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Notre Dame leads Navy after 1st quarter

SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame leads Navy 10-7 after the first quarter Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.

The teams exchanged touchdown drives to start the game, and then the Irish got a field goal and forced a punt on the Midshipmen's second drive.

Notre Dame quarter Tommy Rees threw for 58 yards in the opening quarter, but the senior looked off on a couple of throws, including throwing one too high when trying to hit tight end Troy Niklas in the end zone on the second offensive drive.

Navy ran for 60 yards in the opening quarter with Geoffrey Whiteside leading the way with 19 yards.

The Irish had a pair of first-time starters against Navy.

Conor Hanratty started at left guard for Chris Watt, who injured his knee against Navy.

Romeo Okwara started on the Irish's defensive line as Sheldon Day continues to be slowed by an ankle injury. Day did play in the opening quarter.

Notre Dame ended its four-game run of letting the other team score first when running back George Atkinson III burst through the line for a 41-yard touchdown run with 12:12 to play in the opening quarter. It was the first touchdown Navy has given up in the first quarter all year.

But the Irish let the Midshipmen pull even on their first drive as Navy went 56 yards on nine plays with Reynolds capping the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 7:32 to play.

The Irish appeared ready to fire right back at the Midshipmen as Jones opened the next drive with a 45-yard reception, but Notre Dame settled for a 26-yard Kyle Brindza field goal after Rees' 8-yard toss to Niklas was too high on third-and-3 from Navy's 8.