Second-half turnovers send Navy to 42-24 loss Potent Tulane offense too much for Midshipmen

September 27, 1998|By Joe Walljasper | Joe Walljasper,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

NEW ORLEANS -- Navy knew it needed to score early and often to keep up with Tulane's high-powered offense. At least the Midshipmen got the first part of the equation right.

Tulane took advantage of four Navy turnovers in the second half and turned a close game into a 42-24 rout before an announced crowd of 19,371 at the Superdome yesterday.

"Against a football team that's got good players, you cannot shoot yourself in the foot as many times as we did offensively," Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie said.

The Midshipmen had trouble slowing down the Green Wave's offense, which rarely huddled and spread the field with three, four or five wide receivers. Shaun King, who entered the game as the national leader in passing efficiency, completed 17 of 22 for 235 yards and four touchdowns. Wide receiver P. J. Franklin had six catches for 136 yards and two scores.

Tulane had 242 rushing yards to complement its passing attack. Tailback Jamaican Dartez sliced through the stretched Midshipmen defense for 114 yards on 17 carries and scored once.

The Midshipmen rushed for 296 yards and gained 436 total -- just 41 fewer than Tulane.

Navy scored first on a drive set up by an unlikely interception from defensive tackle Jason Snider, who had dropped back in zone coverage. That gave the Midshipmen the ball on Tulane's 34. Six plays later, Irv Dingle scored on a 3-yard run with 11: 03 left in the first quarter.

There was more offense to come in the first half, but the Midshipmen settled for two Tom Vanderhorst field goals while the Green Wave was putting up touchdowns, the last of which, a 5-yard scoring pass from King to JaJuan Dawson with six seconds left in the second quarter, gave Tulane a 21-13 halftime lead.

"When you start trading touchdowns for field goals, it adds up," Navy quarterback Steve Holley said.

Among the field goals, was an 18-yarder that Navy settled for after being stopped twice inside the 3.

"I really didn't think [Tulane] would score that many points, so we took points every time we could in the first half," Weatherbie said.

Vanderhorst's third field goal, a 34-yarder, cut Tulane's lead to 21-16 with 10: 22 left in the third quarter. Just four minutes later, the game was out of reach for Navy.

On the second play of Tulane's ensuing possession, Franklin beat strong safety Gary Lane on an out pattern and went 78 yards for a touchdown. Then, Holley overthrew Dingle on a screen pass, and Tulane's Jerry Phillips came up with the interception. That led to a 1-yard scoring run by King.

Next for Navy

Opponent: No. 19 West Virginia

Site: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

When: Saturday, noon

Record: 2-1

Yesterday: Beat Tulsa, 44-21.

Pub Date: 9/27/98

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