It didn’t take long for a fervent Navy squad to respond in the same quarter with a 23-yard run by senior RB Chance Warren tying the score at 7 apiece.
During the second quarter, the Midshipmen got creative on the offense by executing a flea-flicker for 37-yard resulting in a touchdown pass from sophomore QB Tai Lavatal to Slot Back, Kai Puailoa pushing Navy to a 14-7 lead over the Mustangs.
Following the Midshipmen touchdown, the Mustangs methodically drove all the way down inside the red zone where Navy LB Johnny Hodges out of Quince Orchard High School in Maryland, picked off Mordecai pass in the end zone putting end to a hard-fought drive by SMU.
In the mid-second quarter, SMU QB Mordecai had another costly turnover losing control of the ball on a fumble directly after being sacked by the powerful NG Clay Cromwell.
The Midshipmen instantly took advantage of the turnover on a scoop and score 25-yard sprint by LB Diego Fagot. The home crowd at the Navy-Marine Corp Stadium roared and rocked the stadium. With the Midshipmen going up 21-7 with 7:42 remaining in an electrifying first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Mustangs made some adjustments on the offensive side of the ball. SMU sophomore Bryan Massey, exploded quickly putting the Mustangs back on the scoreboard with an electrifying 95-yard, kickoff return for a score.
With 1:54 left before the half, SMU stroke again with a quick 2- yard TD run by senior RB Tre Siggers tying the score at 21.
The defensive units for both teams have impressively prepared and competed against one another. SMU has affected the Midshipmen by containing Navy’s running attack to 97 yards while Navy’s defense has been equally compelling by keeping SMU’s high-powered passing game under control and even taking advantage of valuable opportunities.
The third quarter opened with the Mustangs marching the ball to the red zone where they were stalled by a blitzing Midshipmen defense. SMU settled for a 36-yard field goal kicked by Blake Mazza and pushing the Mustangs lead to 24-21 early 3rd quarter.
Navy’s defense hung tough against a explosive offensive team, but after going up 21-7, the Midshipmen couldn’t move the ball consistently and couldn’t stop the Mustangs in the fourth quarter.
“I thought that gave us a little bit of momentum back,” SMU coach Sonny Dykes said. “The thing I was most proud of our guys about doing, they just kept their head down, never looked at the scoreboard. We talk to them all the time about doing that.”
SMU: The Mustangs are off next weekend before an Oct. 21 home game against Tulane.
Navy: The Midshipmen have a short week. They play at Memphis on Thursday night