By Fabrice Pierre-Toussaint
The Army and the Navy hold their annual game every December. This time, Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field is where they will be performing. In a rivalry that began as early as 1890. The Navy holds a 60-52-7 lead. According to usatoday, the Navy whose mascots are the Midshipmen, who are ranked 21st in the Amway Coaches Poll and AP, is looking to reverse their three-game losing streak to the Black Knights while Army is hoping to seal this season with a win over its archrival. Army coach, Jeff Monken, revived the Black Knights and turned a program that suffered yearly losses at the hand of the Midshipmen into a bowl-bound team that can keep the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy back at West Point.
Kelvin Hopkins Jr, the No.22 jersey wearing quarterback of the Army recovered two fumbles, had two rushing touchdowns to make the Black Knights win over the Midshipmen complimentary. With a 17-10 stat to win it’s third straight game in the series. President Trump attended the 119th game between the rivals and flipped the coin before spending half on each side in a show of impartiality. Regardless of his views, Army (10-2) always had the edge. According to ESPN, with the Navy down 10-7, quarterback Zach Abey lost the fumble on fourth and 12 deep in its respective territory. Hopkins would score on a 1-yard run to make it 17-7 and give Army the position it needed to win in front of 66,729 fans at Lincoln Financial Field. The game usually marks the end of the regular college football season, the third and final game of the season’s Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series which includes the Air Force Falcons. The series has been marked by several periods of domination by one team or the other, recently it was the Navy’s 14-game winning streak from 2002 through 2015 being the longest for either side. Through the 2018 meeting, Navy leads the series 60–52–7, but has lost the last three games.
Trump was the tenth sitting president to attend the Army-Navy game, a tradition that began with Theodore Roosevelt in 1901. Barack Obama was the most recent president to attend, in 2011 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Trump went to the 2016 game when he was president-elect. Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis stood silent during a moment of silence for former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away recently at age 94.
A very critical issue has been the offensive line, the Army’s specialized triple-option attack. They have been battling injuries throughout the year, they have been going through different linemen all season. Even with their troubles, they have been close. Losing to Air Force 17-13 was a game that could have gone the other way. Quarterback Malcolm Perry of the Navy and has been up to the challenge of being the sought after speed-option QB. He is leading Navy in rushing, averaging 6.3 yards per carry and scored 19 TDs on the ground. Equally impressive is how he has evolved into a good pass-second player too. Achieving over 50% of his passes. Commendable for an option QB that barely throws 1,027 yards and 6 TDs. The game is scheduled to be broadcast at 3 PM eastern time.