PHILADELPHIA – Navy can hook an anchor to the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy and bring it to Annapolis.
Keenan Reynolds extended Navy’s dominance against Army, scoring the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter in a 17-13 victory in the 113th rivalry game Saturday.
Navy (8-4) beat Army for the 11th straight time and won the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies. Army and Navy each beat Air Force, putting the prestigious trophy up for grabs in the regular-season finale for the first time since 2005.
“It means everything,” Navy Coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “That’s our No. 1 goal, to get the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. I’m just so happy for these guys.”
Army (2-10) hasn’t hoisted the CIC trophy since 1996.
The Black Knights came close, but Navy recovered a late fumble, and Reynolds’ 8-yard rushing score made it 17-13.
In front of 69,607 fans and Vice President Joe Biden at Lincoln Financial Field, Navy caught a break when Army missed a late field-goal attempt.
Reynolds quickly found Brandon Turner down the sideline for a 49-yard gain. Reynolds then escaped a rush and followed with the 8-yard touchdown run with 4:41 left in the game.
Unlike previous games over the last decade, the Black Knights were in this one until the final drive. Army drove to the 14 before fullback Larry Dixon fumbled on a sloppy exchange. Navy recovered, and the Midshipmen went wild and rushed the field.
Navy now leads the series, 57-49-7.
After a scoreless first quarter, Army and Navy swapped rushing TDs in the second. Navy fullback Noah Copeland plowed straight up the middle for a 12-yard score. Trent Steelman matched him with an 11-yarder for his program-tying 17th TD run of the season.
“I feel like we deserved that game in every way possible but it just didn’t happen,” Steelman said. “We were wearing them down and there was nothing that was going to stop us. But that’s life.”