Navy continues domination of Army
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The Midshipmen had already lost the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. They weren't about to lose to Army, too.
Ricky Dobbs threw the longest touchdown pass in the 111-year history of the Army-Navy game, Wyatt Middleton had the longest fumble return in school history, and the Midshipmen extended their winning streak against Army to nine straight with a 31-17 victory Saturday.
Dobbs passed for 186 yards and two touchdowns in his final game against the Black Knights (6-6), one of 24 seniors to never lose to their rivals from West Point. Dobbs turned the ball over four times - three fumbles and an interception in the end zone - but also ran for a team-high 54 yards for Navy (9-3).
Army already trailed 17-7 with first-and-goal at the Navy 3 when Trent Steelman got stood up on a quarterback keeper. The ball squirted from his hands and right to Middleton, who turned around to see nobody in a black jersey between him and the goal line. The 98-yard return made it 24-7 at halftime and silenced the grey-clad Cadets in the corner of Lincoln Financial Field.
Both teams lost to Air Force this season, ending the Midshipmen's seven-year grip on the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy awarded to the top service academy. But another victory over Army - the game that matters most on the schedule every year - certainly helped to ease that sting.
Army is still headed to its first bowl game since 1996, the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30 in Dallas against SMU. The Midshipmen play San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 23.