Dec. 6, 2008
Box Score |
AP Action Photos
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Army's cool new dress code resulted in the same old loss against Navy.
With President George W. Bush in attendance, Shun White ran for 147 yards and scored two touchdowns to lead bowl-bound Navy over Army 34-0 Saturday for its seventh straight win in the storied rivalry between service academies.
Army (3-9) debuted camouflage helmets, pants and uniform numbers, and the backs of their jerseys had the words "Duty. Honor. Country."
The Black Knights' makeover was sharper than their play. Navy (8-4) got a 65-yard TD run from White on the third play of the game and improved to 53-49-7 overall against Army for its biggest lead in a series that began in 1890.
Navy has won 13 straight times against Air Force and Army since 2002, outscoring the programs 441-205 during the streak. The Commander-in-Chief's Trophy remains docked with Navy.
Eric Kettani rushed for 131 yards and a TD for Navy and linebacker Ram Vela returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown with 31 seconds left.
The Mids have already accepted a bid to play in the inaugural EagleBank Bowl on Dec. 20 in Washington, their sixth straight bowl game.
Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo didn't skip a beat in his first year leading the Mids since Paul Johnson left for Georgia Tech. Niumatalolo became the second service academy coach to win the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy in his first year, joining Navy's George Welsh in 1973.
Some Navy fans held a sign that read: "Congress, bail out Army!"
Army's Collin Mooney gained 1 yard on the final carry of the game to finish with 55 yards rushing and set the program's single-season rushing record with 1,339 yards.
Army scored only three points in last year's 38-3 loss in Baltimore and was shut out in the patriotic series for the first time since a 28-0 loss in 1978.
The series has become increasingly lopsided, often making the pregame pageantry the most memorable part of the day.
Bush was mostly cheered by the crowd of 69,144 at Lincoln Financial Field and heard chants of "USA! USA! USA!" as he walked to midfield for the ceremonial coin toss. On his way, he stopped to kick a football on a tee. The playful boot went about 15 yards.
Bush, attending his third Army-Navy game, gave both teams pep talks and watched each half from a different side in support of both service academies.
No matter the angle, White put on quite a show. The game's MVP quickly put Navy ahead, sprinting 65 yards down Navy's sideline for a 7-0 lead.
Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada connected with Tyree Barnes on a 34-yard reception that set up a 23-yard field goal by Matt Harmon for a 10-0 lead.
White was wide open and caught the a pass from Kaheaku-Enhada around the 10, then coasted into the end zone for an 18-yard TD catch that made it 17-0 at halftime.
White, 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, rushed for 138 yards in the first half and went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season.
Army's seniors talked all week about how much it would mean to end their careers with at least one win against Navy. This is easily the most important game for each team every season - more meaningful than any bowl game. With fighter jets roaring over the stadium before kickoff, and cadets and mids standing, bouncing and cheering on a chilly day, it was easy to see how much this rivalry means to both sides.
When Kettani scored on a 5-yard run in the third quarter to make it 24-0, the game was all but over. Harmon added a 36-yard field goal in the fourth.
The Black Knights missed two prime chances in the first half to score. The first came after a bad snap and punt from the Mids gave Army the ball on their own 46. Army only gained 3 yards, though, and punted.
Then Pat Mealy broke a pair of tackles and returned a kick 72 yards down to Navy's 27 that electrified the crowd. Again, Army couldn't convert and got nothing on a fake field goal attempt.
Navy played without cornerback Rashawn King, who returned home to Raleigh, N.C., following the death of his father. Drexel King had a heart attack Thursday and the Mids played with a "DK" sticker on the back of their helmets.