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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Navy rushing attack sinks Cougars


The Cougars’ hopes for a perfect season were foiled by the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

The United States Naval Academy commanded the waters on Saturday as the Midshipmen defeated the No. 6 Cougars 46-40 in Annapolis, Maryland. The win marks the first victory over a Top 10 team since the 1984 season for Navy.

The Navy rushing attack proved to be too much for the Cougars as the Midshipmen rushed for 306 yards. Before the matchup, the Cougars owned the top rushing defense in the nation but proved to be no match for the uncanny triple option of Navy.

Navy quarterback Will Worth led the way for his team, accumulating 115 yards on the ground with a touchdown. Despite completing just three passes all game, Worth threw two touchdowns through the air with 76 yards.

Cougar senior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. was impressive, but failed to take care of the ball. Ward threw two interceptions, including a pick six early in the second half. Coupled with a fumble, the senior’s errors were too much to overcome in the end.

With the exception of his turnovers, Ward had one of his best games of the season.

The senior quarterback threw for 359 yards off of 32 completions with three touchdowns. Ward also managed 94 yards on the ground with a touchdown.

A clutch touchdown on fourth and 12 to senior receiver Chance Allen gave the Cougars hope in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter. Football was unable to recover the Navy onside kick however and were never a threat again in the game.

Junior receiver Linell Bonner III continued his excellence as he hauled in nine catches for 117 yards.

Third-year wideout Steven Dunbar also reeled in nine catches, but had 112 yards and touchdown.

Freshman defensive tackle Ed Oliver earned a career-high in tackles with 11—1.5 of which were for a loss.

The Cougars will now prepare to face the University of Tulsa on Oct. 15 from TDECU Stadium.

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