West Point claims Commander-in-Chief's Trophy with 17-11 over Navy

By West Point AthleticsDecember 11, 2023

The West Point Black Knights celebrate their win over the Navy Midshipmen after the game on December 9, 2023 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
The West Point Black Knights celebrate their win over the Navy Midshipmen after the game on December 9, 2023 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo Credit: West Point Athletics) VIEW ORIGINAL

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Army West Point Black Knights (6-6) defeated the Navy Midshipmen (5-7), 17-11 in the 124th edition of the annual Army-Navy Game presented by USAA. The win marks two consecutive wins for Army over Navy and marks Army's fourth Commander-in-Chief's Trophy outright win in the last seven years.

For the first time in the 124-year history of the Army-Navy Game, the Army West Point Black Knights and Navy Midshipmen squared off in Foxborough, Massachusetts in Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. In a fitting year to host America's Game, it marked the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, taking place just one week after the Army-Navy Game. The state of Massachusetts also marks the birthplace of the United States Army.

In front of a roaring crowd of 65,878, Army charged onto the field, led by a flyover from a Boeing CH-47 Chinook, Boeing AH-64 Apache, and a Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

Team captains Jimmy CiarloAustin HillConnor Finucane and Leo Lowin took to midfield together one last time for the coin toss. Calling heads, Army won the toss and deferred to the second half.

On the first series of the game, the Army defense forced a three-and-out sniffing out a halfback pass attempt by Navy's RB Eli Heidenreichi and a tackle for loss by DL Kyle Lewis.

Army opened the game gaining a first down on a short run by QB Bryson Daily. Daily then completed his first pass of the day to WR Casey Reynolds for a gain of 10. The Black Knights faced a fourth-and-two from the Navy 47-yard line which Head Coach Jeff Monken wasted no time going for. Daily faked a QB draw and tried to connect with WR Noah Short down the seam, but overthrew him, turning over the ball on downs.

Receiving a short field, Navy moved to the Army 24-yard line following a 12-yard run by Brandon Chatman. On the ensuing play, Army DB Max DiDomecio intercepted Navy QB Xavier Arline pass attempt and returned it 30 yards.

On Army's next drive, WR Ay'Jaun Marshall and freshman RB Kayne Udoh each broke out on runs of 10-plus yards to set Army up within the Navy 25-yard line. Army again faced a fourth-and-two from the Mids' 18-yard line, in which Daily plunged up the middle for a gain of three and a first down. The first quarter came to a close with the game still scoreless, but with Army set up with a first and goal inside the Navy five-yard line.

Army finished off the drive as Daily threw a four-yard touchdown pass to TE/RB Tyson Riley, where Daily got the snap and quickly threw the ball to an uncovered Riley who was split out wide right catching the Navy defense out of sorts to take a 7-0 lead. Army marched 65 yards on 12 plays chewing up 7:13 on the game clock.

The teams would trade punts across the next four drives, with the defenses settling in while Navy made the switch to Tai Lavatai at quarterback to begin its fifth drive of the game with 5:21 to play in the half. Lavatai was able to pick up three first downs on the drive, moving the ball into Army territory before the Black Knights got a stop on fourth and short with Jackson Powell stuffing Lavatai just inches short of the line to gain.

Receiving the ball back with 1:05 remaining from its own 36-yard line, the Black Knights were able to move into field goal range in the final seconds through of nine and 14 through the air as Daily hit Tobi Olawole and Casey Reynolds to set up a 47-yard field goal attempt. Quinn Maretzki made good on the kick, knocking in his third 45+ yard field goal of the season to put Army ahead 10-0 heading into halftime. It marked the fourth time in the last eight Army-Navy games that the Black Knights held the Mids scoreless through the opening half.

To open the second half, Army churned out a couple of first downs on a 14-yard run by Udoh and a 10-yard run by Daily but were held and forced to punt. On Navy's first offensive drive of the second half, the Army defense forced a three-and-out as seniors LB Jimmy Ciarlo and DB Quindrelin Hammonds shared a tackle for loss.

Following a controversial call on a would-be fumble and recovery by Army, by Navy punt returner Amin Hassan, Navy maintained possession. On the next play, QB Tai Lavatai broke free up the middle for a rush 25 yards. Navy was able to move down to the Army 19-yardline, settling for a 37-yard field goal by K Nathan Kirkwood to get on the board and cut the lead to a one-possession game, 10-3. On the drive the Midshipmen marched 12 plays, 70 yards that took 5:08 off the clock.

After three consecutive punts, LB Kailb Fortner made the play of the night stripping Lavatai, scooping up the ball and returning it 44-yards to the house to make it a 17-3 ball game with just 4:49 to play.

The Midshipmen would respond to quickly make it a one-possession game again. Lavatai threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jayden Umbarger. They would be unsuccessful in their two-point conversion attempt as Army held on to an eight-point lead.

After forcing a three and out, Navy would get the ball back at its own 27 yard line with 1:39 to play. On second-and-one, Lavatai found Eli Heidenreich for a 26-yard gain. A few plays later an 11-yard pass completion got the ball to the six-yard line. After two incompletions, Navy faced a third and goal from the six, FB Alex Tecza would get the ball to the two-yard line after a touchdown-saving tackle from Fortner, as Navy then hurried to the line with only five seconds left. There, the Army defense made a stop that will be remembered by Army fans forever, stuffing the QB sneak attempt Lavatai. With three seconds left from the goal line, Army's QB Bryson Daily took an intentional safety to kill the clock and seal the victory and the Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy for the first time since 2020.

Freshman RB Kanye Udoh, playing in his first Army-Navy Game led the Army ground game with 88 rushing yards on 13 carries (6.8 avg.). QB Bryson Daily added 84 yards on 27 attempts (3.1) and passed 7-for-14 for 54 yards with a touchdown. WR Casey Reynolds logged three receptions for 32 yards.

LB Kalib Fortner led the way for the Army defense with 10 tackles (five solo), and his strip sack fumble recovery for a touchdown. Senior captain LB Leo Lowin finished right behind him with nine tackles


Carrying the Flag: Senior Alex Meredith led the team out with the Black Flag.

DIVISION OF THE GAME: Army's 2023 uniforms for the 124th Army-Navy Game told the story of the soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Division during the opening phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Marne Division's participation in the initiation of offensive operations in Iraq, the longest and most rapid armored advance since the Second World War.

  • With the win it marks Army's 10th ever CIC Trophy outright title (1972, 1977, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1996, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2023).
  • Army has won six of the last eight meetings vs. Navy since 2016.
  • Army has won two consecutive games over Navy, marking the second time under Monken doing so as Army also won three in a row from 2016-18.
  • Head Coach Jeff Monken in his Army career is 6-4 vs. Navy.
  • With a win, Army wins the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy outright for the first time since 2020. Under Monken, Army has won the CIC four times (2017, 2018, 2020, 2023).
  • This is Army's fourth CIC Trophy in the past seven years (four in the previous 39 years combined).
  • The 2023 installment of Army-Navy marked the first time in the 124-year history of America's Game that it will be played in New England, and only the third time it will take place outside of the mid-Atlantic region (Chicago in 1926 and Pasadena, Calif. in 1983).
  • Next year in 2024, Army and Navy will battle in the Nation's capital as Washington, D.C. will serve as the host city with the game being played at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, home of the Washington Commanders.
  • Army has won 6+ games in each of the last four seasons.
  • It marks the fourth time that Army has held both Navy and Air Force to 11 points or fewer in the same season (1981, 1986, 2020).
  • Army ended the season on a four-game winning streak.
  • DB Max DiDomenico's interception was his second of the season.
  • Tyson Riley's touchdown reception was his third receiving touchdown of the season and fourth overall.
  • The touchdown pass from Daily to Riley in the second quarter was Army's first touchdown pass vs. Navy since 2015 when QB Chris Carter connected with WR Edgar Poe for a 39-yard pass.