On December 10th, College Gameday aired from Annapolis, Maryland, hosting one of the most storied rivalries in college football: America’s Game. For the first time since 2001, the Black Nights from Westpoint came out on top in the annual showdown of Army and Navy.
Army came out running shutting out the Midshipmen on defense and scoring twice before the halftime buzzer. Andy Davidson had two one yard touchdown runs for Army. The Black Nights averaged 154 rushing yards per game coming in to the matchup. On December 10th, they put up 182 in the first half. Navy however, threw an interception and had one fumble. They also settled for two punts. Army lead 14-0 at intermission.
The second half was different. With President elect Donald Trump looking on, Army blew a 14-0 lead starting with a fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw 52 seconds into the half. Navy QB Zach Abey ran one yard for a touchdown and kicker Bennett Moehring kicked a 28 yard field goal after a punt from the Black Knights. An Army punt and a Navy run by Abey for 41 yards put the Midshipmen up 17-14 with 12 minutes left on the clock. Thanks to the Black Knights running backs, Army put up another touchdown after a six minute drive. They led 17-14 with six minutes left in regulation. With plenty of time left for Navy to score, Army’s defense forced a three-and-out for Navy handing them their 2nd straight loss and Army’s 7th win of the season.
Army led the stat sheet with a total of 351 yards versus Navy’s 201. 316 of Army’s 351 yards came from rushing. Army’s Andy Davidson finished with a total of 87 yards and two touchdowns. Navy’s third-string quarterback Zach Abey, playing in place of injured Will Worth, led Navy rushing with 89 yards and both of Navy’s touchdowns. “I take a lot of responsibility for the game,” said Abey, “Obviously, in the first half I made some bad decisions.”
Although having a rough end to the regular season, Navy will have to hit the practice field as they will make their 13th bowl appearance in the last 14 years facing Louisiana Tech in the Armed Forces Bowl. Army will meet the Mean green of North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on December 27th.