Just over a year ago, Navy and Army came together at the M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, and then they left…with the Midshipmen smiling just a pinch bigger. In fact, for the five years preceding the 2007 Army-Navy game, the Midshipmen had consistently taken the wins. This year, at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Black Knights hope to do something about their numbers. Navy wishes to maintain their own.
Broadcast on CBS, the 109th meeting between the two services academies began with President George W. Bush walking onto the field, doing some half-spirited kick of the ball (the kind where he decided spontaneously to kick it and thus wasn’t able to send that pigksin really sailing), and participating in the coin toss. In one of the close-ups of the President’s face, I couldn’t help but notice that he appeared saddened.
The first quarter began with a sixty-five yard rushing touchdown by Navy running back Shun White. Midshipmen 7 and Black Knights 0. Kyle Delahooke, punter for Navy, encountered a wonky snap about halfway through the first quarter. He was, however, able to scramble to the end zone, retrieve the ball and punt it away anyway. Navy increased their score with a field goal when they got the ball back. Shun White made another TD for Navy in the bottom of the second quarter. Midshipmen 17 and Black Knights 0. Black Knight running back Patrick Mealy returned the ball for sixty-three yards and got to the Navy 27 yard line. It was a pretty great run. Mealy was able to wiggle away the path of three (?) clusters of Midshipmen.
The third quarter rippled to just past the half when Navy fullback Eric Kettani got into the end zone. Midshipmen 24 and Black Knights 0. The fourth quarter began with a Navy field goal. Midshipmen 27 and Black Knights 0. With Fewer than one minute on the game clock, Navy linebacker Ram Vela intercepted Army quarterback Chip Bowden’s pass and then ran sixty-seven yards into the end zone.
Five out of five dentists agree. Navy did it again. The Midshipmen beat the Black Knights 34 to 0. Qu’est-ce qui ce passe avec Les Chevaliers Noirs? 1978 was the last time that Army didn’t put any numbers on the board.
Observations & Miscellania:
2. A pre-game montage that introduced two players (both fullbacks I believe), one from each team, that reiterated the American-ness of not just the game of football but also the individuals playing it here.
3. Both teams donned new uniforms. The Black Knights wore black jerseys and socks, and camouflage pants and helmets. The words “Duty, Honor, Country” were on the backs of their jerseys, just above the numbers (also camouflage). The Midshipmen wore something more akin to the San Francisco Chargers in terms of color combination/juxtaposition.
4. 1890 was the first year of the Army-Navy game. Navy won that lollipop sucker 24 to 0.
5. Corey Johnson, outside linebacker for Navy, spent three years playing a point guard in basketball and then switched to football.
6. As per tradition, both teams gathered together on the field and listened to the each school’s bands play their own school song. The Army first and the Navy second. What a sight to see.
Get game summary, stats, and play- by-play here.