It seems like Army cannot catch a break against Navy. Army surrendered three turnovers and for the fourteenth straight game in the series. They lost to Navy by a score of 21-17 to continue the historic losing streak. Navy Quarterback, Keenan Reynolds, threw for one touchdown and ran for two others to sweep Army in his entire four-year Navy career. He is the first quarterback to ever go 40 in the 116-game series.
“That was the No. 1 goal. To be able to be here four years and never lose against Army, that’s huge,” Reynolds stated.
Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo’s career against Army might also be finished with this historic rivalry. With this year’s victory, Niumatalolo is 8-0 against Army. He is set to visit BYU on Monday, Dec. 14 in regard to its football head coaching job left by Bronco Mendenhall when he left BYU for Virginia last November. Niumatalolo is the winningest cocah in Navy history and is tied with former Army coach Earl Blaik for most wins in the Army-Navy series.
Niumatalolo choked back tears as he talked about potentially leaving Navy:
“It’s been my life. My kids have grown up here. I’ve given everything for this program,” Niumatalolo said.
Army got the scoring started with a 32-yard field goal by Daniel Grochowski with 8:31 left in the first quarter. However, it did not take long for Keenan Reynolds to answer back. Reynolds burst up the middle from a read-option and rushed 58 yards for a touchdown. A few minutes later, Tyler Campbell rushed 29-yards for touchdown. The freshman running back ran for his first career touchdown and gave Army a 10-7 lead with 4:10 left in the first quarter. The next touchdown was truly historic. Keenan Reynolds muscled his way through the Army goal line defense to secure his 85th career rushing touchdown to set the NCAA record. Reynolds now holds the record for most rushing touchdowns by any Division I player. Breaking the record previously held by former Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.
Army quarterback Chris Carter connected with wide receiver Edgar Poe for a 39-yard touchdown to give Army a 17-14 lead into halftime. That was Army’s first halftime lead since 2009.
With 5:51 left in the third quarter, Reynolds fired a 50-yard touchdown pass to Jamir Tillman to score the go-ahead and game-winning score.
Down 21-17 late in the fourth quarter, Army seemed to choke at the worst possible time. Army turned the ball over three out of their last four possessions and previously missed a field goal attempt that would have cut the lead to one. Army’s first turnover was a lost fumble by Army quarterback Chris Carter at the Navy 33-yard line which would have been in field goal position. Then, on Army’s first play of their new drive, Carter threw an interception to Navy’s Lorente Barbour. Their last turnover happened off a halfback pass that if completed, the ball would have been at the Navy 3-yard line. Army did get the ball back, but they only had 11 seconds which was not enough for Army to win. In return, the Black Knights secured its 14th consecutive loss to the Midshipmen.
Army’s season came to an end with that game and had finished the year with a record of 2-10. With the win, Neavy climbs to 10-2 and has clinched its fourth ever double-digit season wins in school history. Navy will take on Pittsburgh (8-4) in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland on Dec. 28.