HomeNewsNotre Dame 42 Navy 3 in Aer Lingus Classic

Notre Dame 42 Navy 3 in Aer Lingus Classic

Notre Dame and Navy were back in Dublin on Saturday evening, competing in the Aer Lingus Classic 2023, with the former running out easy winners on a score line of 42-3.

The 97th meeting of the Fighting Irish and the Midshipmen of the US Naval Academy was the third edition of the Aer Lingus Classic, which was played in 2016 (Georgia Tech v Boston College) and 2022 (Northwestern v Nebraska).

The game, broadcast live on NBC throughout the USA, attracted a full-house at the Lansdowne Road venue, where the game kicked off at 7.30pm Irish time.

The 2023 Aer Lingus College Football Classic marked the third meeting between the Notre Dame and Navy in Ireland, but the first time that the Fighting Irish were the designated home team. The teams met in 1996 at Croke Park where Notre Dame won 54-27 and at Aviva Stadium in 2012 where they achieved a 50-10 victory.

In a dominant opening first two quarters, Notre Dame scored four touchdowns, each of them converted. The side had 17 first downs and passed for 200 yards. They added another two touchdowns during the third and fourth quarters to complete their comfortable victory.

Notre Dame took the lead through a rushing touchdown scored by Audric Estimé, the 13th play of the drive, which covered 81 yards and took 6 minutes 28 seconds of the opening quarter. Estimé just missed out on a 1,000-yard season in 2022 (he finished with 920 yards), with his specialty is wearing down the defence throughout the game.

The kick which followed from Spencer Shrader was successful giving the designated ‘home’ side a 7-0 lead. Shrader, a former professional soccer player, decided to play his final year at Notre Dame, claiming the starting kicker duties, has rushed twice in his career (once for a 22-yard touchdown), caught a pass for seven yards, made two tackles on kick offs, punted once for 36 yards and has converted 28 career field goals.

A 19-yard rushing touchdown from Jadarian Price, followed by another successful kick from Shrader, saw Notre Dame double their advantage to 14-0 with over a minute remaining in the opening quarter.

Jaden Greathouse worked well to gather the ball from quarterback Sam Hartman at the end of a Notre Dame four-play drive. The 6-pointer extended the South Bend, Indiana college’s advantage over their great rivals. With Shrader maintaining his accuracy at the posts, Notre Dame were 21-0 ahead, with 10 minutes still remaining in the first half.

Placekicker Evan Warren failed to get his side on the scoreboard at the end of Navy’s next possession. His effort failed to dissect the posts. This miss was soon punished as Notre Dame’s wide receiver Jayden Thomas got in on the scoring act when claiming his side’s fourth touchdown on the cusp of half-time.

Thomas, the leading returning receiver for the Irish offence, catching 25 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns in 2022, received a 14-yard pass from quarterback Hartman in the ninth move of the drive which saw his side move 80 yards down the field. Shrader succeeded with his fourth kick at the posts and moved his team into a comfortable 28-0 at half-time.

Jaden Greathouse scored his second touchdown of the game early in the third quarter. Receiving an accurate 20-yard pass from quarterback Hartman, wide receiver Greathouse brought his personal points tally for the night to 10 points, before Shrader again kicked the extras for a 35-0 lead.

Shrader’s impeccable record at kicking for the posts ending with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. A 42-yard field goal attempt went right and wide of the uprights, as Shrader’s 100% success record on the night ended.

A 25-yard reception for Deion Colzie, who posted his best game of the season against Navy last year when catching two passes for 50 yards, saw the ‘home’ team extend their lead early in the final quarter. Seven plays in the drive saw Notre Dame move 60 yards in 3:43 minutes. With Shrader adding the extra score, it was a 42-0 advantage for Irish.

An Evan Warren field goal attempt from 31 yards out finally put Navy on the score board, but it was all too little, to late. The score came at the end of a 15-play 62-yard drive which lasted 8 minutes 21 seconds.

This one-sided game saw Notre Dame run out easy 42-3 victors over Navy.

The next instalment of US college football in Dublin, the 2024 Aer Lingus College Football Classic, will see Florida State University and Georgia Tech visit the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 24 August 2024.

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com



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