Navy bests archrival Army for 13 straight win in 115th game of storied rivalry

Baltimore (December 13) – The Midshipman of Navy (7-5) took the 115th edition of its storied rivalry against archrival Army, 17-10, for their 13th consecutive win in the series. The Mids now lead Army all time, 59-49-7, and continue the longest win streak in the rivalry started in 1890. The second longest win streak in the series is shared between both at five. The two rivals mirror each other in play calling and in the triple option offense. Had you exchanged uniforms between the two teams, it would have been difficult to tell which team was which. Both squads are coached by former fellow assistant coaches who met each other 25 years ago at the University of Hawaii learning the triple option under former Hawaii and Navy mentor Paul Johnson, who continues to run the same attack at Georgia Tech. With the Navy victory, HC Ken Niumatalolo became the winningest HC in Navy football history with his 56th win in seven seasons (56-35). Navy QB Keenan Reynolds led his team to the win with a touchdown run and a touchdown pass. The game was hard-fought as usual. Guest Game Analyst (GGA) Frank Scarpa contributed heavily to the review of the game below as both teams used similar offensive strategies throughout the game played in front of 70, 935 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Josh Jenkins returns opening kickoff against Navy to the Army 23.

Josh Jenkins returns opening kickoff against Navy to the Army 23.

Following the kickoff to Army: run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run. Army’s DB Josh Jenkins blocked Navy’s punt and WR Xavier Moss picked it of the surface and ran it over the goal line from seven yards away to give Army a 7-0 lead. The Corps of Cadets exploded and wished the game was over right then and there to end their long drought in the rivalry. Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run. End of first period.

Run, run, run, run, run, run run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run. Navy passed for 34 yards. Run. Pass for 12 yards. Run, run. QB Keenan Reynolds ( 26 carries for 100 yards rushing, 6 of 8 passing for 77 yards and one TD) fired a low strike into the end zones to WR Jamir Tillman who turned to catch the ball at his knees for a nine-yard touchdown reception to tie the score , 7-7, with 18 seconds left in the half. Army’s O had not yet recorded one passing yard at the end of the half.

Navy FB Chris Swain (37) gains yardage against Army defenders.

Navy FB Chris Swain (37) gains yardage against Army defenders.

Navy’s Drum & Bugle Corps performed celebrating its 100th anniversary since its formation. Prior to the kickoff to start the game, Navy Leap Frogs and Army Gold Knights parachuted on to the M&T turf with the traditional game balls. Soon after, flyovers were performed by Army Apache helicopters and Navy YF16s. It was awesome as usual to feel and see the power and dedication of our armed services that protect our freedom. Go Navy! Go Army!

Navy had deferred to receive the opening kickoff in the second half and it paid off as Ryan Williams returned the ball 41 yards to the 50. Run, run, run, run, run, run, run. Navy’s Austin Grebe made good on a 45-yard FG to give Navy a 10-7 lead. Run, run, run, run, run, pass, run, run, run, pass, run, run, run. End of third period.

Army Golden Knights descend into M&T Bank Stadium.

Army Golden Knights descend into M&T Bank Stadium.

Army Apache Helos fly over M&T prior to kickoff.

Army Apache Helos fly over M&T prior to kickoff.

Run, run, run, run, run. Navy scored on a one-yard keeper by Reynolds who will continue to build on his record breaking career mark for rushing TDs by a quarterback as he finishes up his junior season with one more game to play this season. The play was reviewed and confirmed, but how the side judge who signaled for the touchdown ever saw the ball cross the plane, we’ll never know.

Somehow under this pile, Keenan Reynolds crossed the goal line to give Navy a 17-7 lead.

Somehow under this pile, Keenan Reynolds crossed the goal line to give Navy a 17-7 lead.

Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, and fumble by Army. Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, and fumble by Navy. Army replaced QB Angel Santiago with A.J. Schurr. Pass, run, pass, sack, pass, pass, pass, run, sack. Army Kicker Dan Grochkowski booted a 52-ayrd FG to cut the Navy lead, 17-10. On sides kick – recovered by Navy. A 19-yard run by Reynolds resulted in a first down with less than a minute to play. The Mids went into victory formation. The Brigade celebrated much to the chagrin of the Corps and the two coaches who started their careers together back in 1989 met at midfield and embraced out of respect, mutual admiration, and friendship knowing that they will likely meet under these circumstances again for years to come. The Corps and Brigade joined en masse for the time-honored tradition of singing their respective alma maters. The Mids sang second for the 13th consecutive year. Army HC Jeff Moncken and his staff will go back to work this week to start planning the termination of that streak on December 12, 2015. Army finished its first season under Monck at 4-8. With Navy’s 7-5 record, Ken Niumatalolo takes his staff and team back to Annapolis to get ready for San Diego State (7-5) at the San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl on December 23 at QUALCOMM Stadium. This is Navy’s last season as an FBS Independent. Next season will be its first in the American Athletic Conference in its Western Division. Should the Mids win that division, it may be possible that they will be playing in a championship for their conference one week before their 116th game against Army. That would be different for the Navy football program which, like Army, sometimes has two or three open Saturdays before playing one another in their biggest game of the season.

Mids savor victory singing their alma mater, "The Navy Blue and Gold".

Mids savor victory singing their alma mater, “The Navy Blue and Gold”.

For CFF.com, this game was our 480th since we started this in 1979. It was our 10th Army-Navy game. Navy has won the seven of the ten meetings including the last five we attended (’93, ’96, ’12-‘14). With Christmas fast-approaching, we have our first bye weekend planned to get ready for The Holiday. Two days after Christmas, we will be attending the first of our five bowl games to finish up our 2014 season. On December 27, we will head over to Yankee Stadium for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl between Penn State (6-6) and Boston College (7-5). Check back for our updates and more college football action and musings as we wind down through the bowls we attend right up to the first ever college Football Playoff! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your families!

Navy Leap Frogs enter M&T from above prior to the game.

Navy Leap Frogs enter M&T from above prior to the game.

Navy flyover!

Navy flyover!

 

 

About Steveo

This website is dedicated to my unique and ongoing adventure to continue to see every major Division 1A (I despise the moniker “FBS”) football team play in person at least once. I’ve seen all 124 teams in existence as of 2013 play and plan to attend games with the five newest editions in the next few years. This also records my ongoing adventures attending as many college football games as possible every season. I “officially” started this crazy goal in 1979. The upcoming 2014 season will be the 35th straight year of sharing this fun endeavor with others in person and through weekly reviews about each game I attend. Entering 2014, I have attended 459 NCAA football games at all levels. My book, Tales from the Tailgate: From the Fan who’s seen ’em all! published in 2011, tells my story over 30 years of when I attended a game in person played by each D1A team for the first time. Now, I haven’t attended a game at every major stadium on each campus (yet) because I’d probably be unemployed and definitely divorced by now. However, I’m proud to report that I remain gainfully employed and have been married to the same woman (“Saint Laurie”) for almost 25 years. We have two kids that have recently ventured away from our home in Byram Township, NJ over the last few few years. Our daughter Alex is a junior at the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!), and our son Eric is now enlisted in the United States Navy (Go Navy!). You will find that my site and my book focus on enjoying a passion for college football and great opportunities to have fun with friends and family around the country.

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