Instant Replay: Navy 17, Army 13
For the eighth time in the last 10 years, the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy is heading to Annapolis.
Thanks to an eight-yard Keenan Reynolds touchdown run with 4:41 remaining in the fourth quarter, Navy topped Army, 17-13, Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field in the schools' 113th meeting. The Navy victory extends the Midshipmen's win streak over the Black Knights to 11 games and moves the all-time series record to 57-49-7 in Navy's favor.
It also improves Navy to 8-4 this season. The Middies are set to meet Arizona State in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29. Army, meanwhile, ends its 2012 campaign 2-10.
Saturday marked the first time the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, awarded annually to the winner of the Army-Navy-Air Force series, was actually on the line in the Army-Navy game.Turning point
After failing to score for the first 22 minutes and 19 seconds of the second half, Reynolds, Navy's true freshman quarterback and the game's MVP, led a seven-play, 80-yard drive to put his team ahead, 17-13, with less than five minutes to play. The drive was highlighted by a 49-yard Reynolds completion to wide receiver Brandon Turner down the right sideline and capped off by an eight-yard Reynolds run into the end zone.
Army immediately went 70 yards on 11 plays in an attempt to regain the lead, but on 1st-and-10 from the Navy 14 with 1:04 to play, Black Knights running back Larry Dixon fumbled on a one-yard run, giving the ball back to Navy for good.Big cadets on campus
Navy's Reynolds finished the game with 130 yards on 10-for-17 passing. He added 40 yards and the game-winning score on the ground.
Midshipmen running back Noah Copeland led Navy with 98 rushing yards and scored his team's only other touchdown.
Army running back and West Catholic High School product Raymond Maples was the game's leading rusher, going for 153 yards on 26 carries.
Black Knights quarterback Trent Steelman's 11-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the 17th rushing score of his Army career. He leaves West Point tied with Carlton Jones, who rushed for 17 in 2004, for the academy's single-season record. Steelman also graduates with a program-record 45 rushing touchdowns.Turnovers doom Army
Army had two drives stall inside the Navy 35 in the first half that cost the Black Knights control of the game.
On its first possession, Army started from its own 23 and went 45 yards on seven plays, setting up a 4th-and-5 on the Navy 32. Steelman managed a four-yard rush but fell one yard short of the marker, forfeiting the ball to Navy on downs and leaving Army without points.
Two possessions later, Steelman completed a pass to Maples, who fumbled on the Navy 32 after a hit from Midshipmen linebacker Josh Tate. Tate recovered his own forced fumble.
The Black Knights fumbled five times in all, losing three of them, including Dixon's giveaway on their final drive. They averaged 2.7 fumbles per game heading into Saturday and turned the ball over four times by the end of the game.Army-Navy in Philly
Of the 113 Army-Navy games, 84 have been played in Philadelphia. Of those 84, 41 were staged at JFK Stadium (earlier called Municipal Stadium), 18 at Franklin Field, 17 at Veterans Stadium and eight at Lincoln Financial Field. The first game in Philadelphia on Dec. 2, 1899 at Municipal Stadium was only the fifth in the all-time series and resulted in a 17-15 Army win.
Prior to Saturday's game, a video package set to DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford's "Gonna Fly Now" spliced old footage of previous Army-Navy games, former presidents who have attended the games and, of course, Rocky.
New York City has hosted the second-most Army-Navy games (10), but the Black Knights and Midshipmen have not played there since a 17-7 Army win at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 12, 1931.
Navy leads the Philadelphia series, 42-38-4.Different kind of stunt
Shortly before kickoff and immediately following the National Anthem, the sellout crowd of 69,607 held cards over their faces that had been placed in their seats before the game.
The red, white and blue cards covered sections of the stadium in red and white stripes and colored others blue with white stars. Signs across the top section of Lincoln Financial Field spelled out, "America's Game."Veep
Vice President Joe Biden was in attendance Saturday and took to the field before kickoff for the National Anthem and pregame prayer. He was escorted from the Army sideline to the Navy sideline at the half. Cadets from from both academies lined the way.Next up
Navy is scheduled to meet Arizona State in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Francisco.
Army will kick off its 2013 season when it hosts Morgan State at West Point on Aug. 31.
The 2013 Army-Navy game is scheduled for Dec. 14 at Lincoln Financial Field.E-mail Nick Menta at firstname.lastname@example.org