Navy Upsets Army 17-13 in Rivalry Game Behind Tai Lavatai's 2 TDsDecember 11, 2021
The Navy Midshipmen won their second straight game on Saturday with a 17-13 win over the Army Black Knights at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It was Navy's first victory over Army since 2019, as the Black Knights took last year's rivalry game 15-0.
It was also Navy's second win in the series over the last six years as Army has dominated the annual rivalry game as of late. However, Navy won 14 straight games against Army between 2002-15. Maybe the tides are beginning to shift in the Midshipmen's favor.
Navy finishes the regular season with a 4-8 record, while Army finishes 8-4.
Tai Lavatai, QB, NAVY: 4/6 for 82 YDS and 20 CAR for 62 YDS and 2 TDs
Christian Anderson, QB, ARMY: 7/15 for 108 YDS and 9 CAR for 67 YDS, 1 TD
Carlinos Acie, RB, NAVY: 9 CAR for 34 YDS
Jakobi Buchanan, RB, ARMY: 4 CAR for 24 YDS
Mychal Cooper, WR, NAVY: 1 REC for 28 YDS
Recap and Reaction
Saturday's Army-Navy game began with some pretty great trash-talking ahead of kickoff.
Aside from the trash-talking, it was a well-fought contest between Army and Navy, and the Black Knights kicked things off with a 56-yard rushing touchdown from quarterback Christian Anderson.
However, Navy quarterback Tai Lavatai responded with an 8-yard rushing score of his own on the following drive to tie the game at seven a piece.
Army outplayed Navy in the first half of Saturday's rivalry game. The Black Knights had 175 yards of total offense compared to the Midshipmen's 130 yards. Army also had eight first downs compared to Army's five, and Anderson undoubtedly outplayed Lavatai.
However, many were quick to note that Lavatai still had a strong first half despite entering the locker room down 13-7, and he didn't disappoint to open up the third quarter.
Lavatai and the Midshipmen came out buzzing after halftime, with a major turning point in the game being the quarterback's two-yard rushing score to help give Navy a 14-13 lead, an advantage they would never surrender.
Navy then added a field goal with 6:10 remaining in the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 17-13, and many praised Lavatai for his second-half performance, which is a big reason why the Midshipmen came out victorious on Saturday.
It should also be noted that the Midshipmen defense stood tall, too, allowing the Black Knights just 102 yards in the second half and forcing the team to punt three straight times before forcing a turnover on downs to seal the win.
Saturday's game marked Army's lowest scoring output since a 20-14 Oct. 16 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers, further emphasizing how good the Midshipmen defense was at MetLife Stadium.
Player and Coach Reaction
While Navy's season is officially over, Army will move on to face Missouri in the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 22.