Army tops Navy, 20-17, in first OT game in 123 rivalry games

Danny Wild-USA Today Sports
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PHILADELPHIA – Navy running back Anton Hall Jr. collapsed to the ground and buried his face in his hands. West Point cadets spilled from the stands onto the field and joined Army players who ripped off their helmets and ran around in celebration.

Hall’s push toward the end zone in the second overtime — and first OT game in Army-Navy history — resulted in a fumble that Army recovered. The Black Knights went from potentially playing for a tie to simply playing for a winning score.

“Somehow, the ball got loose and we hit that thing when we needed to,” Army coach Jeff Monken said.

Quinn Maretzki kicked the game-winning 39-yard field goal after he had sent the game into overtime with a 37-yarder late in the fourth quarter and led Army past The Midshipmen 20-17 on Saturday night in the first OT game in the 123 matchups of “America’s Game.”

“It’s obviously a big moment, but I try my best to put that aside,” Maretzki said. “Just being able to block everything out, (my teammates) just made that job so easy for me. So I just had to go out there and not even really think.”

Hall — who earlier raced 77 yards for a TD and 10-7 lead — coughed up the ball as he plunged toward the end zone and stood crestfallen as Maretzki prepared to kick the winner. Hall dropped to the ground as the kick sailed through the uprights and he was consoled by teammate Amin Hassan. But the fullback’s fumble forced by Austin Hill and recovered by defensive lineman Nate Smith will forever be etched on the highlight reel of game-changing plays in the series.

“The game is not lost with him. That could happen to anyone that was carrying the ball on that one play,” Navy QB Xavier Arline said. “They made a good play. That’s football. That’s life. The game was not lost within that one play.”

Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo stood hunched on the sideline and could not stomach to watch the final field goal.

“What do you tell them when you get your heart broken,” Niumatalolo said. “We were in the driver’s seat. We were feeling pretty good. Unfortunately, the game slipped out of our hands.”

The offense was stagnant throughout the game until the waning moments of regulation when Maretzki kicked the 37-yarder with 1:53 left to tie the game at 10-all.

A thrilling overtime followed.

The NCAA instituted overtime in 1996, and the series had never had to go a little extra to settle one of the sport’s greatest rivalry games.

Army’s Markel Johnson ran 25 yards for a touchdown on the first play of overtime for a 17-10 lead, and Navy matched the Black Knights when Arline tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Maquel Haywood that made it 17-all.

It was Navy’s first completion of the game and Arline had perhaps the sweetest 1 of 1 for 25-yard game in Navy history. He also rushed for 102 yards.

Navy still leads the series against Army 62-54-7. The Black Knights, though, have won five of the last seven meetings.

Army finished 6-6; Navy was 4-8.

“This team never stopping fighting, they never stopped believing,” Monken said. “Somehow, some way, we found a way to get it done tonight. It was an epic battle. It was one I’ll remember for a long time, probably forever.”

The teams combined for only 53 yards passing.

One of Cade Ballard‘s rare passing attempts for Army was a success when a pass interference call brought the ball down to the 28 with 4 minutes left on a drive that set up Maretzki’s tying field goal.

Ballard was 2-of-10 passing for 26 yards.

Hall’s run up the middle in the third quarter was the biggest burst of offense of the game for either team — at that point, that run alone had outgained Army’s 69 total yards.

His run was a double gut punch to the Black Knights after QB Tyhier Tyler had a 40-yard touchdown run wiped out on a penalty on the previous possession.

Hall provided one of the few highlights in a game full of wobbly punts, errant throws and a dearth of first downs.

The first spark came in the final seconds of the first half when Army’s Noah Short blocked Riley Riethaman’s punt and Jabril Williams recovered — after almost knocking the ball out of the end zone — for the touchdown and a 7-3 lead.

That bit of excitement in front of a packed house of 69,117 at Lincoln Financial Field just about made up for 29 minutes of two offenses that could not move the ball down field.

The first half ended with 0 passing yards. From both teams. Zero.

That stat of futility wasn’t necessarily uncommon for either program. Navy won two games this season without completing a pass, and Army threw for 852 yards passing – this season. That’s about 2 1/2 games of yardage on the same field for Philadelphia Eagles QB Jalen Hurts.

With points at a premium, Navy sent out Bijan Nichols for a long field goal, and his 44-yarder hugged the inside of the right goal post for a 3-0 lead in the second quarter.

Army finished the half 0-for-5 passing, failed to convert on 5 of 6 third downs and had 33 total yards in the half.

This game is rarely about quality football anyway and more about the pageantry and revelry of cadets and midshipmen standing, bouncing and cheering for their branch. The hours before kickoff were highlighted by the Army Corps of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen march onto the field. The Navy “Leap Frogs” parachute team earned a roar from the crowd with each safe landing on the field. Mark Wahlberg even made an appearance and leaped into a crowd of midshipmen and then received an award for his work with the military.


It was the 90th time the game was played in Philadelphia, including 38 straight times from 1945 to 1982.

The series is hitting the road starting with next season’s game in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The 2024 game is at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland; 2025 is at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore; and 2026 is at MetLife Stadium, the New Jersey home of the Jets and Giants just outside New York City. The game returns to Philly in 2027.

Air Force secures 1st Commander-in-Chief’s trophy since 2016

Commanders' Classic - Army v Air Force
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Brad Roberts carried it 33 times for 135 yards, Camby Goff intercepted a pass with 19 second left and Air Force edged Army 13-7 on Saturday at Globe Life Field for it first Commander-in-Chief’s trophy since 2016.

Air Force was stopped for a loss on a third-and-3 run near midfield with 1:46 left, giving Army a chance at a game-winning touchdown drive. The Black Knights converted one fourth down on the drive, but threw an interception on fourth-and-2 as Goff cut in front of Ay’Jaun Marshall along the Army sideline for his third pick of the season.

The Falcons clinched a record 21st trophy – awarded to the academy with the best record in the round-robin competition.

“It’s a good place for it to be,” Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said about the trophy coming back to Colorado Springs. “Now you have to earn it, it’s not easy to do.”

Haaziq Daniels was 6-of-13 passing for 98 yards with an interception and he carried it 14 times for 89 yards and a touchdown for Air Force (6-3), which also beat Navy 13-10 on Oct. 1.

Daniels’ 17-yard touchdown early in the third quarter gave Air Force a 10-7 lead and Matthew Dapore made his second short field goal to cap the scoring with 12:06 left in the fourth.

Jemel Jones passed for 67 yards and rushed for 37 and a touchdown for Army (3-5).

Army stuns Missouri in Armed Forces Bowl on last-second FG

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FORT WORTH, Texas- Cole Talley kicked a 41-yard field goal as time ran out and Army rallied to beat Missouri 24-22 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Wednesday night.

After the Tigers took a 22-21 lead on a touchdown with 1:11 to play, third-string quarterback Jabari Laws led Army (9-4) downfield to the Missouri 24-yard line, setting up Talley’s game-winner.

Army backup quarterback Tyhier Tyler came on after starter Christian Anderson was injured early in the fourth quarter and threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Walters to give the Black Knights their first lead, 21-16. Anderson and Jakobi Buchanan scored on TD runs of 22 and 10 yards, respectively, for Army.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Brady Cook threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Keke Chism with 71 seconds left to put the Tigers (6-7) ahead, but their two-point conversion attempt failed. Cook also ran for a 30-yard score in his first collegiate start.

Missouri played without second-team All-America running back Tyler Badie, who was held out by coach Eliah Drinkwitz in advance of the NFL draft. Starting quarterback Connor Bazelak was sidelined because of a leg injury.

Cook completed 27 of 34 passes for 238 yards and ran for 53 more.

Buchanan led Army in rushing with 68 yards on 21 carries. Elijah Young was the Tigers’ top rusher with 75 yards on 13 carries.


Missouri: The Tigers began the game short-handed in the secondary and lost multiple players in the first half, leading Army to open up its passing game more than usual in the second half.

Army: The Black Knights’ option offense depends on patience and trust – and delivered at the finish. While only 5 of 14 on third downs, they were 5 for 5 on fourth downs to put themselves in position to win.


Missouri: After the Tigers open at Middle Tennessee State next season, they’ll host former conference rival Kansas State. The season finale against Arkansas will also be at Faurot Field.

Army: The Black Knights won’t face any Power Five teams next season for the first time since 2004 (except for the reworked 2020 schedule). The first two games will be against Group of Five heavyweights Coastal Carolina and UTSA, and the Army-Navy game will return to Philadelphia.