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Football

Army Beats Navy 15-0 in 121st Army-Navy Game presented by USAA

WEST POINT, N.Y. – For the first time since 1969, the Army football team shut out Navy, 15-0, in a historic game on Michie Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
 
For the first time since 1943, the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA was played at Michie Stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions placed on gatherings in its originally-planned location, Philadelphia.
 
In front of approximately 12,722 fans, 8,800 of them the Corps of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen, Army shut out the Midshipmen for the first time since a 27-0 victory on Nov. 29, 1969.
 
In the shutout, the defense held Navy to just 117 yards of total offense on 42 plays. They rushed for just 108 yards on 35 attempts and passed for nine yards on 1-for-7 passing. Senior captain Amadeo West led the way with a career-high nine tackles, a number also matched by fellow linebacker, junior Arik Smith.
 
The Army offense won the time-of-possession battle, 35:16 to 24:22 and collected 162 total yards on 54 plays, with 134 rushing yards and 28 passing. Quarterback Tyhier Tyler scored his second-career touchdown and rushed for 96 yards on 26 carries.
 
A foggy afternoon at Michie Stadium, the Black Knights got on the board first, as freshman kicker Quinn Maretzki nailed a 37-yard field goal attempt with 12:41 left in the second quarter to get on the board first.
 
With neither team generating much offense in the first half, Maretzki missed a 38-yard field goal with 1:41 left in the half after a botched snap, but the Black Knights took their 3-0 lead into the half.
 
At the half the Black Knights held the Mids to just 52 rushing yards on 18 carries and 0 passing yards. The Black Knights nearly identical, 52 rushing yards on 23 carries and 28 passing yards.
 
Navy's first drive of the third quarter really turned the tide for the Black Knights, as a huge defensive goal line stand saw the Mids turn the ball over on downs from the Army one-yard line. Cedric Cunningham made a touchdown-saving play, as he stopped a 52-yard Xavier Arline rush that gave the Mids first and 10 from the Army two-yard line. From there West and Nick Stokes stopped Nelson Smith short with a one-yard gain to the Army one-yard line. Next play Arik Smith stopped Nelson for a loss of one. After a timeout, Jon Rhattigan made a huge stop on Arline just a yard shy, setting up fourth and goal from the one-yard line. West and Marquel Broughton stopped Smith for no gain and the ball was turned over on downs.
 
Then on the first drive of the fourth quarter, Tyler delivered the first touchdown of the day for either side as a four-yard rush plus Maretzki's extra point made it 10-0, Black Knights.
 
The defense came up big once again, as Daryan McDonald tackled Navy's Mark Walker for a loss of 14 yards on a second-and-10 play, giving the Black Knights a safety to make it 12-0.
 
The fourth quarter continued to be all Black Knights, as Maretzki added his second field goal of the day, this one a 40-yard strike to push the lead to 15-0 with 2:20 left.
 
That 15-0 lead would hold true and the Black Knights snapped the one-game losing streak to their rival and have won four-of-the-last-five matchups between the two academies.
 
NOTES
• This marked the first since 1943 that the Army-Navy Game, pre- sented by USAA, was played at Michie Stadium. The only other two years the game had been played at West Point were 1890 (first all- time meeting) and 1892 (third meeting). Both of those games were played on The Plain. This was Army's first win at home.
• President Donald Trump was in attendance for the Army-Navy game for the third consecutive year. This was the fourth time that Trump attended the game as he was also at the 2016 contest.
• The Black Knights have won four of the last five meetings between the two service academies.
• Army is now 8-2 on season and 7-0 at home.
• This was the first time since Nov. 29, 1969, that Army shutout Navy. The Cadets won that game 27-0 in Philadelphia, Pa.
• The game marks Army's 10th all-time shutout in the series.
• After allowing a 52-yard run on Navy's opening possession which put Navy at the 2-yard line, Army made a strong defensive stand and forced a turnover on downs.
• In total, there were just five first downs in the first half. Army had three, while Navy had two.
• Navy was again held to just two first downs in the second half.
• Army recorded its first safety since Richard Glover had a tackle in the end zone vs. Wake Forest on Sept. 21, 2013.
• The Black Knights told the brave story of the soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division during the Korean War. The Tropic Lightning Di- vision served with speed and fast strike precision as their motto symbolizes.
 
QUOTES
LB Jon Rhattigan
(Ref.: On the goal line stand)
"The goal line stand was something else. We did it a few weeks ago against Cincinnati so when it got down to it, I think everyone believed that we were going to keep them out of the end zone. Even when they get to the one-yard line, we're going to stuff them, we're going to defend that end zone. I feel very proud to be a part of this defense. Everyone went out there and did their 1/11th and I'm very thankful for this win."
 
DB Cedrick Cunningham Jr.
(Ref.: on two big defensive plays of the game) 
"On the long run, I was just thinking to get him down. I knew if we got him down, we'd have a chance to stop them. On the fumble, I was the pitch player, so I was just slow playing it and then once the opportunity presented itself, I just hit the slot and tried to make the play."  
 
Quinn Maretzki
(Ref.: On what it was like to make an important contribution with two field goals)
"It's awesome. Coming in as a freshman you never really expect to be in this position, but it's amazing to experience such a big game. I've had some awesome support from the coaches and all the players. I'm just grateful to be able to come through in those moments."
 
 
NEXT UP
The Black Knights will welcome Air Force to Michie Stadium in back-to-back CIC games as the Falcons are set to visit Michie Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be televised live on CBS Sports Net.
 
Both the Black Knights and Falcons are 1-1 in CIC games this year and next weekend's contest sets things up for a winner-takes-the-CIC Trophy scenario.