The Navy Midshipmen (9-4) were beaten by the Army Black Knights (7-5) after controlling the rival for 14 consecutive seasons.
This matchup ended in a 21-17 bloodbath in the direction of Army, due to the bruising style of football that they played. Navy was out gained on the ground by a 316-112 margin. The Black Knights were also able to control the time of possession on offense, getting off 74 plays to the Midshipmen’s 36 and holding the ball for just over 40 minutes during the game (40:32)
The Black Knights blew a 14-point lead to the Midshipmen, but quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw scored on a 9-yard run with 6:42 left to seal the deal for Army. The all-time record for the matchup currently stands at 60-50-7, in the direction of Navy.
It was fair to say that Navy was pretty banged up after losing 34-10 to Temple last week in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game. Navy’s sophomore quarterback Zach Abey made his first college start after Will Worth broke his foot against Temple.
Abey made two great touchdown runs, but his turnovers hurt Navy’s chances for the victory. He through two interceptions and Navy turned the ball over four times, three in the first half. At halftime, Army led 14-0.
After halftime, the momentum seemed to swing in the direction of the Midshipmen. Army fullback Andy Davidson lost a fumble on the Black Knights’ first possession of the second half. Navy received the ball at the Army 32 and then the Midshipmen threw a screen for 16 yards. Abey, then would plunge into the endzone for a 1-yard run. The score sat at 14-7.
The Midshipmen would convert a field goal, after the replay concluded that Abey didn’t lose the fumble at the Army 11. 14-10, Army was the score.
Abey would show off his toughness, tenacity and will to win with a 41-yard scamper to the endzone with 12:42 left in the game. Navy now led the game at 17-14, but Army didn’t lose their will to fight.
The Black Knights offense looked magnificent, putting together a 12-play, 80-yard drive that lasted close to seven minutes. Bradshaw ran the ball for paydirt, a put Army on top 21-17 at 6:42 remaining in the game. Army kept the Midshipmen from getting the ball back, after Navy punted.
Bradshaw finished the game, going 2 for 4 on passing for 35 yards and an interception.
Davidson rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Kell Walker also had a good game, carrying the ball 16 times for 94 yards.
When asked about their victory against the Midshipmen, players and coaches alike were ecstatic.
“Surreal,” Army wide receiver Edgar Poe, who is a senior. “It still doesn’t even feel like it’s real.”
“We heard for a long time at West Point about the streak,” Army third-year head coach Jeff Monken said. “It feels good to be part of the team that kind of put that to an end. Interestingly enough, I was in the other locker room when the streak started, so I’m really proud to be on this team to see the streak come to an end.”
Army: The Black Knights will play against North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl which will take place on Tuesday, December 27, 12:00 PM on ESPN. It is Army’s first bowl appearance since 2010.
Navy: The Midshipmen face Louisiana Tech in the Armed Forces Bowl on Friday, December 23, 4:30 PM on ESPN. It is Navy’s 13th bowl appearance in the last 14 years.