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Army Navy Clash Ends in Dramatic Fashion as Black Knights Secure Bowl Eligibility in 17-11 Win

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Foxborough, Massachusetts witnessed another chapter in the storied Army-Navy rivalry on Saturday, as Army emerged victorious with a hard-fought 17-11 win, securing bowl eligibility for the fourth consecutive season under coach Jeff Monken. The game showcased a clash of traditional and modern football styles, with both teams leaving it all on the field.

Quinn Maretzki (15) kicks a field goal to give Army a 10-0 lead during the first half of the Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium. Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports

Army vs. Navy score

Teams 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q F
Army 0 10 0 7 17
Navy 0 0 0 11 11

The first half saw Army dominating through the air, outgaining Navy 54-0, taking a 10-0 lead into halftime. Backup quarterback Tai Lavatai took the reins for Navy in the second half, amassing 179 passing yards and leading a dramatic late-game drive that brought the Midshipmen to the cusp of victory.

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The defining moment came on a 4th-and-goal with Navy trailing 17-9. Levatai lunged forward in a desperate attempt to reach the end zone, but an unyielding wall of Black Knight defenders held firm, denying Navy the crucial touchdown. Army conceded a safety on the next play, sealing the victory and bowl eligibility.

Army Vs. Navy Foxborough
Army running back Tyson Riley (32) catches a touchdown pass during the first half of the Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium. Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports

Navy’s offense struggled in the early stages, with the first four possessions resulting in three punts and an interception. Starting quarterback Xavier Arline faced a challenging outing and was replaced after a final drive that ended with negative five yards. In contrast, Army’s revamped offense, featuring a pass-inclusive approach, allowed them to control the game.

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Levatai injected energy into the Midshipmen offense, but Army’s defense stood tall, forcing a turnover on downs. A quick 45-yard march down the field by Army resulted in a field goal, giving them a 10-0 lead at halftime.

Navy mounted a comeback late in the third quarter, completing its first pass of the game and narrowing the deficit with a 37-yard field goal. However, Army’s Liam Forster made a pivotal play, forcing a fumble and returning it 44 yards for a touchdown, extending Army’s lead to 17-3.

Army Vs. Navy Foxborough
Army wide receiver Casey Reynolds (87) can’t come up with a pass against Navy linebacker Mbiti Williams Jr. (7) during the first half of the Army-Navy Game at Gillette Stadium. Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports

Undeterred, Levatai orchestrated a swift response, leading Navy 59 yards for a touchdown. Despite a failed two-point conversion attempt, Navy’s hopes remained alive. A recovered onside kick provided another opportunity, but Army’s defense held firm, stifling Levatai’s efforts and sealing the win.

The victory not only marks Army’s triumph in the historic rivalry but also secures their spot in a postseason bowl game for the fourth consecutive year, a testament to the program’s consistency under Coach Jeff Monken.

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History of the Army Navy rivalry: The Army–Navy Game stands as a historic and fiercely contested college football rivalry between the Army Black Knights of the United States Military Academy (USMA) in West Point, New York, and the Navy Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) in Annapolis, Maryland. Renowned as the Cadets and Midshipmen, these teams proudly represent the oldest officer commissioning sources of their respective services. This annual clash has evolved to symbolize the intense interservice competition within the United States Armed Forces. Serving as the culmination of the college football regular season, the game also represents the climactic finale of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series, which includes the Air Force Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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