Louisiana Tech pulls out win over Navy in Armed Forces Bowl
Louisiana Tech quarterback Ryan Higgins drags a Navy player into the end zone in the Bulldog’s 48-45 win over the Midshipmen in the Armed Forces Bowl held in Fort Worth. (Photo courtesy of La Tech SID)
FORT WORTH -- Jonathan Barnes’ 32-yard field goal as time expired to give Louisiana Tech the storybook 48-45 win it deserved and clinched the Bulldogs’ third consecutive bowl championship over No. 25 Navy Friday in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
Tied 45-45 with under four minutes to play, the junior kicker’s game-winning field goal capped off a wild back-and-forth affair between the Bulldogs and Midshipmen that ended up coming down to the final three seconds in the fourth quarter.
With the win, Louisiana Tech recorded its third straight 9-win season to end the 2016 campaign 9-5 overall. Navy fell to 9-5 on the year in the loss.
The two teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards Friday night in Fort Worth with the Bulldogs edging the Midshipmen with 497 yards of total offense.
“To come in here and beat a No. 25 team like Navy is big for our program,” head coach Skip Holtz said. “It took us a while to get going offensively, and we had some sacks early, but Jarred Craft got our running game going and opened up the pass. This was a tremendous win, and everyone contributed. I’m proud of this team, and that was a really clutch kick to win it by Jonathan (Barnes) to get the win.”
Ryan Higgins set new bowl records for completions as the senior ended the night 29-of-40 passing for 409 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
Trent Taylor earned Armed Forces Bowl MVP honors with 12 receptions for 233 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The senior receiver broke bowl records for receptions and receiving yards in a game on his way to leading LA Tech to a third straight bowl title.