Hoosiers fall to Midshipmen
IU suffers 4th close loss in last 5 games
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The close losses for IU continue to pile up.
Despite leading by nine points with less than six minutes remaining in the outing, the Hoosiers (2-5, 0-3) were unable to keep the lead, losing to Navy (4-3) 31-30.
“As good as you play, you always have a couple of mistakes,” IU Coach Kevin Wilson said. “Unfortunately, we had a couple of critical ones at the point of attack that cost us the game.”
With a 20-14 edge at halftime, IU faced an early gut check during the third quarter after Navy went ahead 21-20 on an option run touchdown.
The Hoosiers responded. Only four minutes later, IU retook the lead with a field goal from junior kicker Mitch Ewald.
Following a touchdown run from freshman running back Tevin Coleman early in the fourth quarter, the Hoosiers were ahead by a 30-21 margin.
A 16-play, 74-yard drive by Navy lasting six minutes and 48 seconds followed.
However, a goal-line stand from the IU defense forced Navy to kick a field goal with 5:30 remaining.
With the Hoosiers leading 30-24, all they needed was a long, methodical drive to put the game to bed.
“I just knew we were going to play hard,” sophomore safety Tim Bennett said. “Our offense was going to be out there, and I knew it was going to do what they had to do.”
Unfortunately, two misreads ending in missed passes from sophomore quarterback Cameron Coffman resulted in a three-and-out. The drive lasted a total of 42 seconds.
One was an attempted handoff where the running back was not in place. The other was an intended go-route that ended with the receiver running an out-route.
“I don’t know what (Coffman) saw, but at the end of the day we have to get the first down and get it rolling,” Wilson said. “We just put him in a bad situation.”
Following a punt from freshman Erich Toth to the Navy 28-yard line, the Midshipmen used nine plays during a span of two minutes and 46 seconds to drive down the entire field. A Keenan Reynolds pass to wide receiver Matt Aiken ended in a touchdown.
One extra point later, Navy was ahead on the scoreboard, 31-30.
After the kickoff and during the second play of IU’s subsequent drive, Coffman threw an interception.
Only one minute and 38 seconds remained after the turnover, which was not enough time for IU to have one more offensive chance.
“I thought the safety was about to drive up on the underneath route that was there,” Coffman said. “I just forced a pass. I shouldn’t have done it.”
Navy kneeled for the next three plays, and the Midshipmen celebrated their fourth win of the season.
For the Hoosiers, though the opponent was different, the same result showed on the scoreboard.
It was the fourth time in IU’s last five games that the team lost by four points or less.
“It sucks to lose in general,” Coffman said. “We’re just so close. We’ve just got to keep working every day. We can’t lose hope.”
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