PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -The 119th installment of the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA featured a thrilling victory for the Army West Point Black Knights, as they secured the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy for the second consecutive season with a 17-10 win over the Navy Midshipmen.
Controlling the game on both sides of the ball for the majority of the contest, the Black Knights running game - which produced 223 total yards - proved to be too much for the Mids. In addition, interceptions by defensive backs Jaylon McClinton and Mike Reynolds, as well as forced fumbles by McClinton and Kenneth Brinson contributed to a stout performance by Army's defense.
As for Navy, an impressive defensive performance was simply not enough to overcome four turnovers and a plethora of self-inflicted mistakes. The Mids' season-long offensive struggles continued throughout the majority of the contest, as they finished 3-13 on third down and lost the turnover battle 4-0.
Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. racked up 144 total yards from scrimmage to go along with two touchdowns. Defensively, Jaylon McClinton forced two turnovers and led the team in tackles with 9 while linebacker James Nachtigal recorded 8 total tackles.
For the Mids, running back Malcolm Perry rushed for 52 yards on 6 attempts (8.7 average) and a touchdown, while linebacker Taylor Heflin (14 total tackles) and safety Juan Hailey (13 total tackles) led them defensively.
Highlights and Game Notes:
Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. finished the game with two rushing touchdowns and 144 total yards from scrimmage, his sixth game this season scoring two or more touchdowns.
Black Knights defensive back Jaylon McClinton recorded his second interception of the season, and forced a crucial fumble in the third quarter - serving as his ninth career forced turnover.
After last year's contest included only three total passing attempts, both teams made a concerted effort to move the ball through the air. They combined for 26 passing attempts.
Army controlled the time of possession - a common trend for the Black Knights - possessing the ball for 34:21 in comparison to Navy's 25:39.
Navy now leads the series, 60-52-7.
How It Happened:
The Black Knights started the scoring early, taking the opening drive 52 yards on 8 plays to take the 7-0 avantage as Kelvin Hopkins Jr. scored on a 10-yard rush.
With 4:18 left in the first quarter, Army defensive back Jaylon McClinton intercepted a pass from Navy quarterback Zach Abey. However, the Black Knights failed to capitalize after a missed 33-yard field goal by kicker John Abercrombie.
After trading punts throughout the second quarter, the score heading into halftime was 7-0, Army.
Following a three-and-out by the Navy offense to begin the second half, Army pieced together a 14-play, 64-yard drive that resulted in a 33-yard field goal by kicker John Abercrombie to extend the Cadets lead to 10-0.
On the following drive, Army defensive back Mike Reynolds intercepted a pass thrown by Navy quarterback Zach Abey. The Black Knights then went on to turn the ball over on downs.
Following the interception, Army turned the ball over on downs around the ten minute mark in the fourth quarter. Navy proceeded to march down the field before quarterback Garret Lewis fumbled the ball on the Army three yard-line, and the Black Knights recovered.
After Navy forced Army's offense into a three-and-out, quarterback Malcolm Perry's 43-yard rush brought the Mids down the Army 5 yardline. Shortly thereafter, quarterback Garret Lewis rushed for a one yard touchdown, making the score 10-7, Army.
Following a three-and-out by the Black Knights' offense, Navy's last-ditch effort at a game-winning drive was cut short with a strip-sack by defensive lineman Kenneth Brinson.
Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins capitalized on his defenses turnover with a one-yard touchdown run, extending the Cadets lead to 17-7 with 1:28 left in the fourth quarter.
With :29 seconds left, Navy kicker Bennett Moehring nailed a 46-yard field goal to make the score 17-10, Army. Thereafter, a failed onside kick by the Mids sealed the victory for the Black Knights.