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Live Blog: Army and Navy Battle For The 123rd Time

The Midshipmen and the Black Knights face off in one of the game’s most historic rivalries.

NCAA Football: Navy at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports



Play-By-Play: Brad Nessler Analyst: Gary Danielson, Sideline: Jenny Dell


Play-By-Play: John Sadak, Analyst: Ross Tucker, Sideline: Tina Cervasio

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Postgame Analysis: Well, sorry to those of you who were hoping for a high scoring affair today. Even in a game with 19 total punts, what we just witnessed was a historic moment in this incredible rivalry. In the first game between these two sides to go beyond regulation, special teams made all the difference.

The blocked punt gave the Black Knights the lead heading into the half, two field goals from the Hawaii native Maretzki made a huge difference in the later stages of the game, and critical forced fumble gave the Black Knights the opportunity to seal a win in the second overtime.

Army has now won five of the last seven games against their archrival. In a game where they averaged just 2.5 yards per play compared to 4.6 by their opponent, they’re extremely fortunate they were afforded the previously mentioned opportunities.

On the other side, what a devastating game for Anton Hall. While he played phenomenally for so much of the game, that fumble in double overtime will sting in his mind and in the minds of Navy fans for years to come.

While both teams will see their seasons end tonight, the 2022 Army-Navy matchup will be a huge talking point when these two teams meet up in Foxboro, Massachusetts next year.

Pregame: There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere of this game in the buildup to kickoff. Regardless of these teams’ failed postseason hopes this year, it’s clear this game is, and will always be, their top priority.

The Black Knights are 5-6 and the Mids are 4-7 coming into this game. While the Black Knights can get to six wins on the season with a victory today, it won’t make a difference in the bowl conversation. The NCAA denied a waiver for them that would have allowed them to compete in the postseason despite two of their wins coming against FCS opponents.

It makes you sad to think that this will likely be one of the quicker games of the entire season.

ICYMI: This was a quality piece by CBS as they spoke with parents of players from both academies who will likely play a vital role in this game.

As we end the last few minutes before kickoff, Army seems like the safe pick despite the Mids being a 2.5 point favorite.

First Quarter: Navy received the opening kickoff and seemed to have the triple-option working well on the opening drive. Navy QB Xavier Arline looked to be hurt, but was only out of the game for a short time before returning.

Arline then took a broken play for 17 yards on a second and long. Arline’s athleticism has always been impressive, but head coach Ken Niumatalolo has indicated they need complete performances as a quarterback from him to win games.

Navy were forced to punt on their first drive after making it just past the Army 40. The Black Knights start at their own 20 after that punt goes for a touchback.

Army begin their offensive day with two quarterbacks in the backfield. Tyheir Tyler playing in more of a slot role while Cade Ballard takes the main quarterback spot. The Black Knights gain just six yards on a three-and-out on their first possession.

On Navy’s second possession, they converted a fourth and one to continue a drive into Army territory. The Army defense then forced Navy into a fourth and eleven, that got the Midshipmen back into a punt situation. The Mids were able to pin Army inside the five, this time.

As the first quarter came to a close, the game was tied 0-0 with Navy leading in terms of yardage production 51-8. Navy ran 18 plays compared to four by Army.

Second Quarter: Army begin their second possession of the game deep in their own territory. They tried two passes to fix things, but ended up punting out of their end zone. Navy got the ball back once again in Army territory.

Navy’s Bijan Nickols kicked a 44-yard field goal that snuck just inside the right upright for the first points of the game. The Mids lead 3-0 with 12:36 remaining in the first half.

Army took the ball at their own 25-yard line and completed another three-and-out. Cade Ballard once again put the ball in the air several times on the drive and all fell incomplete. The issues with Army’s depth at the slot position are showing at this point.

The Army defense followed that up by forcing a Navy punt in the Mids’ territory. Chris Frey continues to be one of the main talking points for the Black Knights with five total tackles and 1.5 for a loss at this point.

Army picked up their first first down of the day with 8:26 remaining in the second quarter. That would be the extent of the success for that Army drive as they would punt a few plays later. The focus on the pass for Army continues to be unsuccessful.

Navy center Lirion Murtezi has reportedly sprained his ankle with a questionable return.

The Army defense forced another punt by the Navy offense, giving them the ball inside Mids’ territory. An early penalty would back them up five yards, which made a huge difference. The Black Knights would hand the ball to Tyler out of the shotgun and be stopped behind the line on fourth and two.

Navy missed an opportunity to add points to the their lead on their final drive of the half. Three penalties kept backing them up, eventually forcing the Mids into a fourth and 15. The Black Knights would then block the Navy punt and return it for a touchdown in easily the biggest play of the first half.

Navy would tick away the final seconds of the first half down 7-3. Arline would heave a deep pass downfield, but Army’s secondary would swat it down on the final play of the half.

First Half Analysis: It’s hard to ignore the possession dominance by Navy so far. They have held the ball for just over 22 minutes while Army has only had possession for just under eight minutes. Jeff Monken has to know that his lead is a gift from the football deities. No matter how you look at it, one first down is unacceptable.

It’s a bit odd that Army isn’t trying to get more done with Tyheir Tyler under center. Now that they have a lead and don’t necessarily need to create the kind of explosive plays that can come from deep passes, that might change in the second half.

For Navy, continue to keep an eye on the one-two punch of Arline and Daba Fofana. They’re running with purpose so far and combining for 106 yards. With their interior offensive line taking some hits, it seems likely they’ll continue to run those sweeps we saw them have success with in the first half and try to get away from defenders like Frey.

Third Quarter: Army received the second half kickoff. They picked up two first downs on that drive, including an unexpected Cade Ballard run up the middle for 11 yards. Army wouldn’t be able to advance the ball any further after that and punted the ball into the end zone.

Navy couldn’t do much in retaliation, punting once again as Army returned the ball into Navy territory. Tyler, would run a keeper that would have been good for a forty-yard touchdown, but it would come back thanks to a block in the back by the Black Knights.

That penalty didn’t completely kill the Black Knights’ momentum, however...a different instance did that. The Black Knights would get to the opposing 29-yard line, but a fumbled shotgun snap would push Army far back into their own territory. They were lucky that Navy didn’t return it for a touchdown. Instead, they punted it back to the Navy 23-yard line.

On the very next play, Arline would hand the ball off to Anton Hall, who would take it for a 77-yard touchdown run to give Navy the lead. Nichols would hit the extra point to make it 10-3.

With 3:49 remaining in the third quarter, Tyheir Tyler appeared to suffer a leg injury, but walked off the field under his own power. John Marshall made yet another play in the backfield for Navy to cut the Army drive short and force their seventh punt of the day.

Navy’s punt on the ensuing drive would be downed at Army’s six-yard line. Expectedly so, Navy appear to be trying to win the field-position battle with a three-point lead in the waning seconds of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter: Army once again had trouble getting out of their own territory to start the fourth quarter. Tyler would return to the game, but would make little difference as the Black Knights once again punted from their own five.

Navy would gain minimal yardage on yet another short drive and shank a punt that would give Army the ball at their own 26.

Ballard would get his first completed pass of the game to get Army to the Navy 48-yard line with a 26-yard play. A pass interference call on the Midshipmen would help Army continue the drive and get them down to the 34-yard line. But then, Army would get an illegal blind-side block penalty (that will surely be a point of debate later) on a double reverse that would back them up 15 yards and well out of field goal range. That led to yet another punt, putting Navy inside their own five to start the next drive.

Navy would play conservatively, running the ball three times before punting out of their own end zone. Army would once again get a fortunate pass-interference call to move them into Navy territory. That would set up a 37-yard field goal attempt for Quinn Maretzki, which he would make to tie the game with 1:53 remaining.

Navy would get the ball and break off a few decent runs in an attempt to decide it in regulation. Navy QB Masai Maynor would take a deep shot that would fall incomplete and Navy would punt with 17 seconds remaining. The ball would roll to the Army six-yard line with six seconds remaining and Ballard would take a knee, sending the game to overtime for the first time ever.

First Overtime: Navy elected to play defense first and Army quickly scored with a 25-yard run by Markel Johnson. Moretzki would hit the PAT to give Army a 17-10 lead. The 25-yard runs was Army’ longest of the day.

Not to be outdone, Arline would answer for Navy hitting a 25-yard touchdown pass to Maquell Haywood. It was just Arline’s fourth completed pass of the year. Nichols would once again sneak a kick inside the right upright to tie it up and end the first OT.

Second Overtime: Navy would get the ball first, with Arline rushing the ball to the 15-yard line, earning a fresh set of downs. Anton Hall would then take a handoff inside the five for a first-and-goal situation. Navy would go to Hall again on third down, and he would fumble on the one with Army recovering.

Army would run the ball up the middle three times with a small scuffle ensuing. That resulted in offsetting penalties. Maretzki would then hit a 39-yard field goal to give the Black Knights the victory in a historic battle.

NCAA Football: Navy at Army Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports