Baltimore, MD —Coming into this 95th annual matchup it seems as if these teams were heading in opposite directions. Navy losing three out of their last four while Notre Dame won three out of their last four contests.
The game was filled with special tributes celebrating Veterans Day with a spectacular fly over.
But the luck of the Irish always prevails, Braden Lenzy reached around a defender with both arms to snatch one of four touchdown passes by Drew Pyne before halftime in No. 20 Notre (7-3) Dame’s 35-32 win over Navy on Saturday at MT & T Bank Stadium.
The Irish has won five straight against Navy and 10 of 11. Notre Dame have not lost in Baltimore in this series since 1956.
The 38-yard touchdown put the Irish ahead 14-0.
“They throw that ball up 10 times they come down with it once,” Navy linebacker John Marshall aid. “That was just that one time.”
Navy had the ball down 21-13 in the second quarter, but an interception on a trick play gave ND possession on the Midshipmen 41. Pyne ran for an 11-yard touchdown moments later, and then a blocked punt by Jack Kiser — Notre Dame’s seventh of the season — set up Pyne’s 37-yard TD pass to Jayden Thomas. That was another fine grab.
ND led 35-13 at halftime before going quiet offensively for the final two quarters. The Midshipmen trimmed the lead to three points with 1:21 remaining, but an unsuccessful onside kick ended the rally.
The second half started slowly with Navy only managing a FG and ND scoring nothing in the 3rd quarter.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud of a football team after a game, win or loss,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “I just thought our kids battled to the end.”
Fofana had 133 yards and Navy rushed for 255 yards as a team.
Notre Dame: The Irish host Boston College next Saturday.
Navy: The Midshipmen travel to play Central Florida on Saturday.