CFB: Navy stretch win streak over Army to 9
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Midshipmen had already lost the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. They weren’t about to lose to Army, too.
Ricky Dobbs threw the longest touchdown pass in the 111-year history of the Army-Navy game, Wyatt Middleton had the longest fumble return in school history, and the Midshipmen extended their winning streak against Army to nine straight with a 31-17 victory Saturday.
Dobbs passed for 186 yards and two touchdowns in his final game against the Black Knights (6-6), one of 24 seniors to never lose to their rivals from West Point. Dobbs turned the ball over four times – three fumbles and an interception in the end zone – but also ran for a team-high 54 yards for Navy (9-3).
Trent Steelman threw for 128 yards and two scores for Army, but it was his fumble late in the first half that put the Black Knights in a hole too deep to escape.
They already trailed 17-7 with first-and-goal at the Navy 3 when Steelman got stood up on a quarterback keeper. The ball squirted from his hands and right to Middleton, who turned around to see nobody in a black jersey between him and the goal line. The 98-yard return made it 24-7 at halftime and silenced the grey-clad Cadets in the corner of Lincoln Financial Field.
Middleton, a senior, was named the game’s MVP.
Army controlled the ball much of the second half, but could only muster Alex Carlton’s 42-yard field goal before Steelman’s late touchdown pass to Malcolm Brown provided the final margin.
Army is still headed to its first bowl game since 1996, the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30 in Dallas against SMU. The Midshipmen play San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23.