Army and Navy got together for an afternoon of football this past Saturday @ Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. It was the 118th time the two institutions have played.
For 364 1/2 days of every year, the Army Black Knights and the Midshipman of Navy are brothers in arms. Ready to go into battle side-by-side to defend America's freedom. However, on the 1/2 day that falls every year on a Saturday in December, they prefer to pound each other into the turf. The perennial war cry of "Beat Army" or "Beat Navy" takes center stage.
This year was different as Army had snapped Navy's 15 year winning streak in 2016 and had something to prove. They would show it wasn't a fluke, but rather a changing of the guard. The pride & dignity of the Army West Point football program has never wavered and confidence was running wild. The world was going to watch them sing second again after 60 minutes of football. Two in a row... a new era.
There was almost as much pressure on winning this year as last. Luck had no factor in 2016 and the Cadets were out to prove their point.
The only major difference this year? Snow in the forecast. Some might argue this helps Army. However, if you think about it... both schools run a triple option offense. Thus, no real advantage to either program.
Surprisingly, the game was played with zero turnovers. Pretty remarkable... considering the 3-5 inches of snow that fell in the Philly area. Neither offense coughed up the ball. And, neither defense forced a turnover. A disciplined day of football.
It seemed fitting after 59 minutes of ground & pound or more appropriately, "3 yards and a cloud of fluff" a Navy field goal could win the game with seconds remaining. However, two penalties turned a fairly routine kick into an extremely difficult (and unlikely) 48 yard attempt.
The ball sailed just left of the uprights and the Army celebration began.
Army defeated Navy 14-13 to keep the streak alive... 2 and counting. Folks will remember this game for a long, long time... the weather, Army's white uniforms celebrating the famed 10th mountain division and of course the missed field goal.
Another year of Army/Navy football comes to a close. America's Game captivated a nation for one Saturday afternoon and another page was added to the glorious historic rivalry.