Army vs. Navy: a look back

Just call them the dog days of summer. The days, hours, minutes, even seconds, seem to drag on as Navy's season-opener on Sept. 2 against East Carolina approaches. What's a diehard Midshipmen fan to do during this tough period? Talk Navy football, of course. Reminisce a little bit. Speaking of reminiscing:

The GoMids.com staff is trying to make these days a little easier for all of you diehard Navy football fans.

Let's take a step back in time. Not too far. We're going to revisit, and of course, THOROUGHLY ENJOY rehashing Navy's last four wins over rival Army. It's going to be fun and should pass time a little quicker.

Coming next week: A look back at Navy's three consecutive wins over Air Force and two straight bowl wins.

Here's Army:

2005: So what if Navy entered with three consecutive blowout wins over the Black Knights. Many fans and reporters figured this could be Army's year. After all, the Black Knights entered on a four-game winning streak.

The game was competitive. For a half, at least. Fullback Adam Ballard, who began the year on the bench, gutted Army for 192 rushing yards and two touchdowns in Navy's 42-23 win at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Quarterback Lamar Owens added 99 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The Midshipmen set an Army-Navy record with 490 offensive yards.

Navy's win gave it a third straight Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.

The Black Knights led 10-7 midway through the second quarter, but Navy responded with touchdown runs of 28 and 1 yards by Owens to take a 21-10 lead at halftime.

The rout was on.

Navy never looked back.

2004: President George W. Bush was in the house and even took part in the coin toss by flipping a coin sent from Fallujah in Iraq.

Then it was time for Navy to toss Army aside. Navy beat the Black Knights' 42-23 at the Linc in Army coach Bobby Ross' Army-Navy debut.

This year's Navy hero? Quarterback Aaron Polanco. He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Polanco's performance helped Navy to nine wins in a season for the first time since 1963.

Let's not forget Navy fullback Kyle Eckel's 179 yards rushing and touchdown.

Josh Smith returned a Zac Dahman pass and returned it 67 yards for a score to give Navy a 21-0 lead in the second quarter. Game over.

2003: The local boy made good. Damn good. Kyle Eckel, who grew up in Philadelphia, rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns to lead Navy to a 34-6 win at the Linc.

For his efforts, Eckel was named the game MVP. While Navy headed to the Houston Bowl, Army had to come to terms with an 0-13 season.

Army became the first team in NCAA history to finish 0-13. Only two other Division I-A teams have finished 0-12 – Colorado State in 1981 and Hawaii in 1998.

Navy led just 13-6 at halftime, but pounded Army in the second half.

2002: The day will live in infamy for Army fans. December 7, 2002: The Meadowlands Massacre. Navy defeated the Black Knights 58-12 in a game that left many Army fans believing that the team actually quit on coach Todd Berry. Berry was fired after an 0-6 start midway through the next season.

Navy quarterback Craig Candeto ran all over Army, setting a school-record with six rushing touchdowns. He tied the Division I-A record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, set by Air Force's Dee Dowis against San Diego State to open the 1989 season.

Candeto scored on three 1-yard runs and from 42, 7 and 3 yards.

Navy's point total was the most in the game's history, and the 46-point margin was the second-largest in the series, behind a 51-0 Navy win in 1973.

Who would have thought that this game would start a string of ugly Navy blowouts.

Imagine another in 2006?


Navy fullback Adam Ballard (22) runs for a 28-yard touchdown as Army's defensive back Caleb Campbell pursues(AP Photo).

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