fagot added nine tackles for the Mids. They also got handed several short fields thanks to Coach Niumatalolo going with a couple onside kicks in the first half and good returns by Cincinnati.
Fullback Isaac Ruoss continued to his good season with 19 rushes for 80 yards. This game was chippy. Both teams had personal fouls but the Bearcats had 11 penalties for 95 yards including jumping offsides twice on 4th and shorts when Navy weren’t going to run a play.
Navy has a quick turnaround ahead. They are at Tulsa Friday night at 7:30 on ESPN2. The Golden Hurricane come in at 3-4 off a bye weekend. They are 2-1 in the AAC. Navy is 1-6 and 1-4 in the league.