Breaking News:

So Much Sports Baltimore has officially shut down on August 7, 2017, but would like to thank all of our readers, writers and everybody who helped make this website possible.

Navy shocks No. 6 Houston with big 2nd half

Navy's victory over No. 6 Houston was their first victory over a top 10 team since they beat No. 2 South Carolina in 1984.

Navy’s victory over No. 6 Houston was their first victory over a top 10 team since they beat No. 2 South Carolina in 1984.

Stunning. Simply stunning.

After the way Navy struggled last week few could have imagined that they would pull a massive upset over No. 6 Houston Cougars, but the game wasn’t even as close as the 46-40 final score.

Navy stayed true to themselves, out-rushing the Cougars 306-125, and on a stormy Saturday afternoon that dominance was crucial as the Midshipmen earned their first victory over a Top 10 team since 1984 when they beat No. 2 South Carolina in Annapolis.

“Sometimes you get your butt whipped and you move on,” head coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “I’m just so proud of the way our guys responded after such a difficult, heart-wrenching, gut-blowing loss last week.”

The Cougars seemed well on their way to blowing the American Athletic Conference away and possibly even earning a spot in the four-team playoffs, but now they are in second place in the conference behind the Mids, which improved to 3-0 in league play.

Quarterback Will Worth led Navy with 115 yards rushing and threw two passing touchdowns against Houston.

Quarterback Will Worth led Navy with 115 yards rushing and threw two passing touchdowns against Houston.

Will Worth led the Mids with 115 yards and a touchdown with two passing touchdowns on just five passing attempts and three completions for 76 yards.

While the game would start as one would expect with the Cougars forcing Navy to a three-and-out and scoring on their first drive when Greg Ward Jr. passed the ball to Steven Dunbar for a 32-yard touchdown, the Mids got the big plays they needed.

With the rain coming down hard in the first half, Ty Cummings returned the ensuing kickoff 62 yards to set Navy up just 12 yards away. It took only one run by Chris High to get into the endzone. That was key in giving the Mids a confidence boost.

Even bigger, Navy held Houston to only a 39-yard field goal on their next drive. The only first down the Cougars had on their ensuing drive was a 22-yard pass from Ward to Dunbar, but facing third-and-10, the Mids knocked the ball out of Ward’s hands. While Ward was able to recover the ball, it showed the Navy defense that the Heisman candidate wasn’t invincible.

Navy pounded the ball down the field with their running game on their next drive to tie the game at 10-10 with a 24-yard field goal from Bennett Moehring.

And the most Navy hung in with Houston, the most they were showing a belief they were truly the better team.

Navy once again held the Cougars to just a field goal on Houston’s ensuing possession. But Navy scored a touchdown. Worth rushed for 46 yards on the drive with a big 20-yard run to get close to the goal line. After two short runs he found himself in the endzone to give the Mids the lead.

Still proving they were one of the best teams in the country, Ward was able to lead Houston on an 80-yard drive in under to minutes and threw a second touchdown to give Houston a 20-17 lead. He found Dillon Birden for the 19-yard touchdown grab.

But Navy tied the game with a 38-yard field goal as time expired before halftime.

And further proving Ward wasn’t invincible. Navy put the pass rush on Ward to start the second half. Houston’s first drive of the third quarter ended with a sack on Ward and another fumble. This time Navy recovered it, and on the right side of the 50 yard line.

Starting at the 41-yard line, Dishan Romine burst forward for an 11 yard gain. Then four more rushed got Navy in the redzone. But with Houston’s defense loading up the box, Worth kept the ball in his hands, dropped back and found Darryl Bonner for a 17-yard touchdown to give the Mids another lead.

Josiah Powell intercepted Heisman hopeful Greg Ward Jr. twice and returned one for a touchdown.

Josiah Powell intercepted Heisman hopeful Greg Ward Jr. twice and returned one for a touchdown.

Navy dominated the third quarter. Houston’s second drive ended with another turnover by Ward. It was the second time Josiah Powell picked Ward off and this time he took it 34 yards into the endzone to give the Mids a 34-20 lead.

Houston did respond with a 14-play, 81-yard touchdown drive ending with Ward scrambling eight yards into the endzone, but Navy hit right back with a third touchdown of the quarter. More running by Navy brough the Cougars defense forward and Worth caught them by surprise with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Colon to put the Mids ahead 41-27.

And when things did go right for Houston in the second half, they still went well for Navy. Houston responded with a touchdown drive, ending with a two-yard run by Birden, but DJ Palmore got a tremendous push and blocked the extra point to keep Navy ahead by eight points.

Then, while Navy was stalled on their next drive after 12 plays and failed to push up a first down on a fourth and one, they forced a three-and-out. Houston had to punt and had some time to hope their defense came up with a big stop, but their long snapper threw the ball over the punter’s head and out of the endzone for a safety.

Houston desperately attempted an onside kick after that mistake. Navy got possession and while they were unable to do too much with the drive, they did force Houston to call two timeouts and took just over a minute off the clock.

When Houston went on a 2:41 touchdown drive finishing with a Ward pass to Chance Allen in the corner of the endzone, there was less than two minutes for the Cougars to try to mound another touchdown drive.

Once again Navy recovered the onside kick and took a lot of time off the clock. Houston only had nine seconds left on the clock while hoping for a miracle. Their only hope was a series of lateral passes, and that didn’t work and the brigade stormed the field to celebrate the huge victory.

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Latest posts by Corey Johns (see all)

Comments are closed.