• Jordan Simal

NAVY @ Houston Game Notes

Sept. 25, 2021

7:00 p.m.

John O’Quinn Field at TDECU Stadium in Houston, TX


For the first time this season, the Midshipmen scored a touchdown on their opening drive, as sophomore quarterback Xavier Arline exploded out of the backfield for a 40-yard touchdown.

The drive went 76 yards on 3 plays, lasting 0:58.

NAVY 7, Houston 0.

On a punt to the Houston 27-yard line from freshman punter Riley Riethman, Cougars senior cornerback Marcus Jones blew past Navy’s special teams coverage and scored a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown to tie the game.

NAVY 7, Houston 7.


The Midshipmen put together a strong drive, but couldn’t find the end zone and turned to junior kicker Bijan Nichols for a 30-yard field goal to retake the lead.

The drive went 62 yards on 15 plays, lasting 8:42.

NAVY 10, Houston 7.

The following offensive drive from Navy arguably looked like their strongest on the season, ending with a one-yard rush by senior fullback Isaac Ruoss.

The drive went 89 yards on 11 plays, lasting 5:28.

NAVY 17, Houston 7.


The Houston offense finally found the endzone for the first time in the game on a two-yard carry into the endzone by junior running back Ta’zhawn Henry.

The drive went 43 yards on seven plays, lasting 4:23.

Navy 17, Houston 14.


The Cougars continued to rally behind their revamped offense in the second half, scoring on a 47-yard touchdown from junior quarterback Clayton Tune to senior wide receiver Marcus Jones to take their first lead of the game.

The drive went 81 yards on seven plays, lasting 1:55.

Navy 17, Houston 21.

A fumble from the Navy offense at their own 25-yard line was recovered by Houston junior linebacker Malik Robinson to keep the home team’s newfound momentum strong. This set up a one-yard touchdown run by Henry to put the Cougars up by double digits.

The drive went 26 yards on five plays, lasting 2:39.

Navy 17, Houston 28.

The Midshipmen found the board again after three straight scoring drives from Houston with a 36-yard field goal from Nichols to pull within one score.

The drive went 56 yards on 13 plays, lasting 5:56.

Navy 20, Houston 28.

Final Score: Navy 20, Houston 28.

The Midshipmen fall to 0-3, while Houston advanced to 3-1.

Against Houston, Navy’s offense looked vastly better, racking up a combined 288 yards on the evening.

Arline led the Midshipmen in rushing with 64 total yards, while Ruoss led in rushing average with 3.9 yards per carry. Senior wide receiver Mychal Cooper led in receiving with 37 yards.

Defensively, junior linebacker John Marshall and senior linebacker Diego Fagot both led the team with nine tackles. Fagot and sophomore defensive lineman Donald Berniard Jr. each had one sack on the evening, as well.

As a unit, the Navy defense allowed 377 total yards versus Houston.