ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – The Knights showed the Navy Midshipmen why the Knights are the loss-less team to beat for a second season in a row before a homecoming and Veterans Day weekend crowd of over 44,000 fans Saturday.
The Knights held the Midshipmen from scoring the whole first quarter while racking up two touchdowns, making the score 14-0.
It wasn’t until three minutes left in the first half that the Navy finally scored, and that after another UCF 34-yard touchdown pass from McKenzie Melton to wide receiver Dredrick Snelson. After having a touchdown pass broken end up in the end zone on third down, the Navy kicked a successful 24-yard field goal, bringing the score to 21-3.
With less than a minute left in the first half, Snelson caught a clutch 20-yard pass with a ground roll for a first down on the Navy 15-yard line. After review, the ruling on the field stood, but the Knights squandered the opportunity for another touchdown with a fumble on the next play, which the Navy recovered, tipping possession in their favor for the second half.
By halftime, the Navy were 3 for 7 in third down conversions with two fumbles (one of which UCF recovered) and no passing yards under their belt. UCF quarterback McKenzie Melton led his team in rushing with 61 yards. Dredrick Snelson led in passing yards with 60. Tre Walker led the Navy in rushing yards with 60 as well.
Zach Abey rushed five yards for the Navy’s first touchdown of the game. Navy also got a sack on Milton with a loss of five yards.
Milton rushed the ball five yards in for the Knights’ fourth touchdown, bringing the score to 28-10 with 5:38 left in the third quarter.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Navy got their second touchdown with Mike Martin’s 14-yard run, closing UCF’s lead to 28-17.
UCF’s Marlon Williams made a deep catch, which Navy defensive end Charlton forced out of his hand, causing a fumble, but running back Greg McCrae recovered the ball, keeping the first down for UCF.
To spite the Navy, Milton fired another touchdown pass to Nelson, this one for 12 yards, bringing the score to 35-17 four minutes into the fourth.
With 3:34 left in the game, the Navy scored their next touchdown with Zach Abey’s eight yard scramble, making the score 35-24 UCF, which became the final score.
The Knights’ last home game will be against the Cincinnati Bearcats November 17.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org