TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Plenty at stake for Army, Navy

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

gameday

Army vs. Navy

3 p.m. Saturday

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

TV: KDKA-2

Records: Army 2-9, Navy 7-4

Line: Navy by 7

Notable: Army ranks first in the nation in rushing at 369.8 yard per game.

By The Associated Press
Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 9:43 p.m.
 

PHILADELPHIA — Army's Jarrett Mackey hears the same order each day he walks around the barracks at West Point.

Beat Navy and bring home the coveted Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.

“Every single time I pass them, it's, ‘Army-Navy. CIC. Let's go,' ” Mackey said. “I wouldn't say it puts more pressure on us, but it's time. Let's do this. We almost need to do it. We've got to get out there and get the win. It's been way too long.”

Try 11 years.

The Army-Navy series is not only the most patriotic rivalry in sports, it's turned into one of the most one-sided. Navy has won 10 straight, doubling the previous winning streak of either team in a series that stretches back to 1890. It only seems like the Black Knights haven't won in 122 years. Army last beat Navy in 2001 at Veterans Stadium. The Vet has since been toppled.

So has Army's all-time lead in the series.

Mackey, a junior defensive end, wants so badly to be part of the class that ends the Middies' dominance. That alone is incentive enough. But for the first time in nearly two decades, there is more on the line than just bragging rights.

Winning this game usually makes a season, but this one would mean more than most. The winner Saturday leaves Lincoln Financial Field with the Commander-in-Chief's trophy, awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies. Army and Navy each defeated Air Force, putting the prestigious trophy up for grabs in the regular-season finale for the first time since 2005. Army (2-9) hasn't hoisted the CIC trophy since 1996. Navy (7-4) won it a school-record seven straight seasons through 2009 before giving way Air Force the past two seasons.

“We didn't win much, but we won just enough to bring a little extra drama to this game,” Army coach Rich Ellerson said. “From the moment these guys got to West Point, every building and everybody's front door says, ‘Beat Navy' and ‘Beat Air Force.' There is so much on the table for them.”

Beating Army has become an annual tradition for Navy. None of the Mids want to be associated with a team that ended the streak.

“They're getting closer and closer,” Navy linebacker Brye French said. “The 10 wins have been awesome. But this year is even bigger than all those because it actually means something with the CIC.”

Navy's 27-21 win last season was the tightest margin since the winning streak started. The Mids won by a combined 74-3 score in 2007-08, and four times over the last decade the Black Knights failed to score more than six points. Army lost its 49-46-7 series lead during this decade of futility.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Starkey: Steelers still knockin’ on Canton’s door
  2. Pitcher Arrieta, Cubs shut down Pirates in victory at PNC Park
  3. Heyward-Bey looks to make impact on special teams with Steelers
  4. Plum man, 21, accused of attempted homicide
  5. Former Lower Burrell couple to stand trial for animal cruelty
  6. Homestead-Duquesne Road closure postponed
  7. Private schools fill void in driver education in Western Pennsylvania
  8. New Kensington considers seal-coat for roads
  9. Philanthropist and one-time GOP powerhouse Elsie Hillman dies at 89
  10. Washington County judge says heroin addicts fare better in treatment than prison
  11. Bridge replacement sends Fawn motorists on detours