PHILADELPHIA – The 119th installment of the Army-Navy game provided another victory for Army as they beat their rivals 17-10 in a game that was more one-sided than the score indicated.
“This is the hardest game to win,” Army Head Coach Jeff Monken said. “It doesn’t matter what your record is, it doesn’t matter who you got playing quarterback.
“It’s just really, really hard to win. You’ve got two really evenly matched teams who play the game as hard and as tough as anybody plays it. There’s just a desperate effort on both teams. It’s hard to describe. And when you win a game like that, I don’t want our guys ever to stop celebrating this one like it’s the very first one.”
The game started off quickly for Army as running back Kell Walker (bottom right) broke a 51-yard run to set up the opening score for quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. Navy could not crack Army’s defense for the first three quarters as they were stopped on every series, turned the ball over three times and were held to just 64 yards of offense.
After Army extended the lead to 10-0 in the third quarter, Navy started to make its push. The Midshipmen scored their only touchdown of the day on a one-yard run from quarterback Garret Lewis to cut the lead to 10-7 midway through the final quarter.
However, that was short lived as Army forced their fourth turnover of the afternoon and put the game away for good on Hopkins Jr.’s second score of the day. Navy added a late field goal with 29 seconds remaining but failed to recover the onside kick for a chance to tie the game.
“For our seniors, to come in here and go 2-10 as freshmen, and be sitting here as seniors, 10-2, is something they can look back at and be really proud of,” Monken said after the game. “They’ve won 28 games in the last three years, that’s the most in school history. Back-to-back 10-win seasons, never been done in school history. Playing in a third-straight bowl game, never been done in school history. This senior class has a really cool legacy that they’re leaving.”
Army has defeated Navy the past three seasons and keeps the highly coveted Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the second straight year. It marks the first time in the Army’s history that it has won the trophy twice in a row. The Knights have won it just three times over the past 23 years. The three-game winning streak is Army’s longest since the 1992-1996 seasons.