Shamrock Classic Dublin – Navy Midshipmen 27 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 54 Box Score and Match Report 2 November 1996

Shamrock Classic 1996 Official Programme
Shamrock Classic 1996 Official Programme [References: 7]

Croke Park, 2 November 1996

Navy Midshipmen 27 Notre Dame Fighting Irish –while this was officially a Navy Home Game, the Midshipmen’s Head Coach said it did not feel like that as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish – the Irish Roman Catholic College in South Bend, Indiana, near Chicago – left the United States of America to play a Football game for only the second time ever. The win for the Irish gave the legendary Lou Holtz – the most successful College Football coach ever – a send-off that was worth remembering in his last year in charge, as he retired at the end of the season.

The Irish coped well with the Midshipmen’s ground game, shutting down Quarterback Ben Fay and Option Quarterback Chris McCoy for almost no yardage eeverytime they kept the ball to run at the Notre Dame defense, even though Navy’s aerial attack was proving successful. After a slow start Marc Edwards ran in from 5 yards out in the first quarter to give Notre Dame the go-ahead score. In the second quarter Pete Chrydlewicz received a toichdown pass from the promising Ron Powlus at Quarterback, a star in College Football circles in the USA, and Autry Denson, the big running back, added one from 33 yards out with 30 seconds to go in the half, as Navy could only manage one score – a run from Omar Nelson – leaving the score 21-7 at the half.

In the second half Renaldo Wynn scored a 24-yard Interception Return off of a long 50-yard pass from the Navy QB to put Notre Dame 28-7 up, a score that the Navy Coach said broke the backs of the Midshipmen. After that Notre Dame put up four more scores – two from Marc Edwards and one each from Autry Denson and Jamie Spencer – as Navy only managed three scores and the game ended 54-27 to Notre Dame.

Commenting after the game Lou Holtz said next time they might seek a Garda Escort as they spent so much time in traffic, saying it was worse even than New York’s, which he thought was bad, and remarked that Irish people must spend half their lives in their cars. Following the win Quarterback Ron Powlus, and Running Back Marc Edwards headed out to Dublin’s main entertainment district, Temple Bar, where they sample Guinness and were mobbed by girls who had travelled over from America to catch the game.

Croke ParkQ1Q2Q3Q4Total
Notre Dame Fighting Irish71454
Navy Midshipmen0727
Navy Midshipmen 27 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 54 Box Score 2 November 1996 [Reference: 1]
1st Quarter
NDFIMarc Edwards 5yd Run7-0
2nd Quarter
NDFIPete Chrydlewicz 14 Pass from Ron Powlus14-0
NMOmar Nelson 5 Run14-7
NDFIAutry Denson 33 Run21-7
2nd Half
NDFIRenaldo Wynn 24 Int Return28-7
NMOmar Nelson 1 Run28-14
NDFIAutry Denson 22 Run35-14
NMSchemm 55 Pass from Ben Fay35-21
NDFIMarc Edwards Run
NDFIMarc Edwards Run
NDFIJamie Spencer Run
NM?? TD54-21
Navy Midshipmen 27 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 54 Box Score 2 November 1996 [Reference: 1]
Navy’s Fullback Omar Nelson #5 being tacked from behind by a Notre Dame defensive player – Shamrock Classic Dublin 2 November 1996 [Reference: 6][Picture Credit: Croke Park Twitter]

Navy Midshipmen Starting Line-Up

11Wide ReceiverAstor Heaven
76Left TackleAlex Domino
69Left GuardJ.D.Gainey
55CenterBrian Drechsler
71Right GuardJeff Smith
70Right TackleScott Zimmermann
84Wide ReceiverLeBron Butts
34SwitchbackPat McGrew
7SwitchbackChris McCoy
8QuarterbackBen Fay
5FullbackOmar Nelson
99Left EndTom Poulter
95Left TackleChad Holzapfel
97Right TackleJason Snider
92Right EndMichael Ogden
51Switch LinebackerClint Bruce
50Middle LinebackerTravis Cooley
29Left CenterSean Andrews
18Strong SafetyAdam Crecion
6Free SafetyGarvy Alota
10Wide SafetyRashad Smith
21Right CenterRobert Green
Navy Midshipmen Line-Up Shamrock Classic 2 November 1996 [Reference: 3]

Notre Dame Fighing Irish Starting Line-Up

18Strong EndCikai Champion
75Left TackleChris Clevenger
76Left GuardJeremy Akers
57CenterRick Kaczenski
79Right GuardMike Rosenthal
73Right TackleMike Doughty
98Tight EndPete Chryplewicz
5Free LinebackerEmmett Mossley
3QuarterbackRon Powlus
44FullbackMarc Edwards
23TailbackAutry Denson
13Outside LinebackerBert Berry
48Left EndRenaldo Wynn
85Nose GuardAntwon Jones
51Right EndMelvin Dansby
4Outside LinebackerKory Minor
6Inside LinebackerLyron Cobbins
2Inside LinebackerKinnon Tatum
15CornerbackAllen Rossum
14CornerbackIvory Covington
39Strong SafetyBenny Guilbeaux
30Free SafetyJarvis Edison
Navy Midshipmen Line-Up Shamrock Classic 2 November 1996 [Reference: 3]

Final Rankings

1Florida Gators
2Ohio State Buckeyes
3Nebraska Cornhuskers
4Florida State Seminoles
5Arizona State Sun Devils
6Colorado Buffaloes
7North Carolina Tar Heels
8Tennessee Volunteers
9Penn State Nittany Lions
10Brigham Young Cougars
11Washington Huskies
12Notre Dame Fighting Irish
13Syracuse Orangemen
14Kansas State Cowboys
15Virginia Tech Hokies
16Alabama Crimson Tide
17Michigan Wolverines
18Iowa Hawkeyes
19Miami Hurricanes
20Louisiana State Tigers
21Wyoming Cowboys
22Southern Mississippi
23Texas Longhorns
24Auburn Tigers
25Army Black Knights
26East Carolina Gamecocks
27Texas Tech Red Raiders
28West Virginia Mountaineers
29Northwestern Wildcats
30Utah Utes
NCAA Football Division 1A 1996 [References: 1]


Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the Irish Roman Catholic College in South Bend, Indiana, near Chicago, finished in 12th place in legendary College Football Coach, Lou Holtz’s last season in charge. The Fighting Irish were not satisfied with the cost/payout relationship in the lesser bowls at the end of the season, and despite numerous invites to Bowl Games, did not take part in any, casting a lull over Holtz’s last year in charge.



[1] Anon. (1997) College Countdown: Bowl Results / Touchdown’s End of season Power Ranknigs Touchdown. February 1997. No. 22. pg. 37


[2] (1996) First Down, No. 543, 9 November 1996, pg. 16-17.

[3] Carl Davidson (1996) Notre Dame First Down, No. 542, 2 November 1996, pg. 16.

[4] Ben Saunders (1996) Navy First Down, No. 542, 2 November 1996, pg. 16.


[5] Croke Park Twitter (2016) Tweet, November 2, 2016: CwSFSI6XEAQV2RM [Internet] Available from:×900 [Accessed 27 October 2020]

[6] Croke Park Twitter (2016) Tweet, November 2, 2016: CwSFSH3WEAAjXL4 [Internet] Available from:×900 [Accessed 27 October 2020]

[7] Shamrock Classic 1996 Official Programme – Authors’ Personal Collection


Thanks to Todd Zboyan, Bart Barden, Rick Kelley and Tim Leadingham

About this document

Researched, compiled and written by Enda Mulcahy for the

Eirball | Irish North American and World Sports Archive

Last Updated: 27 October 2020

(c) Copyright Enda Mulcahy and Eirball 2020

You may quote this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the authors. All Rights Reserved.

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