College Football: Navy 23, Tulane 21 - D1SportsNet


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Navy 23, Tulane 21

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Quarterback Zach Abey amassed 240 total yards with a touchdown, leading Navy past Tulane 23-21 in the American Athletic Conference opener Saturday.

Abey was coming off a record-setting performance last week against Florida Atlantic when he ran for 235 yards -- the most-ever for a quarterback in the the AAC. He was the difference again with 108 yards on 29 carries. Abey also completed 4 of 12 passes for 132 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown throw to Tyler Carmona.

Tulane quarterback Jonathan Banks, a junior college transfer, took a hard hit in the second quarter and did not return with an undisclosed injury. Sophomore Johnathan Brantley, however, provided a spark off the bench and scored his first career touchdown with a 3-yard run in the second quarter.

The Green Wave (1-1, 0-1) cut the margin to 23-21 on a 1-yard dive by Dontrell Hilliard and a two-point conversion with 12:56 left in the game. Tulane, however, failed to convert a pair of key fourth downs late in the game to extend drives.

A penalty for too many players on the field gave Navy a 4th and 1 from the Green Wave’s 46 with 1:58 left. Abey converted the first down and the Midshipmen (2-0, 1-0) were able to run out the clock to seal the win.

Brantley completed five of eight passes for 58 yards. He also ran for 73 yards on nine carries with the score.

The game was a battle of two teams that have a similar offense.

Midshipmen coach Ken Niumatalolo ran the triple-option as a quarterback at Hawaii and was later an assistant under coach Paul Johnson, who ran the same system. Tulane’s Willie Fritz has used the zone option throughout his 24-year coaching career.

On this day, Navy was more successful moving the ball, out-gaining the Green Wave 326 to 262.

Tulane was looking to open the season with two straight wins for the first time since 2002.



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