Navy comes from behind on Lavatai TD, upends Tulsa 20-17

Navy_Tulsa_Football_06185 Tulsa running back Anthony Watkins (23) takes off on a 78-yard run in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_84676 Navy place kicker Bijan Nichols (43) boots a field goal over Tulsa defenders in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_03017 Tulsa running back Shamari Brooks (3) is hit by Navy defensive end Eavan Gibbons (15) and defensive lineman Clay Cromwell (97) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_05874 Navy fullback Isaac Ruoss (32) is stopped by Tulsa defensive lineman Joseph Anderson (44) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_72239 Navy linebackers Nicholas Straw (51) and John Marshall (1) move in to tackle Tulsa running back Shamari Brooks (3) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_83188 Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin (7) is sacked by Navy defensive lineman Clay Cromwell, right, in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_21174 Tulsa wide receiver JuanCarlos Santana (5) is hit after catching a pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_24483 Navy quarterback Tai Lavatai (1) throws in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tulsa, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_07975 Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin (7) prepares to pass in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Navy, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
Navy_Tulsa_Football_62593 Tulsa defensive lineman Joseph Anderson (44) and defensive lineman Deven Lamp (52) tackle Navy quarterback Tai Lavatai (1) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Tulsa, Okla.
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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Tai Lavatai scored a game-winning touchdown from the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter and Navy defeated Tulsa 20-17 on Friday night.

Lavatai was 0-for-3 passing but gained a career-high 64 yards on the ground, giving him 242 rushing yards and five touchdowns in six starts. The Midshipmen gained 302 yards rushing, zero passing.

The 15-play eight-minute drive in Navy’s (2-6, 2-4 American Athletic Conference) come-from-behind win foiled a big night by Tulsa’s Anthony Watkins, who scored the Golden Hurricanes first kickoff return for a touchdown in nearly a decade and compiled 178 yards in total offense.

The win was Navy’s first on the road this season and broke a three-game losing streak.

Watkins scored a 97-yard kickoff return to open the second half as Tulsa (3-5, 2-2) took a 10-3 lead. The last Golden Hurricane with a kickoff return for a TD was Trey Watts, 95-yards against Marshall on Oct. 6, 2012.

Late in the first half, Zack Long kicked a 26-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead as Tulsa salvaged points from a five-play drive that began with a Watkins season-long 78-yard rush to the Navy 7-yard line.

Watkins spun away from a tackler at the line of scrimmage and bolted straight downfield before he was caught. Watkins had 81 yards rushing on five carries.

Bijan Nichols evened the score with a 29-yard field goal for Navy with three seconds left in the first half.

After the Watkins kickoff return, Navy scored after two long drives to tie and take the lead. Nichols added a 46-yard field goal for insurance.

Davis Brin, who completed 13 of 23 passes for 165 yards, connected with Ezra Naylor II on a 2-yard touchdown pass, pulling Tulsa to within 20-17 with 2:21 to play.

Navy recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

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