It’s one of the cornerstones of college football. It’s one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. Get ready.
It’s Army vs. Navy time.
With the next chapter in the series set to take place Saturday, it’s about time we take a step back and analyze some of the more intense battles the two teams have been involved in.
Here’s a look at the top-10 games in the Army-Navy rivalry.
10. 2011 – Navy 27, Army 21
It was a stereotypical Army-Navy game with only 90 yards passing between the two teams. With the score tied 14-14 going into the second half, Kriss Proctor put the Midshipmen ahead with a two-yard touchdown run. Malcolm Brown evened up the score when he connected with Trent Steelman for a 25-yard touchdown pass. But Navy pulled ahead for the win in the fourth quarter thanks to two field goals from Jon Teague.
9. 1977 – Army 17, Navy 14
In 1977, the Black Knights were looking to halt yet another winning streak by Navy. The Midshipmen had claimed the previous four meetings. Army got off to a great start after it picked off Bob Lesczynski. Quarterback Leamon Hall gave the Black Knights the lead when he dove over the goal line from the 1-yard line for a touchdown. John Hilliard picked off Lesczynski after that, and then Mike Castelli tacked on a field goal before Navy finally got on the board with a touchdown. Greg King punched in a rushing touchdown to put Army up 17-7 at halftime. Navy picked up another touchdown from running back Joe Gattuso when he scooted into the end zone, but that would be the final score as Army snapped its four-game losing streak.
8. 2000 – Navy 30, Army 28
There were 686 yards of offense between the two teams combined in this one. Curtis Zervic only threw for 99 yards, but he did toss two touchdowns in the process. He and Joe Gerena each saw time at quarterback for Army, and both threw an interception. Michael Wallace put the Black Knights on his back with 159 yards rushing on 19 carries with a touchdown. Navy had its own rushing attack, though, and it was led by Brian Broadwater’s 121 yards rushing with a touchdown. Broadwater also threw a touchdown, but the real difference was a fumble recovered by Brad Wimsatt and returned to the end zone for a Navy touchdown.
7. 2012 – Navy 17, Army 13
A scoreless first quarter was combatted with 20 points in the second quarter back in the 2012 matchup. Noah Copeland and Trent Steelman both provided their respective teams with touchdown runs, and then each team added a field goal to go into halftime tied 10-10. Eric Osteen put the Black Knights ahead with a field goal in the third quarter, but Keenan Reynolds gave Navy the lead and the game when he scampered home for a touchdown from eight yards out.
6. 1992 – Army 25, Navy 24
The 1992 season was a rough one for Navy as it entered the matchup with Army sporting a 1-9 record, but it’s always a higher level of intensity when the Midshipmen go up against the Cadets. Navy built up a 24-7 lead. Rick Roper linked up with Gaylord Greene for a 68-yard touchdown pass for the longest touchdown pass in the rivalry’s history. The Cadets faked a kick on the point after touchdown and picked up the two-point conversion to make it 24-22. Army got the ball back, and with 12 seconds left on the clock, Patmon Malcom wrote his name in the history books when he drilled a 49-yard kick to give Army the 25-24 win.
5. 1971 – Army 24, Navy 23
This is arguably one of the most exhilarating finishes in the Army-Navy history. Army running back Bob Hines picked up two of his four touchdowns in the game to help his team get out to a 16-0 lead. Quarterback Fred Stuvek brought the Midshipmen back with a pair of touchdowns through the air. Stuvek then hit Steve Ogden for a 12-yard touchdown pass to go up 21-16. Cadets quarterback Kingsley Fink tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Ed Francis before he hooked up with John Simar on the two-point conversion to put Army up 24-21. On Navy’s final attempt on fourth down, head coach Rick Forzano elected not to go for the game-tying field goal, and Stuvek’s pass to Andy Pease was incomplete — sealing the Cadets’ victory.
4. 1989 – Navy 19, Army 17
Frank Schenk wasn’t exactly given the best name for someone who would become a college football kicker, but he put it in the back of his mind when the Midshipmen called upon him to beat Army in 1989. Navy was trailing 17-16 when Alton Grizzard intentionally threw an incomplete pass to Jerry Dawson to stop the clock with 15 seconds remaining. After Army head coach Jim Young called a timeout with the “ice the kicker” strategy, Schenk stepped up and booted the 32-yard field goal through the uprights. After the kickoff, Army had seven seconds to make magic happen, but Bryan McWilliams’ pass to Sean Jordan was incomplete — leaving just one second on the clock. McWilliams pitched to Mike Mayweather for what would have been an option pass, but he was brought down in the backfield, and Schenk was a football hero.
3. 2014 – Navy 17, Army 10
It was Army’s turn to strike first this time. Xavier Moss put the Black Knights ahead when he returned a punt to the house. Jamir Tillman evened it up with a touchdown catch via Keenan Reynolds. An Austin Grebe field goal and a Keen Reynolds touchdown later, Navy found itself up by 10. Dan Grochowski knocked a field goal through to narrow the deficit to seven points with less than two minutes to go, but the Midshipmen held on for the win.
2. 1998 – Army 34, Navy 30
The attention for this matchup was directed toward a faulty rail, which collapsed and injured 10 Army cadets and prep school students as they fell onto the field. Army trailed 30-19 going into the fourth quarter, but a 70-yard touchdown run from Ty Amey with 7:33 left in the game put the Black Knights ahead 31-30. Then the rail collapsed and the game was stopped for 31 minutes. It was definitely one of the more controversial chapters to the Army-Navy saga.
1.1994 – Army 22, Navy 20
In one of the more interesting endings, the Black Knights took the 1994 meeting on a game-winning field goal from Kurt Heiss. Although, here’s the kicker — pun intended — about the kicker: he was nearsighted. “My holder told me it was okay,” Heiss said after the game. Jim Kubiak threw a 56-yard touchdown to Kevin Hickman to put Navy ahead 20-19, but it was a moot point after Heiss nailed the 52-yard kick in crunch time.