Bryson Daily passed for a touchdown, Kalib Fortner scored a key defensive TD and the defense had a decisive goal-line stand to help Army defeat Navy 17-11 on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass.
Army (6-6), which topped Air Force earlier this season, secured its first Commander-in-Chief’s trophy since 2020 by defeating Navy (5-7).
A dramatic finish saw the Midshipmen drive to the Army 2-yard line before Dre Miller stopped Navy quarterback Tai Lavatai just short of the end zone on fourth-and-goal with three seconds left. Army took a safety on the final play of the game.
Navy outgained Army 309-259, but the Black Knights scored 14 points off two Midshipmen turnovers. With Navy driving and showing a spark under its reserve quarterback, Lavatai, Fortner strip-sacked Lavatai, grabbed the ball on one bounce and sprinted for a 44-yard touchdown to give Army a 17-3 lead with 4:49 to go.
That play helped offset Navy’s response on the ensuing possession — a 14-yard touchdown pass from Lavatai to Jayden Umbarger with 2:47 remaining. Navy’s two-point conversion attempt was no good.
Navy got the ball back without any timeouts and promptly moved downfield. Lavatai finished 16-of-26 through the air for 179 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 74 yards. Umbarger had six catches for 75 yards.
Army scored the first TD on a four-yard pass from Daily to Tyson Riley with 6:32 remaining in the first quarter.
Kanye Udoh rushed for 88 yards on 13 carries to lead the Army ground game. Daily added 84 yards on 27 carries and was 7-for-14 passing for 54 yards. Casey Reynolds was the Black Knights’ top receiver with three catches for 32 yards.
The Midshipmen averted potential disaster with 2:53 to play in the third quarter. Leading 10-0, Army seemingly recovered its own punt inside the Navy 10-yard line after the ball appeared to hit Navy returner Amin Hassan on the left cleat. However, a lengthy replay review upheld the initial ruling that the ball missed Hassan and the Black Knights Ay’Jaun Marshall downed it at the 11.
Navy took advantage, moving 70 yards on 12 plays to set up a 37-yard Nathan Kirkwood field goal with 12:45 to play in the game. After the Midshipmen attempted just five passes on their first six possessions, Lavatai was 4-for-6 for 36 yards through the air on the drive.
Xavier Arline threw an interception and gained just six yards on five carries before yielding to Lavatai.
–Field Level Media