PHILADELPHIA — Just when you thought Army-Navy couldn’t get any more intense, it snowed.
Then 60 minutes of bruising football came down to squinting through snow to see where a long field goal attempt would land.
Wide left. Cue the celebration for Army. The Black Knights are back.
Bennett Moehring narrowly missed a 48-yard field goal on the final play and Army held off Navy 14-13 on Saturday to win the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 1996.
Army (9-3) earned its second straight win over Navy (6-6) following 14 straight losses in the series.
“We’ve got seniors in there that went 4-8 as freshmen and 2-10 as sophomores,” Army coach Jeff Monken said. “Now they’ve won 17 games in the last two years. Really an incredible change.”
After trailing most of the game, Ahmad Bradshaw pushed over the goal line on a quarterback sneak with 5:10 remaining and Blake Wilson kicked the extra point to put Army ahead.
But Navy’s spectacular Malcolm Perry wasn’t finished.
The quarterback, who ran for 250 yards on 30 carries and a 68-yard score in the second quarter, led Navy to the Army 31 with 3 seconds left.
Navy elected to try a field goal, and after about 10 players used their feet to clear the steady snow during a timeout, Moehring’s kick was long enough but drifted barely left.
“Came up a couple of feet short,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “This is a great rivalry. It was another classic game.”
Army cut its deficit in the series to 60-51-7 in a matchup of bowl-bound teams. The Black Knights claimed the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy thanks to an earlier victory over Air Force.
“That trophy hadn’t been in our possession for 21 years,” said Monken, in his fourth season. “To be able to accomplish that with this team is a great source of pride.”
In a game that included just three passes — Army completed its lone toss — the Black Knights produced a 13-play, 65-yard drive to take a late lead. John Trainor tiptoed down the sideline for 8 yards one play before Bradshaw’s 12th touchdown of the season.
Bradshaw also scored the go-ahead touchdown in last year’s victory over Navy.
“I actually don’t think I would’ve gotten in if not for my fullback and my offensive line,” said Bradshaw, who rushed for 94 yards on 21 carries. “I kind of stopped, but I felt like (fullback) Andy (Davidson) picked me up and kind of walked me into the end zone.”
Navy took advantage of the ensuing kickoff going out of bounds and moved down the field. Perry dropped a shotgun snap on fourth down at the Army 37, but picked up the ball and ran for a first down. But Navy committed two false start penalties, making the final field goal attempt more difficult.
Snow started falling in the late morning on the 29-degree day. Workers used blowers to uncover the lines and hashmarks during timeouts as a light snow fell throughout.
The teams, both of whom run the triple-option, combined to complete just 59 passes all season. The snow made both coaches want to throw it even less as Navy went ahead 7-0 on Darnell Woolfolk’s 3-yard run on the opening possession.
The first pass came with under 9 minutes left in the second quarter. Army completed its only pass, a 20-yard wobbler from Bradshaw to Calen Holt, midway through the third quarter.