MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An absolute thriller in Memphis Tuesday night as the 2019 AutoZone Liberty Bowl came down to the wire!
The 23rd ranked Navy Midshipmen took on the Kansas State Wildcats taking the victory with a last second field goal just minutes ago! The final score 20-17.
The 61st Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl was a unique matchup. Navy and Kansas State’s first time playing one another and these two schools and their fan bases have had fun all week here in Memphis.
Kansas State does have the advantage with the crowd here today, but Navy’s got fans everywhere and pageantry on its side. As a matter of fact a group of Navy recruits were sworn in before the game. AutoZone Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Earhart’s thrilled to have these two teams in Memphis this year.
“Great fan bases and two teams in their 150 years have never played each other. Naval Academy there were here 39 years ago, haven’t been back since. Kansas State was here five years ago, and so it’s a great matchup,” said Earnhart.
Trailing 3-nothing, the Wildcats got the first touchdown of the game, via the punt return. Phillip Brooks got a block, then another one, 66 yards later he was in the End Zone for the Touchdown..
But, Navy rallies back -- Malcolm Perry showing he can pass as well as run. The 30-yard dime to Keoni Makekau for the happy half dozen. Game tied at 10 all at the half.
The Middies added to their lead in the 3rd quarter. The end around worked to perfection as Chance Ward got the antiseptic touchdown, untouched from 26 yards out.
Navy regained the lead 17-10. But, Kansas State came back again.
In the 4th quarter, Skylar Thompson the bomb to gill all the way to the Navy 6. The Wildcats scored two plays later to tie it at 17 all.
With 30 seconds left, Navy went with the halfback pass, and hit it for 41 yards to the K-State 8. Last play of the Game, Bijan Nichols, who’d missed early from 26, knocked through the game winning from 23.
Navy beat Kansas State 20-17.