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May 19, 2024

Navy Sails to Emphatic 30-7 Victory Over Army

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Dec 9, 2023

Navy dominated the 124th edition of the storied Army-Navy football rivalry on Saturday, defeating Army 30-7 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. In the first time the iconic matchup has been played in New England, Navy put on a spectacular show in front of over 60,000 fans.

Navy’s Defense Stifles Army Offense

Navy’s defense set the tone early, forcing Army’s triple-option attack into negative yardage in the first quarter. The Midshipmen racked up 3 sacks and kept relentless pressure on Army quarterback Jemel Jones.

“I’m really proud of our defensive unit,” said Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo. “The coaching staff had a great game plan and our guys executed it.”

Army finished with just 7 points and 209 total yards, by far their lowest output of the season. Navy confused Army up front all game long with blitz packages and constantly changing defensive looks. Safety Rayuan Lane led the Midshipmen with 9 tackles.

“It was tough to find any running room today,” admitted Army fullback JaKobi Buchanan. “Their front seven played extremely fast and physical.”

Maasai Maynor Leads Navy Offense

Quarterback Maasai Maynor provided a major lift for Navy upon entering the game in the second quarter after starter Xavier Arline struggled. Maynor scored on a 70-yard touchdown scamper and made several key throws to give Navy a lead they would not relinquish.

“Maasai gave us a huge spark. He deserves to play. The kid works hard,” said Niumatalolo on deciding to pull Arline in favor of Maynor.

Maynor finished with 122 rushing yards to lead the Mids’ ground attack. Anton Hall Jr. added 79 yards and 2 scores as Navy racked up 304 rushing yards. Wide receiver Jayden Umbarger provided the highlight of the game with an incredible one-handed touchdown grab to put Navy up 17-0.

“All the credit to the big guys up front. They dominated the line of scrimmage today,” Maynor commented on the offensive success.

Navy Snaps Losing Streak in Series

With the commanding win, Navy snapped Army’s current 3-game winning streak in the rivalry series. The Midshipmen last tasted victory in 2019 and were determined to get redemption this year. Players even noted that Navy’s new black jerseys provided extra motivation.

“This one’s special because we’ve come up short the past few years,” said Umbarger on the significance of the win. “The black uniforms and playing up here in Foxborough gave us some extra juice.”

Niumatalolo echoed the importance of defeating Army to close a difficult 5-win campaign: “Beat Army – that’s our number one goal every season no matter what. I’m so proud of these young men for sticking together through adversity.”

For Army, it was a disappointing ending after entering with wins in 15 of their last 17 contests. The loss likely knocks them out of bowl eligibility for the first time since 2015.

Gillette Stadium Provides Ideal Backdrop

While the Navy victory thrilled the Brigade of Midshipmen in attendance, the game itself taking place at the home of the New England Patriots added further spectacle. Blanketed in snow and cold mid-December weather, the setting perfectly captured the essence of the hallowed matchup.

“This was an incredible atmosphere for the greatest rivalry in sports,” noted CBS play-by-play announcer Brad Nessler. “The snow falling all game long just added to the pageantry.”

The Navy Corps of Drums performed patriotic pregame routines. Halftime saw a joint drill exhibition with cadets and midshipmen marching in precision formation across the field. Over 4 million viewers tuned in to the CBS national broadcast.

Game Statistics Navy Army
1st Downs 17 13
Rushing Yards 304 141
Passing Yards 122 68
Penalties 2 5
Turnovers 0 2

“We hope to be back,” said Ken Niumatalolo about returning to Foxborough in future years. “The setup here at Gillette and the Navy fan support were just awesome.”

Looking Ahead to 2024

After Navy wraps up exams, players and coaches will begin preparing for the 2024 campaign. Building on this year’s Army win, the team hopes to capture the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy and gain a berth in the American Athletic Conference title game.

With 14 starters slated to return, including Maynor and several key defenders, the Midshipmen expect to field another strong squad. The coaching staff aims to infuse talented youth such as running back Daba Fofana to guide Navy to further success.

Army faces uncertainty with a new head coach search upcoming as Jeff Monken is rumored to take the open Georgia Tech job. The Black Knights hope tweaks to their option offense and a bolstered defense can avenge this lopsided defeat. This sets the stage for another hotly-contested Army-Navy showdown next December in Baltimore.

“I already can’t wait for next year’s game,” Maynor said. “We plan on keeping the momentum going and defending our bragging rights against Army.”

If the 2023 edition is any indication, the Army-Navy Game still reigns as an iconic display of competition, pageantry and patriotism even after 124 meetings. The rivalry never loses steam, continuing to generate national hype and deliver thrills every season.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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