Thirteen games and counting.
The 115th edition of Army-Navy ended the same way the previous 12 meetings did…with the Midshipmen defeating the Black Knights.
Saturday’s meeting at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, appeared to be a step in the right direction for Army despite a 17-10 loss. It’s the third time in the past four years the game was decided by only one score.
During his first year as Army’s head coach, Jeff Monken put a team on the field that nearly played Navy to a standstill. Army amassed more rushing yards than Navy — the NCAA’s top rushing team — until the final seconds of the game. Navy only had one more first down during the contest. And 50 yards of total offensive separated the two teams.
Army dominated the first quarter and a half. The Black Knights built an early 7-0 lead when wide receiver Xavier Moss returned a block punt seven yards for a touchdown.
In the end, a crucial fourth-down stop with two minutes remaining in the second quarter proved to be the turning point of the game.
After Navy stopped Army quarterback Angel Santiago from gaining one yard, momentum swung in the Midshipmen’s favor and it came courtesy of the right arm of quarterback Keenan Reynolds.
During the ensuing drive, Reynolds was 3-for-3 passing and connected with sophomore wide receiver Jamir Tillman for a nine-yard touchdown with only 18 seconds before halftime.
Reynolds finished the game 6-of-8 passing for 77 yards plus 100 rushing yards. The deciding score came early in the fourth quarter when Reynolds plunged into the end zone for a rushing touchdown.
With the victory, Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo became the first Navy coach to start his career 7-0 against Army, and he passed George Welsh (1973-81) as the winningest coach in Navy history.
The gap may have been closed by Monken and his Black Knights, but the Midshipmen will enjoy another year of bragging rights before Army gets another chance to end the current streak.