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Mids beat Tulsa in shootout, 42-40

Will Worth rushed for 112 yards and had four total touchdowns in a shootout against Tulsa.

Will Worth rushed for 112 yards and had four total touchdowns in a shootout against Tulsa.

Another dominant performance by Navy quarterback Will Worth helped the Midshipmen to a 42-40 victory over Tulsa. The victory helped the Mids take further control of the American Athletic Conference’s West Division, putting them in the driver’s seat to earn a spot, and possibly host the AAC Championship game on Dec. 3.

“This was a great football game,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “Sometimes, I wish I was just in the stands, watching as a fan. These games are not good on the heat. I’m proud of our guys. We found a way to make enough plays. We had a hard time trying to stop these guys.”

Worth rushed for 112 yards and had four total touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter to make sure the Mids remained out ahead in the shootout against the Golden Hurricanes.

“Every week, he keeps coming and doing great things,” Niumatalolo said. “He played well. He’s a tough, physical kid. A great leader.”

The Mids out-ran Tulsa 390 to 207 and never trailed after the first quarter of the game. Dishan Romine had 97 yards and a touchdown and Toneo Gulley has 75 yards on five carries.

The Mids scored on all but two of their drives outside of short drives at the end of each half. Their defense may have given up 40 points, but they held Tulsa to two field goals instead of touchdowns, which was a huge key at the end of the game.

Romine returned the opening kickoff 48 yrds to get the Mids set on the short side of the field and then got Navy into the redzone with a 31-yard run. That set up short runs by Shawn White and Darryl Bonner, who got into the endzone from four-yards out for the touchdown.

Tulsa quickly got into the endzone, however. It took them just one play and 16 seconds as Keevan Lewis broke free for a 74-yard touchdown reception from Dane Evans.

The Mids had to punt the ball away after thei next drive went just 15 yards and Tulsa got get ahead with a 29-yard field goal at the end of their ensuing possession, but that would be the only time the Mids would sent their punter out on the field and their defense holding the Golden Hurricanes to just a field goal proved to be a crucial stop in a game that featured little defense and two offenses that had little trouble getting down the field.

Navy immediately got back down the field for another score on their next possession, going 69 yards on 10 plays with Worth getting a score from one yard out.

Of course, though, Tulsa has their quick response as Evans had another long touchdown pass, hitting Josh Atkinson for a 56-yard touchdown pass. Navy was still in the lead, though, and built on it with another long drive that went 78-yards on 13 plays and took over seven minutes off the clock. As usual, the more Navy ran the ball the more success they were having as the wore down Tulsa’s defense. The drive, however, was bookened by two passing plays. The first one was a 24-yard gain to Jamir Tillman on the first play of the drive and the second was an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Carmona to give the Mids a 28-17 lead.

Tulsa kicker Redford Jones booted in his second field goal before halftime, this one from 26-yards out, to cut into Navy’s lead. They had an opportunity to cut into the Navy lead even more with the first possession of the second half as well, but Tyris Wooten picked Evans off to end their drive.

Unfortunately for Navy, though, they couldn’t take advantage. The Mids turned the ball over on downs and Evans completed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Johnson to make it just a one-point game at 28-27.

That would be as close as they would get, though. Navy scored on a 93-yard drive after Tulsa’s touchdown with Worth bolting into the endzone from 15 yards out to get the Mids ahead by eight points. When Tulsa scored on their ensuing drive, they tried to tie the game with a two-point conversion, but that one failed as Navy kept head by two points. A 44-yard touchdown run by Worth soon after gave them a nine-point lead.

The Golden Hurricans did score again to get back withing two points as Evans completed a fourth long touchdown pass, hitting Chris Minter for a 22-yard touchdown pass, but Navy ran out the final 5:30 with an unstoppable ground game and never gave the Golden Hurricans a chance to score again.

Evans finished the game with 369 yards passing and four touchdowns, but just couldn’t keep pace with the Mids offense.

Navy will finish the regular season with two home games as they make up their game at ECU next week and the play at SMU, trying to clinch a spot in the AAC title game.

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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.

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