Senior quarterback Tai Lavatai, subbing for an injured Blake Horvath, threw for 75 yards and a touchdown, while Navy’s defense secured a school-record eight sacks, propelling them to a 27-24 win over North Texas. Coach Brian Newberry praised both North Texas and Lavatai’s performance.
Lavatai, in his 22nd career game, stepped in for Horvath and immediately orchestrated a touchdown drive, connecting with Nathan Kent for a 26-yard touchdown. Lavatai later led a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
North Texas narrowed the lead to 3 points with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Chandler Rogers to Ja’Mori Maclin. However, Navy’s defense, led by Luke Pirris, forced a fumble, leading to Alex Tecza’s 21-yard touchdown run.
North Texas responded with a 73-yard scoring drive, making it 27-24. They had a chance to win but were thwarted by Navy’s defense.
Navy’s offense rushed for 331 yards, with Tecza and Horvath leading the way. Coach Newberry praised Lavatai’s mentorship of other quarterbacks and credited his role in the win.
Pirris and Williams had nine tackles each, both career-highs, while Ramos had eight tackles.
Navy now moves to 2-3 on the season with a 1-2 record in the AAC.
Next, Navy faces Charlotte on ESPN+ next Saturday and returns to Annapolis on October 21, 2023, to take on Air Force in the battle for the Commander-In-Chief’s trophy.