Army and Navy took the field for annual bragging rights on Saturday in Philadelphia. On December 12, 2015, Army and Navy met for the 116th time, and for the 14th game in a row. This is the Army-Navy game, or “America’s Game,” as it's known to its sponsors.
The win for Navy was the 14th straight over Army, continuing to add on to the longest winning streak by either academy in the long historic rivalry series. Army’s last victory over the Midshipmen came in 2001.
With this being one of the better Navy teams coached by Ken Niumatalolo, this was no blowout. In fact, Navy had to hang on for the win as Army hung around and forced Navy to punt the ball enough times to keep hope alive of ending the losing streak against Navy. Army tried dipping into the trick play book by having DeAndre Bell unload on a deep pass down toward the end zone, but Navy’s Daiquan Thomasson got enough air to snag the football to kill what looked to be a promising drive by Army in the final minutes. It was a play that would have been praised for years to come by Army fans. Instead, it is added to a long and growing list of moments of misfortune for the long-suffering Army fans. Navy’s offense was forced to punt the ball away from their own nine-yard line, giving Army one more chance. Two incomplete passes by Kelvin White fell incomplete though and time expired.
Despite the success of Navy this season, Army always tends to bring their best performance of the season against their rivals from Annapolis. Army quarterback Chris Carter connected on some big gains with Edgar Poe to keep Army in the game, and at times in front on the scoreboard. The problem was every time Army made something happen, Navy seemed to strike right back with big plays of their own. One time, in particular, Army did it to themselves. In the fourth quarter, a promising looking drive crossed midfield only to see a fumbled snap be recovered by Navy with eight and a half minutes to play. That allowed Navy an opportunity to run some clock with a four-point lead.
Fans of both Army and Navy say while the rivalry is intense, there's a mutual respect that goes along with the military competition. And that's one of the best parts of the Army-Navy tradition.
(Article courtesy of NBC Sports)
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