Plenty at stake for two mil­i­tary schools

Mid­dies have won 10 straight, but both seek acad­e­mies’ tro­phy.

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Dan Gelston Army head coach Rich Eller­son has not beaten Navy since tak­ing over in 2009. evan Vucci / as­so­ci­ated PRESS

PHILADEL­PHIA — Army’s Jar­rett Mackey hears the same or­der each day he walks around the bar­racks at West Point.

Beat Navy and bring home the cov­eted Com­man­der-in-Chief’s Tro­phy.

“Ev­ery sin­gle time I pass them, it’s, ‘Army­Navy. CIC. Let’s go,’” Mackey said. “I wouldn’t say it puts more pres­sure on us, but it’s time. Let’s do this. We al­most need to do it. We’ve got to get out there and get the win. It’s been way too long.” Try 11 years. The Army-Navy se­ries is not only the most pa­tri­otic ri­valry in sports, it’s turned into one of the most one-sided. Navy has won 10 straight, dou­bling the pre­vi­ous win­ning streak of ei­ther team in a se­ries that stretches back to 1890. It only seems like the Black Knights haven’t won in 122 years. Army last beat Navy in 2001 at Veter­ans Sta­dium. The Vet has since been top­pled.

So has Army’s all-time lead in the se­ries.

Mackey, a ju­nior de­fen­sive end, wants so badly to be part of the class that ends the Mid­dies’ dom­i­nance. That alone, is in­cen­tive enough. But for the first time in nearly two decades, there is more on the line than just brag­ging rights.

Win­ning this game usu­ally makes a sea­son, but this one would mean more than most. The win­ner to­day leaves Lin­coln Fi­nan­cial Field with the Com­man­der-inChief’s tro­phy, awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three ser­vice acad­e­mies. Army and Navy each de­feated Air Force, putting the pres­ti­gious tro­phy up for grabs in the reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale for the first time since 2005. Army (2-9) hasn’t hoisted the CIC tro­phy since 1996. Navy (7-4) won it a school­record seven straight sea­sons through 2009 be­fore giv­ing way Air Force the last two sea­sons.

“We didn’t win much, but we won just enough to bring a lit­tle ex­tra drama to this game,” Army coach Rich Eller­son said. “From the moment th­ese guys got to West Point, ev­ery build­ing and ev­ery­body’s front door says, ‘Beat Navy’ and ‘Beat Air Force.’ There is so much on the ta­ble for them.”

Billed as “Amer­ica’s Game,” the Linc will be stuffed with Cadets and Mid­ship­men stand­ing, bounc­ing and cheer­ing the en­tire game. Beat­ing Army has be­come an an­nual tra­di­tion for Navy.

“They’re get­ting closer and closer,” Navy line­backer Brye French said. “The 10 wins have been awe­some. But this year is even big­ger than all those be­cause it ac­tu­ally means some­thing with the CIC.”

Navy’s 27-21 win last sea­son was the tight­est mar­gin since the win­ning streak started.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.