SMU goes for win in OT, tops Navy 31-30 on 2-point pass

SMU beats Navy on fluke play in overtime.

Story By Pointed Magazine Staff Writer

Photo’s By Benjamin Rogers, Jr Pointed Magazine Staff

Hunter Thedford caught a 2-point conversion pass in the first overtime on a play that led to several minutes of discussion by officials and a review before it was held up, and SMU beat Navy 31-30 on Saturday for its first win over the Midshipmen in 20 years. After Ben Hicks threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to James Proche, new coach Sonny Dykes decided to go for his first win at SMU right then. Offensive lineman Chad Pursley went in motion from the tight end spot on the left to the slot right, and Hicks threw to Thedford over leaping linebacker Taylon Heflin in the end zone. Navy (2-2, 1-1 American Athletic) started overtime with a nine-play possession that ended with quarterback Garret Lewis’ plunge from inside the 1-yard line. Hicks replaced starting quarterback William Brown for the overtime possession as the Mustangs (1-3, 1-0) beat Navy for the first time since 1998, ending an eight-game losing streak in the series. It was SMU’s first home win over Navy since 1966.

C.J. Williams ran 52 yards for a tying touchdown for the Midshipmen with 6:19 left in the fourth quarter. The Midshipmen had that chance to get even because Jarid Ryan returned the blocked PAT kick for a 2-point conversion from several yards deep in the end zone earlier in the fourth. Ryan’s winding run, first up the sideline and then toward the middle of the field before slowing and just getting across the goal line as he was tackled, cut Navy’s deficit to 23-16. The return from Ryan came after Myron Gailliard’s 2-yard touchdown catch on fourth down. That score was set up by a fumble from Navy quarterback Garret Lewis that SMU recovered at the 2. Reggie Roberson Jr. returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and caught a 20-yard scoring pass for the Mustangs.

Braeden West rushed for 145 yards, his first 100-yard game for SMU since the last of six late in the 2016 season. Lewis threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Mychal Cooper, who was wide open inside the 5, to put Navy up 14-10. It was the only completion for the Midshipmen in their triple-option offense. Roberson answered immediately by running untouched up the middle of the field.

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