The most awaited Army-Navy game of America added another tweak to the most unpredictable year, 2020. Due to covid-19, the game took place in West Point instead of Philadelphia.
For many reasons, Army Navy Game 2020 was a unique one compared to the past games. For the first time, West Point saw this legendary rivalry of Army Vs. Navy since 1943 after World War II.
Under the dense foggy weather, the 121st face-off, held at Michie Stadium on December 12, 2020.
There was no entry for the public this year due to safety measures. Yet, the whole stadium was not silent. Cheers and boos showered from the cadets and midshipmen who enjoyed the entire game.
But the Army Black Knights had the last laugh by beating the Navy Midshipmen with a score of 15-0. No doubt, the Black Knight created history. It was such a thrilling victory against the Navy as their first win at West Point.
So, how was the game? For those who missed it and those who couldn’t get enough of the game, this article is for you. Let’s dive into it to get a glimpse of the game along with its rich history.
Table of Contents
Glorious History of Army-Navy Game
The Army-Navy game is famous for being the American College Football rivalry. This game holds the spirit of honoring the uniform of the United States Armed Forces.
Celebrating the end of the regular season of college football with this game is now a tradition. U.S president also attends this game every year. The national broadcast of the game enabled the audiences to watch it from their home over the years.
From the first game held in 1890 to 2020, the game always got enormous crowd attendance. So, it is 130 years of glorious legacy. Also, there are many notable victories.
For example, within their 121 years of game history, the games of 1944 and 1945 were a back-to-back win for Army. It was a game where Army and Navy met twice as the No.1 and No.2 team.
Another game of 1963 almost got canceled due to President John Kennedy’s assassination. Further, Kennedy’s family urge for the match to occur. In this game, the Navy won by 21-15.
Besides, 1964, 1983, 2015, and 2016 are also memorable for their respective significance. And, the year 2020 is also a part of these memorable games for its uniqueness.
Army Navy Game 2020 Recap
In 1943, the Navy shut down the Army at 13-0 at West Point. And West Point did not organize this game since then, except for 2020. So, every pair of eyes set to declare who would be the winner of 2020.
With the coin flip of the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, the game began. The dense fog during the game made it difficult to get a clear view. But the battle continued with head-to-head competitiveness.
For team Midshipman, Xavier Arline being the 5th freshman, made a start at quarterback. And, for the Army, it was Tyhier Tyler who made his second start. Tyler already experiences playing the previous four games for Army.
The first half had a different picture than the second half of the game.
At first, both teams finished the first quarter with a 0-0 score. And, the competitive attitude of both groups was a sight to watch.
Then, early in the 2nd quarter, Tyler made a 28-yard completion on a wheel route to Tyrell Robinson. It was the second completion of Tyler’s career.
First, Tyler’s completion set up the chance for a field goal in Army’s favor. And Quin Maretzki did not lose the opportunity to score the 37-yard field goal. The Army got the lead with a 3-0 score and maintained the score through the 2nd quarter.
With a score of 3-0, Army put their dominance on the field. The score continued till the third quarter. But the most critical moment came in the second half of the game.
When Arline broke free for a 52-yard run to the goal line after receiving a kickoff, he was about to cross the goal line. But, Cedric Cunningham from the opposing team ran Arline down.
Then, Ken Niumatalolo, the Navy coach, called for a timeout. But all the efforts result in nothing in front of the intense defense that Army created.
For instance, the way John Rattigan, senior linebacker of Army, stopped Arline a few inches before the goal. Or the way West stopped Navy’s Nelson Smith on the fourth down.
The opportunity of the goal inside the 5-yard line was the best one for the Navy to find the end zone. The result of the game could have completely different if the Navy could score it.
Again, both teams continued trading punts. But, then the first and only touchdown of the game occurred. It was none other than the Army’s Tyhier Tyler. This star of Black Knights managed to turn the table by scoring the touchdown for Army.
Further, the score turned into 12-0, when the Navy dug their own grave by running on the end zone’s reverse side. And Arm’s Daryan McDonald did not miss the chance to make it a 12-0 from 10-0 with a safety.
Finally, Army’s Quin Maretzki did not forget to add another field goal of 40-yard to the scoreboard. And, the victory of Black Knight was clear as crystal with a score of 15-0.
Performance of the Offense
Under the thick sheet of fog, both team’s offenses didn’t go untracked. The game had 279-yards of offense-play combining the teams.
The Army finished the game with 162-yards of offense, whereas they could hold the Navy for 117-yards. The team Navy had only four first-down, which is half of what the Army’s had.
It was the fewest yards and the worst offensive performance in the Navy’s history since 2002.
Performance of the Defense
The performance of defense on the Army’s part is noteworthy. In the whole season, Army’s defense play was consistent. They hold the Navy for only 117-yards in total. The defense team mesmerized everyone with their remarkable performance.
For example, in the 4th quarter, the fumble recovery by John Rattigan. Also, the way Cedric Cunningham saved the touchdown tackling the Navy freshman QB, Xavier Arline. Or the added two scores in the 4th quarter safety.
So, the performance of the Army’s defense was praiseworthy in their 121st meeting.
Performance of the Special Team
The special-team did a pretty good job in the whole game. And, this punt-heavy game showed how skilled the special-unit was. Besides, the sophomore punter, Zach Harding, booted away from the ball 7times for 262-yards.
Moreover, in the 3rd quarter, Harding’s 48-yard punt contributed to keeping the Navy away from getting any possession time.
Another special-team player, Quin Maretzki, bagged two field goals to raise the Army’s score. The first field goal was for 37-yards, set up by Army’s quarterback. Again, the second one was a 40-yard field goal that set up the score to 15.
Notable Performances of the Players
Xavier Arline made his 3rd career start. He was almost the whole offense of Navy. He alone finished 109-yards on 17 attempts in the game.
- Tyhier Tyler
Tyhier Tyler Quarterback made his first start as a sophomore in the game. He played like a star in the Army offense. Again, Tyler finished the game with 96 rushing yards. Also, the only touchdown of the game came from this young player on 26 attempts.
- Quin Maretzki
The first score came from the field goal came from this freshman for the Black Knights. The 37-yard goal and the 40-yards goal in the 2nd quarter and 4th quarter contributed to the winning score of 15-0 for Black Knights.
- Cedric Cunningham
Cedric Cunningham showed his outstanding defensive skills as a Black Knight. He was able to tackle Navy quarterback Arline from a touchdown. This defense made all the difference. Otherwise, a touchdown at that time could turn the table over.
- John Rattigan
In the recent Army-Navy game, John Rattigan showed how his defensive skill could change the game’s path.
When Cedric stopped Navy’s QB before 2-yards from getting the touchdown, the danger was still there. But Army’s strong defense, including John Rattigan, stopped the Navy without scoring any goal.
Also, his fumble recovery in the 4th quarter played a crucial role in winning the game.
Significant Features of the Game
- Uniform No.68
Former offensive lineman of Navy, David Forney passed away due to cardiac arrest at Naval Academy in February 2020. His death shook the whole Naval Academy.
He had a significant impact in Naval Academy. Moreover, he led the team carrying the American Flag for the Army-Navy game last year. To honor him, nobody wore the No.68 of Forney until a special event like this year’s Army-Navy game.
Forney’s friend Billy Honaker, the senior tri-captain of Navy, wore No.68 with Forney’s parents’ permission and blessings.
- President Donald Trump’s Attendance
America’s 45th President Donald Trump attended this year’s Army-Navy game. The Cadets and Midshipmen present in the stadium greeted him with warmth and cheers.
Navy won the coin toss after the President flipped the coin. He was wearing the mask while he joined the Army cadets in the first quarter and later on the Midshipmen.
Defense Secretary, Chris Miller gave him company till his departure.
- Uniform of the Game
Wearing a special uniform has become a part of this game. Black Knights’ uniform honors the 25th Infantry Division for their heroic contribution during World War II and the Korean War.
The iconic lightning bolt on a taro leaf was the shoulder insignia of the 25th Infantry Division.
For the Navy, the uniform celebrates Naval Academy’s 175th Anniversary. A blue-white marble pattern in the shoulder pads and helmets signifies the stone used in Navy hero, John Paul’s crypt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of army navy game 2020
Question: How many times Army and Navy win the game?
Answer: The recent face-off was the 121st meeting of Army-Navy. Among 121 games, Army won 53, and the Navy won 61 along with seven Ties.
Question: Who is the winner in Army Navy Game 2020?
Answer: Army won the game in 2020 and beat the Navy by 15-0 at the Michie Stadium in West Point, New York.
Question: Why the game moved to West Point?
Answer: Although the game generally occurs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This year the game shifted to West Point due to the Corona pandemic as a safety measure.
Question: Where will be the Army-Navy Game 2021 and when?
Answer: As Governor Chris Christie said at a press conference, the game will move to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on December 11, 2020.
Final Word of army navy game 2020
With ‘Army Navy Game 2020,’ the game completed its 130 years of legacy. From 1890 to 2020, this royal battle captivated a lot of audiences.
The recent game of 2020 was in favor of Army Black Knights. The 121st face-off at West Point settled for the Army with a smashing score of 15-0. But its rich history will continue. And, the Navy is yet on the lead with 61 winning matches.
The game of 2020 will be memorable for many reasons. Both teams had to face a lot of challenges to play under foggy weather. Yet, the Black Knights managed to bag the trophy with their teamwork.
The Black Knights’ performance on defense, offense was incredible throughout the game. And with this victory, Black Knights won four out of five games within the last five years.
Although the public could not attend the game due to safety measures, they enjoyed it from home. Despite all the challenges and difficulties people had to face in 2020. The game was a little joy for the Americans.
No doubt that the date of December 12, 2020, will be a memory to cherish for the Army Black Knights (8-2) for holding the Navy Midshipman (3-7) to zero points. The most crucial thing about this game is that they celebrate brotherhood under one country despite the rivalry in the game.