The game between Army and Air Force always tends to be a special occasion. While it’s a celebration for the military community, the result of the game is also important when determining the winner of the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy. With Air Force’s victory over Navy earlier in the year and the Falcons’ victory against Army today, Troy Calhoun’s team secured the trophy after in had been in West Point’s possession for the past two years.
The Falcons were one-score favorites heading into this contest. They lived up to that expectation with a 13-7 victory.
This was Air Force’s first time securing the trophy since 2016.
“That’s a big game for us,” Army head coach Jeff Monken said postgame. “Playing for that trophy is a source of pride for our academy and for our program, and to have to relinquish that trophy is awfully tough.”
Air Force’s version of the option offense proved more effective on the day, totaling 324 yards compared to Army’s 145. Air Force also picked up 18 first downs and held possession of the ball for 34 minutes and 49 seconds.
Falcon quarterback Haaziq Daniels was named the FSI player of the game with 14 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown, along with completing six passes on 18 attempts for 98 yards and an interception.
“Our coaches did a great job of play calling today,” Air Force fullback Brad Roberts told the media after the game. “This is definitely up there (winning the CIC Trophy). It’s one of our number one goals every year and not to have it the last few years was tough.”
The Black Knights managed just eight first downs in 25 minutes and 11 seconds of possession. Army was four of 14 on third down and one for four on fourth down conversion attempts. The Black Knights averaged just 2.2 yards per rush in the loss.
Air Force improves to 6-3 on the season and becomes eligible for a bowl game for the second straight year. They’ll next head home to host New Mexico and begin the last three games of their season.
Army, 3-5, have four games remaining, including a road date with Troy next week.
“My hope is that our guys will continue to fight, fight for each other, keep playing,” Monken said of his team’s disappointing start to the season. “I think they will, I think we got a tremendous culture in our program. A brotherhood. They love each other and they care for each other. They’re not going to turn on each other.”