What a game it was as the Tulsa Golden Hurricane battled the Midshipmen of Navy, but came up just short, on a controversial call near the end of the game. Navy defeated Tulsa 42-40, in Annapolis, Maryland, last Saturday.
The controversial play came with 1:40 remaining on the clock, as Jesse Brubaker stripped the ball out of the hands of Will Worth, the Navy quarterback, who was in a pile trying to gain more yards. The quarterback wasn’t down, the whistle hadn’t blown yet, but after Brubaker took off with the ball a ref blew his whistle and Brubaker was then tackled by one of the Navy players.
The play should have been ruled a fumble, but even after review by the video officials, they ruled that the quarterback was down. That incensed many TU fans because it was clear in the replay that Brubaker had the ball before the whistle blew the play dead.
“We weren’t going to get any calls,” said Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans. “We haven’t gotten them all year, and we’re not going to get them here at Navy.”
So instead of Tulsa having the ball near the 50-yard line, Navy was awarded a first down and thus was able to control the ball and run out the clock.
But, the game started off so well for Tulsa. Even though Navy scored on its first possession, Tulsa answered with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Evans to Keevan Lucas on the Hurricane’s first play from scrimmage.
It seems I’ve written this line many times this season, but again this was a game where the last team with the ball would win. Both teams exchanged scores throughout, and the two offenses certainly outplayed the defenses. My mind harkens back to the Tulsa Talons and the Arena Football League.
The two teams combined for 1,077 yards; Tulsa gained 576 and Navy totaled 501 yards. The Hurricane tallied 369 passing yards, as Evans became the school’s all-time passing leader with his performance, moving ahead of Paul Smith (2003-07).
Evans found four different receivers for scores, as Justin Hobbs caught five passes for 123 yards and Josh Atkinson totaled 102 yards and one TD on five receptions as well.
Tulsa also rushed for 207 yards, while D’Angelo Brewer went over 1,000 single-season yards with a 22-yard run in the first half, thus giving the Hurricane two 1,000-yard rushers in a season for the second time in school history, and the only other time since 1982. James Flanders led the ground game with 89 yards, while Brewer had 81 rushing yards.
“Our team is built to help each other,” Tulsa coach Phillip Montgomery said after the game. “Playing from behind, if we’ve got to do that then that’s what we’ll do. I can promise you, our guys didn’t have any negative thoughts about winning this game. Everyone was in and felt like we had an opportunity to get it done.”
Navy improved to 5-1 in American Athletic Conference play, to take over sole possession of first place in the West Division and 7-2 overall. Tulsa fell to 7-3 and 4-2 in the AAC.
Tulsa will play at Central Florida on Saturday, 7:00 p.m. Central time.
TU SOCCER AAC CHAMPS
For the third year in a row, the TU men’s soccer team was crowned the American Athletic Conference Champions and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. Tulsa won the title with a 1-1 tie with USF that was decided with a 4-2 penalty kick shootout Sunday at Corbett Stadium on the USF campus in Tampa, Florida. Tulsa improved to 10-4-5 on the season, while the Bulls moved to 10-6-3 overall.
“I couldn’t be more proud and happy for the guys for always going for it and grinding it out against a good team,” said Head Coach Tom McIntosh. “They won another trophy and you can’t take that away. It was a strange year with 10 wins, four losses and five ties, and our RPI just wasn’t as good as it has been the last several years.”