Ahmad Bradshaw’s late touchdown lifts Army over Navy, 14-13

By Joe Juliano - The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News | December 9th, 2017 7:45 pm

In the middle of a lazy December snowfall, before a crowd of 68,625 at Lincoln Financial Field, Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw dashed Navy’s hopes of victory in one of the nation’s best college football rivalries for a second straight year.

Bradshaw marched the Black Knights on a 65-yard drive in a little over 7{ minutes and scored on a 1-yard sneak with 5 minutes, 10 seconds to play, giving his team a 14-13 victory over the Midshipmen on Saturday in the 118th playing of the rivalry between the service academies.

Bradshaw also accounted for the deciding touchdown in last year’s Army-Navy game in Baltimore, going over from 9 yards out with 6 minutes to play as the Black Knights broke a 14-game losing streak to the Mids.

To secure the victory Saturday, however, Army (9-3) had to stop a last-ditch drive that began at the Navy 35. Quarterback Malcolm Perry, who rushed for 250 yards on 30 carries, led the Midshipmen to the Army 31. But with three seconds to play, Bennett Moehring was wide left on a 48-yard field goal attempt, kicking off a wild celebration by the Black Knights and their fans.

Snow fell throughout the game, creating less than ideal playing conditions, but neither team committed a turnover. Navy (6-6) outgained the Black Knights, 296-241, but a pair of false-start penalties crippled the Mids as they tried to get closer for a potential game-winning field goal by Moehring.

Bradshaw, who was cleared of a 2014 rape allegation in a statement released by the U.S. Military Academy on Saturday morning, rushed for 94 yards on 21 carries.

After Navy held the nation’s No. 1 rushing offense to just 109 yards in the first half, the Black Knights fashioned two long, time-consuming drives in the second half.

They drove from their 20 to the Navy 9 in the third quarter before losing eight yards on a penalty and a tackle for loss by the Mids’ D.J. Palmore on John Trainor, but Blake Wilson missed a 35-yard field goal attempt wide right on the first snap of the fourth quarter.

But after holding Navy to a three-and-out, the Black Knights took over at their 35 and methodically went down the field behind Bradshaw, who ran for 12, 12 and 9 yards on the first three plays. He also converted twice on third down, including a 1-yard sneak that gave Army a first-and-goal at the 9.

Trainor took a pitchout on second down and ran left for eight yards to the 1. Bradshaw then sneaked into the middle of the line and after checking the spot, officials ruled a touchdown.

Army received the opening kickoff and marched 68 yards on 11 plays for its initial touchdowns. Kell Walker’s 33-yard run highlighted the drive and he also swept right on a crucial fourth-and-one to give the Black Knights a first-and-goal at the 3. Darnell Woolfolk went over for the score on the next play.

The Navy defense clamped down on Army the rest of the half, holding its opponent to one first down and 41 total yards.

The Midshipmen responded to the Army score behind Perry, who started at quarterback. He carried on his team’s first five plays, gaining a total of 46 yards, including a 19-yard dash to the Black Knights 29. The drive stalled at the 10, but Moehring kicked a 28-yard field goal to put Navy on the scoreboard.

Perry was all the Mids needed on the team’s second possession. Facing a third-and-4 from his 32, Perry started to the left, went to the right, found a lane and sped away untouched from the Army defense for the touchdown that gave Navy a 10-7 lead about 3{ minutes into the second quarter.

The Mids had one more sustained drive before the end of the half, but got only as far as the Army 45 before deciding to punt on fourth-and-2 with 9 seconds left in the half.

Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw (17) runs the ball against Navy during the second half of Saturday’s game in Philadelphia. Army won 14-13.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Army-Navy.jpgArmy quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw (17) runs the ball against Navy during the second half of Saturday’s game in Philadelphia. Army won 14-13. Army quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw runs the ball against Navy during the second half of Saturday’s game in Philadelphia. Army won 14-13. Matt Rourke | AP file photo

By Joe Juliano

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News


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