The Commander in Chief Trophy represents the nation's most honorable rivalry, but Army's loss to Navy on Saturday gave the Midshipmen their 11th straight win over their counterparts.
Army was close to winning this one, just like it was last season when it lost 27-21, but this ended in the same way. Navy won 17-13, courtesy of an eight-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Keenan Reynolds with less than five minutes remaining in the game.
The trophy doesn't just represent these two schools, but because each team beat Air Force earlier this season, it came down to the final game to decide who would walk away with the hardware this season.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Saturday's win still doesn't pull Navy even with Air Force in the grand scheme of things, though:
Most Commander in Chief's Trophy wins- Air Force 18, Navy 13, Army 6 (4 ties). Navy and Air Force have split hast 16— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 8, 2012
Saturday's win wasn't easy. Noah Copeland got the scoring started for the Midshipmen in the second quarter, only to see Army quarterback Trent Steelman score from 11 yards out to tie the game at seven apiece.
Then, kickers Nick Sloan and Eric Osteen traded field goals to knot the score at 10 heading into halftime. Osteen added another field goal for Army in the third quarter, giving his team a 13-10 lead heading into the fourth and final frame.
But then things began to unravel. Osteen missed a field goal try, and the Black Knights committed a crucial fumble to allow Reynolds to score the game's decisive touchdown with 4:41 remaining.
Steelman couldn't get anything going in the game's final minutes and that was that. Despite outgaining Navy by 126 yards, and rushing for 370 yards, Army couldn't earn the win. Three turnovers were a big reason for that.
This rivalry is about more than football, but both teams still want to win. Losing 11 straight games to a rival isn't something that any team wants to deal with, and losing close games like this are particularly hard to stomach.
Army has come so close, but it's back to the drawing board yet again.
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