San Diego, CA — Saturday was a beautiful night for a rivalry game as the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish took on the Navy Midshipmen at the San Diego County Credit Union Stadium.
Over 60,000 fans of both teams filled the stadium creating an environment fit for one of the longest rivalries in college football. Notre Dame has won three of the last four matchups with Navy’s last win coming in 2016.
Notre Dame sophomore, Jafar Armstrong, opened up the scoring with a one-yard touchdown early in the first quarter. The extra point was missed, putting them up 6-0.
About five minutes later, Dexter Williams scored his first of three consecutive touchdowns in the game. Williams had 23 carries and put up 142 rushing yards.
“He’s not worried about a million other things other than being the best version of Dexter Williams,” said Head Coach Brian Kelly. “And that’s hard to do sometimes when you’re at his stage of being a fifth-year player and not playing in the first four weeks, but he is so focused on being the best version of Dexter Williams and it’s fun to coach him right now.”
Despite being down 27-0 at halftime, the Midshipmen came out much stronger in the second half. Senior Zach Abey put Navy’s first points on the board with a one-yard touchdown.
Early in the fourth, Jacob Springer had a big interception and returned it for 24 yards for Navy. Feeding off of that pick, Mike Martin ran it in for a 33-yard touchdown. Then, Zach Abey connected with OJ Davis for the two-point conversion. The Midshipmen had closed the gap to 37-22.
However, a Miles Boykin touchdown and a Garret Lewis interception sealed the deal for the Fighting Irish as they captured their eighth-straight win.
“They play hard, they never give in,” said Kelly. “You know we were up big on them, that doesn’t faze the Midshipmen. They come back at you in the second half as if nothing happened in the first half – doesn’t faze them. So glad to get out of here with a victory, with a lot of good things to build off of going into the last month.”
Next Saturday, the Fighting Irish will face a Northwestern team who is also coming off of a big win. Navy will look to snap its four-game losing streak against Cincinnati on Nov. 3.