In 122 meetings between Army and Navy, only four contests have been decided by a single point. The most recent came on this day five years ago.
After taking the lead on a long time-consuming drive, the contest was ultimately decided by a missed field goal. Army topped Navy on a snow-covered field, 14-13.
Setting the Stage
Army was 8-3 as it arrived at Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 9, 2017. The Black Knights had snapped a 14-game losing streak to Navy with a 21-17 victory the year prior.
Navy came in with a record of 6-5 and had lost consecutive games. Against Army, however, the Midshipmen led most of the way.
Missed Field Goal Preserves Army Victory
Through three quarters, Navy held a 13-7 lead. In the final period, both teams had long drives. Only one, however, resulted in points.
Army hadn’t scored since the opening drive as it began at its own 35-yard-line with just under 13 minutes remaining. Quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball nine times during what would be a 13-play, 65-yard drive. His 1-yard touchdown run with 5:10 remaining put Army ahead for good, 14-13.
Navy began its final possession at its own 35. The march took 12 plays and went 34 yards.
After Malcolm Perry ran for 12 yards to convert a fourth down and put the Midshipmen into field goal range, two false start penalties complicated matters. With three seconds left, Bennett Moehring was sent on to try the game-winning field goal.
Moehring was 2-for-2 to that point in the game, but his kick sailed left at the last minute. Army had prevailed.
The teams combined for just 22 passing yards. Perry rushed for 250 yards and Navy’s lone touchdown in the loss. Bradshaw led a more balanced Army rushing attack with 94 yards. Darnell Woolfolk added 57 yards rushing for the Black Knights and the game’s first touchdown.
Box score and recap:
Navy would bounce back from the heartbreaking loss to rout Virginia in the Military Bowl 49-7 to finish with a winning season. Army also went out on top with a 42-35 win over San Diego State in the Armed Forces Bowl.
As Army and Navy get set to take the field on Saturday in Philadelphia, the Midshipmen have the most recent victory in the series and have won two of the last three. Navy is 16-4 in the series, dating back to 2002.
As for the Black Knights, the 1-point victory to cap the 2017 regular season marked the first time since 1995 and 1996 that they beat Navy in consecutive seasons and gave Army the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. That win came on this day five years ago.
Featured image courtesy of Army athletics
Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.