ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Sophomore fullback Daba Fonfana rushed for 114 yards, while senior striker John Marshall recorded a school record four sacks to lead Navy to a 17-14 victory over #17 UCF in front of 44,813 fans at the FBC Mortgage Stadium in Orlando. Navy won the game without completing a pass.

Navy (4-7, 4-4 American Athletic) dominated possession of the ball and gained 248 yards, all on the ground. Xavier Arline threw incomplete on the team’s only passing attempt.

The loss dropped UCF (8-3, 5-2) out of first place in the American Athletic Conference.

Navy won the opening toss and, in a rarity, decided to take the ball. That move paid off as the Mids marched 75 yards in 11 plays  and took 6:40 off the clock with quarterback Xavier Arline capping the drive with a one-yard touchdown run on fourth down.  That drive set the tone for the game.

UCF twice drove inside the Navy 20 in the second quarter, but both times the Navy defense stiffened in the red zone and held the Knights to 21 and 31 yard field goals by Colton Boomer. 

Navy answered the second UCF field goal with a 13-play, 84-yard drive that took 6:47 off the clock and was finished off by Vincent Terrell Jr.’s eight yard touchdown run to make the score 14-6 at the half.

Mikey Keene replaced quarterback John Rhys Plumlee in the second half and immediately led the Knights to their only touchdown of the game

Keene completed his first three passes for 79 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to Javon Baker. Plumlee then passed to Baker for the 2-point conversion, tying it at 14 early in the third quarter.

Credit: Mike Watters / USA Today Sports

John Marshall forced Keene’s fumble on the Knights’ next possession. It was recovered by Colin Ramos at the UCF 34 and Bijan Nichols 45-yard field goal lifted Navy to a 17-14 lead with 8:22 left in the third.

The Nichols field goal would hold up the rest of the day as the Navy defense completely shut down the potent UCF offense, while the Navy offense grinded down the clock with the run

Plumlee, a senior who had led UCF’s ninth-ranked offense for most of the season, completed 11 of 18 passes for 107 yards and threw a long interception on the final play of the half

Marshall’s four sacks gives him 10.5 for the year, which is also a Navy single-season record.


Navy: Navy is now 8-1 in games without completing a pass in the Ken Niumatolo era (15 years).

UCF: After losing a chance to host the AAC championship game on Dec. 3, the Knights will have to win at South Florida on Nov. 26 to play at the winner of next week’s Tulane-Cincinnati game.


Navy: Plays against Army at Philadelphia on Dec. 10.

UCF: Plays at USF on Nov. 26.

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