What a defensive performance. It wasn’t pretty at all, but the Black Knights sang second for the fourth time in five years.
The sweetest shutout.
— Army Football (@ArmyWP_Football) December 12, 2020
The first half was a slugfest. Both defensive lines were dominating. Neither team could get anything going until Army QB Tyheir Tyler hit slotback Tyrell Robinson on a wheel route for a 28 yard gain.
Army got three points out of that drive.
The rest of the first half was punt after punt after punt. Army even missed a field goal off of a bad snap and hold.
Both teams headed off to the locker room at halftime, with Army clinging on to a 3-0 lead.
As nervous as I was, it truly felt like those three points might be enough with how Army’s defense was playing.
Then I got a rude wake-up call on the first drive of the third quarter. Navy’s freshman QB Xavier Arline got loose for a 52 gain to get the Mids to the Army two-yard line.
Cedrick Cunningham Jr. came in clutch for the Black Knights by keeping him out of the endzone because what happened next will be remembered by Army fans forever.
First and goal: stuffed
Second and goal: stuffed, went backward.
Third and goal: stuffed
Fourth and goal: I’ll let the video speak for itself
With shades of 1995, the Army defense got the stop of the season.
I don’t think I’ve ever screamed as loud as I did during that play.
Now it was on the Army offense to start moving the ball, or at least flip field position.
Flip field position is exactly what they did. After two punts Navy was backed up to their own eight-yard line.
After another punt by each team, Navy had the ball again. They took over at the Army 15 yard line.
Arline ran out and pitched it to CJ Williams. That’s when none other than Cedrick Cunningham Jr. came flying in and delivered a shot that jarred the ball loose. Army LB Jon Rhattigan fell on it, and the Black Knights took over with 14:10 left in prime position to take a two possession lead.
That’s exactly what happened. Tyhier Tyler punched it into the endzone from five yards out to put Army up 10-0.
After back to back punts, Navy had the ball and attempted a reverse that ended in a safety to put Army up 12-0.
Army would tack on one more field goal to win 15-0 and the right to sing second for the fourth time in five years. It’s Army’s first shut out of the Mids since 1969 when they won 27-0. It is also their first double digit win over Navy since 1990.
This isn’t the last game for the Black Knights. They will play for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy on Saturday against Air Force.