BY: JEFF SCHNEBERK
The Army–Navy Game is an American college football rivalry game between the teams of the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, New York and the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland. The USMA team, “Army”, and the USNA team, “Navy”, each represent their services’ oldest officer commissioning sources. As such, the game has come to embody the spirit of the interservice rivalry of the United States Armed Forces. Though not intentional, the game, in recent years, has marked the end of the college football regular season.
FOR THE past 16 weeks or so, Saturday afternoon television has been dominated by as many as 20 games from around the NCAA Div 1-II football circuit.
Except for yesterday.
Lincoln Financial field was the site of one of the first snowstorms I have seen this winter in NCAA football. It probably effected one team a lot more than the other team. The Navy walked all over their Army counterparts, scoring points in all four quarters en route to a 34-7 victory.
Keenan Reynolds, Navy QB also set an NCAA TD record, dashing through the snow and marching right into the league record book, he ran for 136 yards and scored three touchdowns. It was Navy’s 12th straight win in the Army vs Navy series.
“It’s hard to beat anybody 12 times in a row,” coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “But to beat your rivals, I’m very proud of them.”
Reynolds scored on runs of 47 yards, 11 yards and 1 yard. The sophomore has 29 rushing touchdowns, breaking the single-season mark for a quarterback previously held by Ricky Dobbs (Navy, 2009) and Collin Klein (Kansas State, 2011), both of whom had 27.
“Coming into the game, I wasn’t too concerned about the record. If I broke it, I broke it. If not, oh well,” Reynolds said. “My main concern was trying to get the W. If that involved me getting zero touchdowns and everyone else having a field day, I was good with that.”
It didn’t work that way at all. Reynolds ran 30 times for on a frozen, snow-covered field. He also caught a 2-point conversion pass on a trick play following his second touchdown.
Navy (8-4) won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the second consecutive season and ninth time in 11 years. The trophy is awarded to the service academy with the most victories in games between Navy, Army and Air Force.
The Midshipmen haven’t lost to Army since 2001 and lead the series 58-49-7. Navy’s 12-game run is the longest in the history of the rivalry that began in 1890.
Army (3-9) fumbled five times and was intercepted once in its fifth straight defeat. Embattled coach Rich Ellerson fell to 0-5 against the Midshipmen and 20-41 overall since taking the job in December 2008.
“You turn the ball over against a good football team, you give up big plays on defense, you take some big hits in the penalty game against a good football team, don’t be surprised if the score gets upside down,” Ellerson said.