The Wave Falls Short at Navy, 21-23

The Green Wave fell short with a score of 23-21 against Navy in its American Athletic Conference opener Saturday afternoon, but they did not go out without a fight.

Senior cornerback Parry Nickerson secured his first interception of the season on Navy’s first possession of the game. After the Midshipmen drove 62 yards, including a 54-yard run by quarterback Zach Abey, Nickerson picked off Abey’s third down pass at the 2 and returned it to the 10-yard line. However, Tulane was forced to punt and Navy drove 63 yards in three plays. One play was a 52-yard pass from Abey to Darryl Bonner giving the Midshipmen a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Junior safety Roderic Teamer Jr. recovered a fumble caused by senior linebacker Rae Juan Marbley, and tied the game 7-7 with a 52-yard touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Johnathan Brantley entered the game after junior starter Jonathan Banks was injured. Brantley rushed nine times for 73 yards, a team high, and a touchdown giving The Wave a 13-7 lead. Navy answered with a 79-yard pass from Zach Abey to Tyler Carmona on the second play of the ensuing drive to take a 14-13 lead with the point-after. The Midshipmen held onto the one-point lead as the first half came to an end.

Early in the third quarter, Navy increased its 14-13 halftime lead to 23-13. After a Green Wave punt, the Midshipmen drove 42 yards in nine plays with 7:11 remaining in the third quarter. In response to the early play by Navy, the Tulane defense stepped up and forced the Midshipmen to punt after five plays. The Green Wave then drove 83 yards in 16 plays bringing the score to 23-21. Dontrell Hilliard successfully converted a fourth-and-one opportunity. After Brantley completed a 24-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Darnell Mooney, Hilliard ran for 11 yards on fourth down to continue the drive. Hilliard then dove into the end zone for a one-yard score. Junior tight end Charles Jones II caught a pass from Brantley and dove at the front pylon for the two-point conversion.

The Wave attempted to convert on fourth down on its next two possessions, but were not successful either times. Tulane then stopped Navy on third-and-7 to force a punt, but there were too many men on the field on the punt. The punt would have given Tulane the ball with about 2:00 remaining. Navy converted on fourth-and-short and let the time run out.

Tulane fought hard and stepped up to make sure they did not fall too short. “I thought our guys really fought back,” head coach Willie Fritz said. “We had some big plays in there that we converted to get back in the ballgame, which was great. I’m proud of the guys and their effort, and everything else. But I would have liked to have the opportunity to see what we could have done there at the end. It would have been tough but I would have liked to have that opportunity.” We are also proud of The Wave for their determination and keeping their heads in the game! The Green Wave are on the road again next week, traveling to Norman, Okla., to take on Oklahoma. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. on Fox Sports Oklahoma and


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