December 11, 2017

Houston hands Navy fifth loss in last six games

Houston quarterback D’Eriq King threw for 277 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores to lead Houston past Navy on Friday, 24-14.

Houston’s defense shut out Navy in the second half and capped the Midshipmen to 79 yards and six first downs. Navy’s 14 points is a season low.

“Obviously, a disappointing loss,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “We left some points out there in the first half that came back to bite us.”

King completed 21 of 27 passes and found Steven Dunbar (142 yards on eight receptions) for a 61-yard touchdown pass to give the Cougars (7-4, 5-3 American) a 21-14 lead with 14 minutes left in regulation. King also rushed for 57 yards and scored on runs of 9 and 2 yards, with the second tying it at 14-14 with 3:27 left in the third and capping a 14-play, 90-yard drive. Caden Novikoff added a 35-yard field goal with 7:57 remaining to up the lead to 24-14.

Malcolm Perry rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, and Anthony Gargiulo added 71 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries to lead Navy (6-5, 4-4), which has lost five of its past six games. The Midshipmen out-rushed Houston 217-103, but 167 yards came in the first half.

Perry tied it at 7-7 with a 12-yard touchdown run with 13:42 left in the second, and Gargiulo gave the Midshipmen a 14-7 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half.

Linell Bonner finished with eight catches for 98 yards for Houston, which won its third out of the last four games. Houston outgained Navy 380-291.

“Houston played well defensively,” Niumatalolo said. “We just can’t sustain ourselves. It’s kind of the story of our season. We can’t put stuff together consistently. Obviously, Houston knew that. They kept their safeties back to see if we could grind it out and we couldn’t. We couldn’t execute the whole way downfield.”

 

 

Navy will have two weeks off before it faces Army in Philadelphia on Dec. 9 at Lincoln Financial Field.

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