Late touchdown lifts Navy past Army, 17-13
December 10, 2012
PHILADELPHIA (Army News Service, Dec. 10, 2012) -- Despite rushing 370 yards compared to Navy's 167, the Black Knights gave up a fourth-quarter touchdown and then fumbled in the red zone, allowing Navy to win 17-13, Dec. 8, in front of a sold-out crowd of 69,607.
"We were moving the ball down the field; they were tired and we knew it," said Army's running back Raymond Maples. "Our offense prepares for moments like that, but life doesn't always go your way."
Maples paced the Black Knights' rushing attack with 156 yards on 27 carries while senior quarterback Trent Steelman carried 17 times for 96 yards and a score. Sophomore Larry Dixon picked up 61 yards and senior Malcolm Brown 57.
Steelman connected on 4 of 5 passes for 48 yards. Sophomore Chevaughn Lawrence caught three passes for 44 yards and Maples had one reception for four yards.
Sophomore Geoffrey Bacon led an Army defense that held Navy to 297 yards of total offense with 14 tackles and a sack. Alex Meier had 10 tackles and recovered a fumble, while Nate Combs made eight stops.
Navy got on the scoreboard first after a scoreless first quarter with a nine-play, 66-yard drive that took more than five minutes. Noah Copeland, who rushed for 99 yards on 22 carries, capped the possession with a 12-yard scoring run and a 7-0 Navy lead after Nick Sloan kicked the extra point.
Army quickly tied the scoring, going 75 yards in three minutes. Steelman gained 20 yards, Maples picked up 11 and then Brown went off tackle for 14. After Maples collected four yards, Steelman called his own number for an 11-yard touchdown. Senior Eric Osteen kicked the extra point.
Sloan kicked a 31-yard field goal on the next possession but Osteen matched the score with a career-long 41-yard kick to tie the game at 10 at halftime. The field goal hit the left upright and went through.
Army took its first lead of the game in the third quarter when Osteen converted a 21-yard field goal with 3:36 left in the session for a 13-10 Army advantage.
The Black Knights missed a 37-yard field goal on their first possession of the final quarter. Then Navy went back on top quarterback Keenan Reynolds ran for a touchdown from eight yards out with 4:41 left to play.
Army had one final possession and drove to the 13-yard line, but then fumbled as Steelman attempted a hand-off to Dixon.
"It was a routine triple option for us," Steelman said. "Honestly I don't really know what happened. It was a quarterback-fullback mesh, but I'm running out of here, so I'm going to put that one on me."
Navy recovered the fumble on their own 13-yard line and then ran out the clock.
Navy claimed the Commander in Chief's Trophy and finished their season 8-4. The Black Knights, losing their 11th consecutive matchup with Navy, closed the 2012 season 2-10.
Both teams played hard and neither one would quit, said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. "I tip my hat to Coach Ellerson and Army. Those guys played tough."