WEST POINT – For the first time since 1969, the Army football team shut out Navy, 15-0, in a historic game in Michie Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
For the first time since 1943, the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA was played at Michie Stadium due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions placed on gatherings in its originally-planned location, Philadelphia.
In front of approximately 12,722 fans, 8,800 of them the Corps of Cadets and the Brigade of Midshipmen, Army shut out the Midshipmen for the first time since a 27-0 victory on Nov. 29, 1969.
In the shutout, the defense held Navy to just 117 yards of total offense on 42 plays. They rushed for just 108 yards on 35 attempts and passed for nine yards on 1-for-7 passing. Senior captain Amadeo West led the way with a career-high nine tackles, a number also matched by fellow linebacker, junior Arik Smith.
The Army offense won the time-of-possession battle, 35:16 to 24:22 and collected 162 total yards on 54 plays, with 134 rushing yards and 28 passing. Quarterback Tyhier Tyler scored his second-career touchdown and rushed for 96 yards on 26 carries.
A foggy afternoon at Michie Stadium, the Black Knights got on the board first, as freshman kicker Quinn Maretzki nailed a 37-yard field goal attempt with 12:41 left in the second quarter to get on the board first.
With neither team generating much offense in the first half, Maretzki missed a 38-yard field goal with 1:41 left in the half after a botched snap, but the Black Knights took their 3-0 lead into the half.
At the half the Black Knights held the Mids to just 52 rushing yards on 18 carries and 0 passing yards. The Black Knights nearly identical, 52 rushing yards on 23 carries and 28 passing yards.
Navy’s first drive of the third quarter really turned the tide for the Black Knights, as a huge defensive goal line stand saw the Mids turn the ball over on downs from the Army one-yard line. Cedric Cunningham made a touchdown-saving play, as he stopped a 52-yard Xavier Arline rush that gave the Mids first and 10 from the Army two-yard line. From there West and Nick Stokes stopped Nelson Smith short with a one-yard gain to the Army one-yard line. Next play Arik Smith stopped Nelson for a loss of one. After a timeout, Jon Rhattigan made a huge stop on Arline just a yard shy, setting up fourth and goal from the one-yard line. West and Marquel Broughton stopped Smith for no gain and the ball was turned over on downs.
Then on the first drive of the fourth quarter, Tyler delivered the first touchdown of the day for either side as a four-yard rush plus Maretzki’s extra point made it 10-0, Black Knights.
The defense came up big once again, as Daryan McDonald tackled Navy’s Mark Walker for a loss of 14 yards on a second-and-10 play, giving the Black Knights a safety to make it 12-0.
The fourth quarter continued to be all Black Knights, as Maretzki added his second field goal of the day, this one a 40-yard strike to push the lead to 15-0 with 2:20 left.
That 15-0 lead would hold true and the Black Knights snapped the one-game losing streak to their rival and have won four-of-the-last-five matchups between the two academies.
The Black Knights will welcome Air Force to Michie Stadium in back-to-back CIC games as the Falcons are set to visit Michie Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 3 p.m.