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What's Up Magazine

Navy loses third straight to Army after late comeback falls short

Dec 09, 2018 12:48AM ● By Jake Russell
By Jake Russell

Walking into Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday at 3-9, Navy knew it had a chance to make amends on a woeful season by beating its fiercest rival, Army. When these two proud teams meet, records never matter. 

A source of frustration all year, Navy's defense gave fans of the blue and gold reason to be optimistic, putting out its best performance of the season on a bone-chilling cold night. The Midshipmen held Army to just 10 points through 58 minutes of play (a touchdown on the first drive of the game and a field goal on the first drive of the second half).

On the other side of the ball, the Midshipmen offense was a bastion of time-consuming, high-scoring efficiency prior to the 2018 season. Saturday, it remained stagnant against a stout Black Knights defense, not scoring a single point until the middle of the fourth quarter. A one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Garrett Lewis with 7:10 remaining not only prevented the Midshipmen's first goose egg against Army since 1969, it gave the team renewed hope now only down three with plenty of time remaining.

The momentum had swung to Navy's side after forcing a quick Army three-and-out. But, as has been witnessed in many games between these teams, momentum can be fleeting. The Black Knights forced the Mids into a fourth-and-12, which then turned into a sack-fumble of quarterback Zach Abey, giving Army the ball back on Navy's 22-yard line. Army scored on a one-yard touchdown run four plays later to put the game away with 88 seconds to go.

Navy could only muster a field goal on its next (and final) drive. Those three added points helped the Mids avoid being held to single digits by Army for the first time since since 1987 when they fell, 17-3. 

The Black Knights prevailed, 17-10, to extend their winning streak over the Midshipmen to three games, their longest streak since winning five in a row from 1992 to 1996. Seven of the last eight Army-Navy games have been decided by seven points or less, including the last five meetings.

Army (10-2) will finish its season against Navy's conference rival, Houston, in the Armed Forces Bowl on December 22. The win also means Army has won 10 games in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history. It's just the third time Army has won 10 games in a season (1996, 2017, 2018).

Navy (3-10) has no bowl game to play but dates have been set for five games in the 2019 season. The Midshipmen will play Holy Cross at home on August 31, Air Force at home on October 5, its homecoming game (opponent unknown) on October 26, at Notre Dame on November 16 and Army in Philadelphia on December 14.

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Take a look back at all of What's Up? Magazine's photo galleries from this past season of Navy football:

Navy Mounts Late Comeback In Home Opener, Beats Memphis, 22-21
Navy Suffers First Home Loss Of Season Against Surging Temple
Navy Sails Past Lehigh, 51-21
Navy Snaps Seven-Game Losing Streak On Senior Day, Tops Tulsa, 37-29