Navy’s senior quarterback, Xavier Arline, showcased a stellar performance, rushing for 109 yards and a touchdown while completing 7 of 10 passes for 94 yards and another touchdown in a decisive 31-6 victory over UAB. After two challenging losses, head coach Brian Newberry expressed pride in the team’s resilience.
Newberry commended the Navy defense for holding UAB, a formidable offensive team, to 321 total yards, limiting them to just 206 passing yards. This marked the third time this season that Navy kept an opponent from scoring a touchdown.
The first half was a defensive battle, with Navy leading 7-6 at halftime. Arline connected with Regis Velez for a 45-yard touchdown, but UAB responded with two field goals, narrowing Navy’s lead.
Despite turnovers hindering Navy’s progress in the first half, the team regrouped in the second. The defense made a crucial interception, and the offense orchestrated a 20-play, 80-yard, 12:44-minute drive, capped by Daba Fofana’s 2-yard touchdown run.
With the game still in question at 17-6, Navy’s defense stepped up, forcing UAB into penalties and a punt. Navy sealed the victory with an 86-yard drive, featuring Arline’s 50-yard touchdown run and a spectacular 97-yard interception return by Rayuan Lane.
Coach Newberry highlighted offensive adjustments at halftime, praising Arline’s performance and emphasizing the significance of the win. Navy rushed for a total of 269 yards, holding UAB to 115. Notable contributors included fullback Alex Tecza with 82 yards and Eli Heidenreich with 60 yards and three catches for 26 yards.
On the defensive side, Colin Ramos led with 12 tackles and a sack, while Mbiti Williams recorded 9 tackles. Justin Reed contributed 1.5 sacks, and Dashaun Peele and Rayuan Lane secured interceptions.
The victory keeps Navy in contention for a bowl game, setting the stage for a crucial matchup against East Carolina on Senior Day at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium next Saturday at Noon.