PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Army West Point football team has turned the tides on rival Navy by defeating the Mids for the third-straight season following a 17-10 victory on Saturday.
After suffering heartbreak after heartbreak to their nemesis for so long, the Black Knights have strung together three in a row and claimed the Commander In Chief’s trophy in back-to-back season for the first time in program history.
Junior Kelvin Hopkins Jr. was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after rushing for 64 yards and two touchdowns. The Charlotte, N.C., native finished 4-for-9 for 61 yards in the passing game as well.
Darnell Woolfolk and Kell Walker chipped in 62 and 56 yards rushing, respectively, while Walker led the receiving corps with two catches for 30 yards.
Jaylon McClinton compiled nine total tackles, including six solo shots. Those nine tackles ties his career high. The junior added two forced fumble and one interception for 11 yards to his already impressive night.
Army took the opening kickoff 82 yards in just five plays to set the tone early. The Black Knights’ drive was aided by a 51-yard pickup by Walker on 3rd-and-6 from the Army 39. Hopkins then punched it home one play later for the early 7-0 lead.
The Cadets forced the Mids to go 3-and-out to start the second half. Army then proceeded to move the ball down to the Navy 12 but was hindered by a loss of four yards and a no gain play. The Black Knights had to settle for a 33-yard field goal, which Abercrombie blasted through the uprights to make it a 10-0 ballgame.
Navy would cut into the lead early in the fourth quarter, when Garrett Lewis found paydirt. Malcolm Perry rushed for 43 yards on the first play of the drive to get the Mids in great field position at the Army 5. Bennett Moehring’s good point after made it 10-7 Army.
A few drives later the Black Knights sacked quarterback Zach Abey on 4th-and-12, and forced a fumble in which Brinson recovered at the Navy 22-yard line.
Hopkins Jr. then converted five plays into the drive, when he scampered in from 1-yard out. Woolfolk had three of the five carries during that stretch to get the Black Knights into prime scoring position. That score made it a 17-7 game with three minutes remaining.
The Mids wouldn’t go away though, as they drove the length of the field and converted on a 46-yard field goal to again cut into the advantage at 17-10.
Fortunately the Cadets fell on Navy’s failed on-side kick to ultimately secure the win.
Army is back in action on December 22 when it heads to Fort Worth, Texas, for the Lockheed
Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The Black Knights are slated to face off against AAC foe Houston. Kick off is set for 2:30 p.m. CT.
This article originally appeared in the Hudson Valley Press.