Navy safety Ram Vela leaped over Notre Dame running back Armando Allen to sack Evan Sharpley late in regulation of yesterday's game. Navy won 46-44 in triple overtime.
Navy sinks Irish
The Midshipmen win in triple overtime, snapping a 43-game losing streak to Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. » It's over. After 44 years and three overtimes.
Navy finally beat Notre Dame 46-44 in triple overtime yesterday, ending the Fighting Irish's NCAA-record winning streak against the Midshipmen at 43 games.
"It's a big win for our program. It's a big win for the academy," Navy coach Paul Johnson said. "I'm happy I don't have to answer anything else about the streak every time we play."
Roger Staubach was quarterback for the Midshipmen in 1963 when they beat Notre Dame 35-14. Since then, the Irish have had their way -- that is until yesterday.
Seven times during the streak the Midshipmen had chances to win in the fourth quarter only to be thwarted by bad luck, questionable calls or big plays by the Irish. A few times yesterday it looked as though the win would elude them again. But this time it was the Midshipmen who managed to make the decisive plays.
Kapolei alumnus Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada threw a 25-yard TD pass to Reggie Campbell on the first play of the third overtime, then found him again for the 2-point conversion.
Notre Dame (1-8) cut the lead to two on a 5-yard TD run by Travis Thomas. But after a pass interference call gave Notre Dame a second chance at the 2-point conversion, defensive lineman Michael Walsh and linebacker Irv Spencer tackled Thomas well short of the end zone on the final play.
"Honestly, this win hasn't even hit me yet," linebacker Matt Wimsatt said. "I can't wait to talk to everybody back home. This is definitely bigger than just one football game."
Kapolei graduate Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and his Navy teammates sang the school song after yesterday's win.
For Notre Dame, it was its school-record fifth straight home loss, another low point in a season of lows. Weis said the 43-game winning streak had no meaning to him or the team.
"They're worried about here and now. These kids are 17. You think they're worrying about 43 years?" he said.
"To be honest, I don't even know what the streak was at before it ended," linebacker Joe Brockington said.
Weis said the home skid was much more important to the players. It also is the first time the Irish have lost five at home in one season.
Notre Dame did have its best game offensively, rushing for 235 yards, nearly doubling its season output, and James Aldridge ran for 125 yards. It wasn't enough.
The Irish, who did little to slow Navy's option offense, held the Midshipmen to three and out late in the fourth quarter with the score tied at 28. Greg Veteto had the first punt of the game, and Tom Zbikowski returned it 32 yards to the Navy 38.
The Irish drove to the 24, but on fourth and 8 Weis decided to go for it rather than attempt a field goal. Ram Vela sacked Evan Sharpley with 45 seconds left.
It was the fourth sack for Navy, which entered the game with five.
Kaheaku-Enhada completed six of eight passes for 81 yards and ran for 48 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a 2-point conversion that gave Navy a 28-21 fourth-quarter lead.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. » Chad Hall ran for a school-record 275 yards and a touchdown, leading the Falcons (7-3) over the Black Knights (3-6).
Hall, a senior wide receiver, broke his own record of 256 yards, set against Colorado State on Oct. 13. He had 121 yards on the ground by halftime, and his 58-yard run in the third quarter set up a 1-yard touchdown run that gave the Falcons a two-possession lead.
Shaun Carney threw for 105 yards and added two touchdowns for Air Force, which clinched its first winning record since 2003. The Falcons also hadn't beaten a fellow service academy at home in four years.
Army had only 181 yards of total offense, including 17 yards rushing. The Air Force defense held the Black Knights to an average of 3 yards per play and 5-for-16 on third down.