Army defensive back Noah Short (47) celebrates blocking a punt return by Navy punter Riley Riethman for a touchdown in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game in Philadelphia, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. At left is fellow defensive back Donavon Platt. (Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Army Tops Navy in Overtime

The Army Black Knights topped the Navy Midshipmen Saturday in the annual Army-Navy Game, 20-17.

The 123rd edition of “America’s Game” was decided in double overtime after an Army field goal with 1:53 left in the fourth quarter tied the game.

Back and Forth Four Quarters

As has been the case for many years, Army and Navy battled back and forth for all four quarters, fighting for every inch.

The Midshipmen controlled the ball for much of the first half, but only managed to put up three points thanks to a Bijan Nichols field goal in the second quarter.

It looked like Navy would be taking their narrow lead into the locker room. However, the Army special teams unit stepped up big. With just over a minute to go in the half, Navy’s punt was blocked and Jabril Williams jumped on it in the endzone to give the Black Knights a 7-3 lead heading into halftime.

The second half was similar to the first. Both teams traded punts as they fought for every yard on every play.

The Midshipmen regained the lead late in the third as Anton Hall Jr. broke through the Army defense for a 77-yard touchdown. Again Army and Navy traded punts, taking the game late into the fourth quarter with Navy hanging on to a 10-7 lead.

Down three with under five minutes to play, the Black Knights put together a seven-play drive to tie the game.

Neither team managed to score in the final moments of regulation, and the game headed to overtime.

Army Sings Second

For the first time in Army-Navy Game history, the teams headed to overtime.

Army started with the football and scored on their first play as Markel Johnson found the endzone. Navy wasted no time answering back, as Xavier Arline threw his first and only pass of the game to a wide-open Maquel Haywood for the score.

Navy received the ball to start the second overtime and methodically worked the ball inside the five-yard line. However, on third down Anton Hall Jr. surged toward the goal line but had the ball knocked out. The officials peeled players from both teams off the pile to reveal Army’s Darius Richardson with the ball.

As a result, the Black Knights could win with any score. Three straight runs set up a fourth down from the Navy 22-yard line. Quinn Maretzki set up for the 39-yard field goal and drilled it to give Army its 54th Army-Navy victory.

As is tradition, both teams headed towards the stands to sing each program’s alma mater. A sorrowful rendition of “Navy Blue and Gold” was followed by a much more joyous version of the Army Alama Mater.

Army-Navy Uniforms

Each year, Army and Navy release special edition jerseys specifically for the Army-Navy Game. Typically, the jerseys honor the rich histories of each branch.

This year, the Black Knights wore “Old Ironsides” jerseys. The uniform honors the 80th anniversary of the 1st Armored Division. The Old Ironside was the first division in the Army to participate in World War II. Many features of the uniforms, including the patches, flags and font are inspired by the division’s iconic tanks.

Meanwhile, the Midshipmen pay homage to the 54 Naval Academy members who have gone on to be astronauts. The uniforms include an image of an astronaut on the helmet and feature a variety of references to NASA through the uniform’s colors and patches.

Under Streak Broken

Bettors have cashed on the under 16 straight years entering today’s Army-Navy matchup.

Since 2006, the first year of the streak, the average point total has been 47.8. The point total ahead of Saturday’s contest closed at 32 after opening at 33. This is the lowest betting point total to date.

Despite a low scoring four quarters, an action-packed overtime saw the streak end after 16 years.

About Matt Quartararo

Matt is a fourth-year journalism major specializing in sports media and is also completing a sports management certificate. Starting in the Fall 2023 semester, Matt has served as a sports coordinator with WRUF. He also participates in sports broadcasting, providing play-by-play for a variety of Gators sports.

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