The 123rd game in the historic Army vs Navy rivalry came down to a game-winning field goal in double overtime. A game that was a defensive battle through four quarters led to two first-play touchdowns from each team in the first overtime. After a fumble from Navy’s Anton Hall Jr. at the two-yard line, Army was able to capitalize with a game-winning 39-yard field goal from Quinn Maretkzi. Army took the 90th game in Philadelphia 20-17.
“I’m proud of our guys for the way we finished. We kept fighting and battling all game,” Head Coach Jeff Monken said. “I can’t say enough about this team and the fight they have in them. It was a game like no other, and so glad to find a way to win, ‘Beat Navy'”.
Going into halftime, Army led 7-3 but the statistics told a different story. Army only had 33 rushing yards and did not have a single completion through the air. Freshman Noah Short was able to block a punt and fellow freshman Jabril Williams was able to recover the ball in the end zone to give Army some momentum going into halftime.
Navy was able to rush for 111 yards going into halftime but struggled each time when they got into Army territory. They also did not have a completion in the first half.
Coming out of halftime both teams could not get much going on their first possessions. After getting a 40-yard touchdown called back for Army on a block in the back, Navy capitalized after forcing a punt. Anton Hall Jr. took a run up the middle 77 yards to the end zone on the first play.
It was a huge play for the running back who was benched earlier in the season due to ball security issues. It was also the longest play from scrimmage in the rivalry’s history.
With under two minutes in the fourth quarter, Quinn Maretzki was able to make a 37-yard field goal to tie the game up at 10-10. The junior missed a similar kick earlier in the season against Troy University which was a 42-yard kick on the left hash that missed wide right. Maretzki was able to make the most out of his opportunity this time to force overtime.
Overtime had a much different feel than the rest of the game. Army was able to score on a 25-yard touchdown run from Markel Johnson on the first play in overtime to take the lead.
Navy answered immediately with a touchdown of their own when Xavier Arline connected with Maquel Haywood, which was Navy’s first completion of the game.
After what looked like another scoring drive in the making by Navy it ended when Hall Jr. fumbled at the two-yard line. Army was able to punch the ball out and recover which inevitably resulted in the game-winning field goal from the leg of Maretzki.
“The energy was immaculate. We send the seniors out with a win,” Markel Johnson said. “This was a big statement game. We didn’t let adversity control the game.”
Army showed fight in them till the very end and deserved to come out on top. Every year each team knows the magnitude of this historic game and Army was able to come out on top in Philadelphia today.
Leo Lowin led the Army defense with 16 tackles and was proud of his team after the win.
“It’s surreal, phenomenal feeling. I’m so happy for this team. Bend but don’t break,” Lowin said.
Navy still leads the rivalry with a record of 62-54-7.
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