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The 2018 Army-Navy live blog

SB Nation logo SB Nation 12/8/2018 Alex Kirshner
a group of football players © Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 Army-Navy Game is underway in Philadelphia. You can watch the game on CBS and stream it via CBS Sports. Army’s looking for its third win in a row against Navy and to reach double-digits wins for the second year in a row — for the first time ever. Navy’s trying to salvage a down season by winning the most important game on either team’s schedule.

Follow along here for updates throughout.

Fourth quarter

Army 10, Navy 7

Here we go. Navy’s defense just forced a three-and-out after the Mids scored their first touchdown. Army didn’t net a single yard. Navy starts at its own 34, down 3 with 4:46 to play.

Army 10, Navy 7

Hey, we’ve got a game. Navy just drove four plays and 48 yards in less than two minutes, finally getting what it needed after a whirlwind few minutes.

The Mids had gotten the ball on downs after an incredibly long video review, then nearly driven for a touchdown but fumbled it away.

But the defense forced a quick stop, getting the ball back to Garret Lewis and the Navy offense. This time, Lewis — who’d fumbled on the last drive — plunged in.

Army 10, Navy 0

Navy’s in the red zone, trying for its first points with 11:14 to play.

And, oh, no, the Mids just fumbled the ball away inside the 10-yard line. Garret Lewis got hit at the end of a first-down run, and Army fell on it.

Army 10, Navy 0

On a fourth-and-2 from Navy’s 43, Kelvin Hopkins Jr. picked up a crucial first down — it appeared. After a long video review, officials re-spotted the ball backward. Then they brought out the chains to measure, and Hopkins turned out to be short by a foot.

Navy’s ball with 14:55 left.

After the third quarter: Army 10, Navy 0

The Black Knights have the ball, but they face a fourth-and-2 at Navy’s 43. Army’s been money on fourth down all year, but given how bad Navy’s offense has been today — and it’s been really bad, averaging 2.2 yards per play — maybe Jeff Monken will just punt.

Army 10, Navy 0

Interception for Army. Mike Reynolds picked off an airmailed Zach Abey throw on second-and-13, and Army has the ball at its own 49. Navy’s offense looks woeful.

Army 10, Navy 0

Army kicker John Abercrombie flushed a 33-yard field goal to expand the Black Knights’ lead after a 14-play, 64-yard drive. He’d previously missed from the same distance.

Army 7, Navy 0

Darnell Woolfolk ran 18 yards on third-and-4 to get Army into Navy territory. The Mids’ big Mike linebacker, Taylor Heflin, almost had him at the line but missed him.

Army 7, Navy 0

Navy started the second half with the ball and punted after getting stuffed on a third-and-one. It looked like Zach Abey could’ve pitched the ball for a first down, but he kept it and got swarmed by a bunch of black jerseys. Army gets another chance to add to its lead.

Halftime: Army 7, Navy 0

That was a slog of a half. Navy averaged 1.9 yards per play and was completely inept on offense. Army moved the ball well — 5.8 yards per play! — but only put two real drives together. One was an 82-yarder on the opening series, which resulted in the game’s only points so far. The other was a 51-yarder that led to a missed 33-yard field goal.

Since Army’s first possession, the drives in this game have gone: punt, punt, interception, missed field goal, punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs, halftime.

Second quarter

Army 7, Navy 0

Army (which had been 31-of-34 this year on fourth downs) threw for it on a fourth-and-9 at Navy’s 31. Kelvin Hopkins Jr.’s deep shot for Kell Walker fell incomplete.

Army 7, Navy 0

Navy’s punted on three of four drives and thrown an interception on the other. Army’s averaging 6.6 yards per play to the Mids’ 1.5. It feels like at some point, barring a lot of Navy adjustments, the Black Knights are going to open this thing up.

Army 7, Navy 0

Navy’s three drives so far: punt, interception, punt. The Midshipmen have run 14 offensive plays for 21 yards. Their best offense all day has been a roughing-the-punter penalty on Army that briefly prolonged one of their drives.

Army 7, Navy 0

Navy catches a significant break as Army kicker John Abercrombie sends a 33-yard field goal wide right. You’ll remember that last year’s game came down to a 48-yard Navy kick in the snow, which Bennett Moehring just missed. It feels like that Army miss might matter.

After the first quarter: Army 7, Navy 0

The Black Knights converted a fourth-and-1 from the Navy 35 by handing off to Darnell Woolfolk, who plunged straight through the line for 3. Army entered this game 30-of-33 on fourth-down conversions this year, which is just totally preposterous.

Army 7, Navy 0

Navy had moved the ball almost to midfield, but Zach Abey threw an interception to Jaylon McClinton, turning it back over to Army at the Knights’ 31. Navy’s averaging 1.3 yards per play and looks completely overwhelmed when it has the ball.

Kelvin Hopkins Jr. converted a third-and-12 by throwing a 25-yard completion to Kell Walker, and Army’s across midfield.

Army 7, Navy 0

Army’s Chris Skyers just roughed Navy’s punter, extending what would’ve been the third drive in a row in this game to end in a quick punt.

Army 7, Navy 0

We have a budding punt-fest in Philly. Army just went three-and-out and punted to Navy, which starts at its own 35 midway through the quarter.

Army 7, Navy 0

It’s been a lovely start for the Black Knights. They forced a punt and will start at their own 23 with the lead and the ball. 9:24 left in the quarter.

Army 7, Navy 0

Army took a 15-yard pass-interference penalty to prevent what would’ve been a long Navy touchdown bass to Mike Martin on a trick play. But Malcolm Perry under-threw it. That’s a penalty Army will be fine with, moving Navy to midfield instead of to the end zone.

Army 7, Navy 0

Touchdown, Black Knights. Navy’s defense forced Army into a third-and-6 to start the drive, but Kelvin Hopkins Jr. threw — yes, a forward pass — a 17-yard conversion to Glen Coates. Kell Walker ran 51 yards to the Navy 10 on the next plan, and Hopkins scored on the next.

Army 0, Navy 0

They’re underway. Navy kicked off, and Army’s starting from its own 18.

Army 0, Navy 0

The national anthem’s in the books. President Donald Trump was on the field for it. He’s adding to the long history of presidents attending this game.

Game preview by Christian D’Andrea

Once the conference championship games are played, there’s only one game left before bowl season — and it’s one of the greatest traditions in football.

The 119th edition of the Army-Navy game will take place in the familiar confines of Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, and Jeff Monken’s Black Knights will be looking to extend their recent dominance over their arch rival. Army broke a 14-year losing streak against the Midshipmen in 2016, made it two in a row in 2017, and can now make this whole “beating Navy” thing a proper trend with a third-straight victory over that school in Annapolis.

The 2018 season suggests the Knights are in good shape to make it a three-peat. Army’s nine wins before the final game of the season are the program’s most since 1996. Five of those victories came over bowl eligible teams — though a lineup of Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Miami of Ohio, Hawaii, and Liberty isn’t exactly a murderer’s row. The Golden Knights’ best performance may have come in a defeat when they pushed College Football Playoff appointee Oklahoma to its limits in a 28-21 overtime nailbiter.

Navy faced a significantly tougher lineup this fall and struggled against quality programs along the way. The Midshipmen went 3-9 in 2018, beating Memphis and zero other bowl-eligible teams. Six of their losses came by double-digits.

But the rest of the season doesn’t matter when Army and Navy meet on neutral ground. For six hours in early December, the rest of college football fades away from walk-on until the alma maters are sung. And the team who gets to sing last isn’t necessarily the one who had the better season or who has the better players — it’s the team who came out the hungriest and upon whom the football gods shined the brightest.

Army vs. Navy prediction:

Army is a seven-point favorite Saturday. But Navy’s already won the hype video battle.

Replay Video

Midshipmen by 11.

Time, TV channel, and streaming info

  • Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA
  • TV: CBS
  • Streaming: CBS Sports, fuboTV
  • Odds: Army is favored by seven points.

Army vs. Navy news:

Watching the Army and Navy play, means yes, enjoying a good game of college football. But it also means for other service members, for the Navy and Army, watching the future: hundreds of soon-to-be sprite, knowledgeable, and energetic leaders.

Sure, they are college students, but that’s not all. These young men and women will be charged with the caring for the livelihood of those below them. They’ll be in a position to inspire, and even more, to send and lead others into war. When you watch this game, you’re witnessing more than football. You’re witnessing a family.

But this is not just a display of tradition. This is about the here and now. This is about those who continue the legacy. This is just as much about what each school represents now than it is just a throwback relic to days of the past. Army and Navy may never play again with the National Championship on the line, but this is a symbol of the fact that both schools are still here, playing at the highest level of college football, and demonstrating their resolve and determination long after television contracts and conference affiliations changed the landscape of competitiveness.

The game is a microcosm of what each school embodies. A never say die mentality that, odds be damned, we are going to fight until the finish and give you our best shot, each and every play, each and every game. Just ask Oklahoma or Notre Dame or Ohio State what that looks like, even in the College Football Playoff era. Army and Navy football represent in their purest form, opportunity. An opportunity to show what you have got in front of a packed NFL stadium and with millions watching on TV. An opportunity to come from states all across the country, from all walks of life, and to come together and give your best effort for your brother next to you because you know he is doing the same.

“It (the Army-Navy game) is a chance to see some of the best the country has to offer. There are no fights between Army and Navy fans – there are shared experiences, values, and a cherished and respected rivalry that brings us (all) together. I’ve made new friends within the bond of those experiences and values.

This sentiment is echoed from the Navy side as well.

At the end of the day, there’s nothing but respect. All of the rivalry games you see today turn into showing off, planting your flag at their 50-yard line, knowing that you’ll start a fight. That takes away from the game. Army-Navy is so much more than that.” – Bill G. Oat, USNA Class of 1890. Yes, you read that right – Bill G. Oat. Believe it or not, not all of our alumni seek public attention.

Can Darnell Woolfork remain undefeated against the Midshipmen?

The Army fullback has never tasted defeat against his arch rival — at least not in any game he’s played in. The senior missed 2015’s Navy win as he bulked up and waited for his chance to contribute. Now he’s the team’s most experienced ballcarrier and its leading rusher.

Woolfork has been a consistent presence within Army’s option-heavy attack, racking up 2,235 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns over his last three seasons. He’s coming into Saturday’s game having found the end zone in his last two games, but those game in wins over FCS Lafayette and Colgate. Was that a tune-up for a crushing finale against Navy? Or will the Midshipmen be able to stifle him like it did the past two seasons (88 total rushing yards, one touchdown in their previous two meetings)?

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