For the first time in more than two decades, Army has the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy and a winning streak against Navy.
Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw plunged over the goal line for the winning touchdown from one yard out with 5:10 to go as Army defeated Navy, 14-13, at snowy Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia Saturday.
Malcolm Perry, who rushed for 250 yards in a gallant effort, drove the Midshipmen down the field and gave them a chance to win the game. But after two false start penalties pushed Navy back ten yards, Bennett Moering’s 48-yard field goal attempt drifted wide to the left at the gun.
The win gives Army back-to-back victories over their ancient rivals for the first time since they won five straight games in the series between 1992 and 1996.
Army scored on their first and final drives of the game. In between, the Navy defense limited the Black Knights to just 108 yards on their five possessions, forcing four punts and a missed field goal attempt. But they could not hold Army for a sixth time, as Bradshaw led the Black Knights 65 yards on 13 plays.
After Army received the opening kickoff, Bradshaw led them 68 yards in 11 plays. Darnell Woolfolk finished off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run. Navy answered with a 64-yard march before Moering converted the first of his two field goals to make the score 7-3, Army.
The game soon settled into an attritional grind. The swirling snow ensured both offenses would keep to the ground, as the teams combined for just three pass attempts all game. (Navy completed one of two, while Bradshaw completed his only pass for 20 yards in the third quarter.) Army’s all-white uniforms — a nod to the 10th Mountain Division of World War II — served as almost camouflage in the snow.
Perry put Navy up 10-7 in the second quarter with an electrifying 68-yard touchdown run — his third rushing TD of more than 65 yards this season — but the Midshipmen missed a chance to further increase their lead on the first drive of the second half. Perry drove Navy to the Army 6, but could move them no further and Moering hit a 24-yard field goal to make the score 13-7, Midshipmen.
Snow started falling in the late morning on the 29-degree day, leaving a coating on the field. Workers used blowers to uncover the lines and hashmarks during timeouts as a light snow fell throughout. During a timeout before Navy’s final field goal attempt, about 10 players used their feet to clear the steady snow.
The Black Knights’ wins over Navy and Air Force ensure the three-faced Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy will head to the banks of the Hudson River for the first time since the 1996 season, when Army finished 10-2 and ranked in the Top 25 in both national polls.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.