March 27, 2023
Annapolis, US 59 F

Houston uses a 28 point second half to beat Navy 49-36 in Annapolis. (With Photos)

What started as a potential shootout quickly turned into a one-sided ball game in the second half as Houston uses 570-yards of total offense, including 413 through the air, to bring Navy’s record to 2-5 on the season.

Houston came into this game boasting the nation’s No.3 ranked scoring offense behind quarterback D’Eriq King. King was 6th in the country in passing touchdowns with 20 and averaged 261 YPG. Yesterday, he went off with 413 yards through the air and three scores. He added 56-yards on the ground and another score.

Navy started the game aggressively. The defense, led by Sr. Safety Sean Williams, forced the Cougars to their only punt of the game on the opening drive and scored on their first four possessions of the first half.

They used three touchdowns and a field goal to take a 24-21 lead into halftime, including a two play 75-yard drive that capped off a four-minute span that saw four consecutive touchdowns between the two teams. Williams would end the game with seven tackles, a forced fumble and a pick. His hit on Keith Corbin in the 2nd quarter gave him his sixth of the season, good for best in the nation.

At the half, you just knew one of the two teams was going to make the defensive adjustments to slow the other down, and unfortunately for Navy fans, it was Houston.

Houston came out in the third quarter and put up 14 points on 169-yards of offense, but it was the defense that truly made the difference. Houston held Navy to just 35 total yards in the third quarter, even though the Midshipmen held the ball for over 10-minutes. A big reason for that was Houston senior ILB Austin Robinson. Robinson finished the game with 21 TotTK including 11 solo TKLS, 2 Sacks, and 4.5 TFL.

Down 35-24 in entering the 4th quarter, Navy gave up another long drive that resulted in a King TD, followed by a Garret Lewis INT returned for 50-yards that put Houston up 49-24, essentially sealing the victory.

However, Garret Lewis and the Midshipmen would not go quietly into that good night. Starting for the Midshipmen for the second week, Lewis completed nine passes for 135 yards, one touchdown, and a pick.

That touchdown came in the finals minutes of the game as Lewis found Taylor Jackson on a 15-yard passing score with 6 seconds left in the game to make the score a respectable 49-36. Lewis’s completions, attempts, and yards were all career highs for the senior. Lewis also had the longest rush of his career with a 28-yard run in the 2nd quarter.

Jackson also had a career day yesterday as his five catches gave him a career-high 120 yards and a TD, eclipsing his previous high of 38-yards earlier this year against Hawaii. Jackson is the second Navy player this year to record 100-plus yards receiving in a game. The other was CJ Williams with 104 against Lehigh.

Zach Abey saw his stat line improve against the Cougars as well. His 1-yard touchdown run with 8:05 left in the first half gave him 13 rushing touchdowns in the last seven games he had played in since the Military Bowl last year.

Navy will look to make history this weekend as they travel to San Diego for a “home game” against the #3 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday night. Shellback Sports will be in San Diego to bring you all of the action live from Qualcomm Stadium. Make sure to follow along at and on social media @Shellbacksports.

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