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Mids lose shootout against LA Tech

Zach Abey was never expected to sniff the field this year as the third-string quarterback, but while Navy ends their season on a three-game losing streak, he’s shown great improvement as an option quarterback.

Maybe it was a disappointing three-game losing streak for the Navy Midshipmen to end their season on, but there was nothing for the Mids to feel sorry about from their 48-45 loss to Louisiana Tech in the Armed Forced Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Mids were down to their fourth string quarterback in the fourth quarter after Zach Abey was the victim of vicious targeting hit. Until that point, Abey stepped up in a huge way and showed there is a bright future still in Annapolis with Will Worth and Tago Smith both set to graduate. Abey led Navy with 114 rushing yards and two scored with another 159 yards through the and on 7-for-12 passing with a third touchdown.

Navy was handing in, in a shootout with the high-powered Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and it was fourth-string quarterback Malcolm Perry who led the Mids to a late tie with a 30-yard run into the endzone. But Jonathan Barnes booted in the game-winning field goal as time expired to lift the Bulldogs to the win.

Louisiana Tech started off red hot with a touchdown run by Ryan Higgins on their first possession and then a field goal by Barnes to take advantage of a Navy fumble on their second offensive play of the game. Just five minutes into the game, Navy was trailing 10-0 and then went three-and-out while gaining only seven yards before having to punt.

But their defense stood tall, forced a three-and-out of their own and then Abey led the Mids 55 yards down the field and into the endzone. He rushed for 13 yards and the touchdown and also completed a 38-yard pass to Chris High to set up the first-and-goal situation.

The Bulldogs kept ahead with a 66-yard touchdown drive immediately after, bu the Mids opened the second half strong and took a 21-17 lead with touchdowns on back-to-back drives in just three and a half minute’s time. Abey completed a 64-yard touchdown pass to Darryl Bonner on the first play of the second quarter. Then they forced a quick three-and-out and Abey rushed for 37 yards on three runs to get in the endzone. The middle run was a 30-yard gain to set up a second-and-two.

Navy was ahead by the shootout was only heating up. Louisiana Tech scored on their next possession as Higgins completed a three-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Henderson. That put them up 24-21, but only until the Mids had Bennett Moehring kick in a 40-yard field goal to tie the game.

The Bulldogs were able to take a 31-24 lead into halftime as Higgins completed a pass for Trent Taylor and he scored on a 51-yard play. But out of halftime, Navy tied the game immediately as High ran into the endzone from 24 yards out to cap off a 14-play, 90-yard drive that took seven minutes off the clock to open the third quarter.

That tying score was the only one of the third quarter, but things picked up again in the fourth. Boston Scott scored on a 12-yard rush for Louisiana Tech to give them a 38-21 lead. High, however, responded with another touchdown run to tie the game. The Bulldogs scored another touchdown right away with Higgins completing another pass in the endzone to Henderson, but the Mids scored right away in response yet again. That one was Perry scoring the touchdown just one play after Abey had to take a seat on the sideline with an injury.

But their defense couldn’t get a big stop they needed and the Bulldogs broke the tie as time expired with a 32 yard field goal.

The 93 combined points made it the highest-scoring Armed Forced Bowl in history.

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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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