PHILADELPHIA — Navy used a trick play to help reverse a rare losing streak against Army, and Malcolm Perry ran for a career-high 304 yards and two touchdowns in front of President Donald Trump in the No. 21 Mids’ 31-7 victory Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Navy (9-2, No. 23, CFP) won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the 16th time and snapped a three-game losing streak to Army (5-8) in the 120th game between the service academies.
Navy leads the series 61-52-7.
Perry, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior quarterback, helped Navy’s offense run away with another game for the record book. He ran for a 55-yard TD in the first half, added a 44-yard scamper and set Navy season records in yards rushing and total 100-yard games.
His most GIF-worthy play, however, didn’t end up with his name on the scoring sheet. Perry took the snap at the 1-yard line, ran to his left and handed off the ball to receiver Chance Warren, who threw to Jamale Carothers for the score and a 14-7 lead.
It was Navy’s twist on the Philly Special — the Naval Special? — at the home of the Philadelphia Eagles.
It was Navy’s only passing yardage of the game. Perry, who was the game’s MVP, didn’t even attempt a pass, and Army surprise starting quarterback Christian Anderson threw just once.
Anderson wasn’t listed on Army’s two-deep depth chart and got the call over an apparently injured Kelvin Hopkins Jr., who had two rushing TDs in last year’s 17-10 win over Navy.
Anderson sparked the Black Knights on the game’s opening possession, scoring on a 5-yard run to cap a methodical 10-minute, 41-second drive.
Perry needed just four plays to even the score on a dynamic run that sent the Mids into a frenzy.
The Cadets and Midshipmen stood, saluted, bounced and cheered for the entirety of what’s billed as “America’s Game.” Trump made a return visit for the second straight year; he was also at the 2016 game as president-elect.
The traditional Philly game drew 68,075 fans and ESPN’s “College GameDay” was on hand.
With pride and patriotism stretched end zone to end zone, Trump sat on the Army side of the field in the first half and crossed the field to the Navy side for the second half.
Carothers crossed the goal line for a 5-yard score in the third that made it 21-3 and sent the Mids on their way toward clinching the CIC Trophy, awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies.
Bijan Nichols kicked a 37-yard field goal, and Perry added a 15-yard TD run in the fourth.
Army: The Black Knights rushed for only 122 yards after averaging 311.7 yards this season, good enough for second nationally. Army had to surrender the CIC Trophy after winning it in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history.
Navy: The Midshipmen are trying to finish the season ranked in the AP Top 25 for only the third time (2004, 2015) in the last 56 years. Navy has been ranked during the season four times in the last five years. The Mids also improved to 11-2 over Army at Lincoln Financial Field.
Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo became the winningest coach in the history of the Army-Navy series with nine. Army’s Earl Blaik went 8-8-2 from 1941-1958.
Perry passed Napoleon McCallum to set Navy’s single-season rushing mark. McCallum held the record since 1983 with 1,587 yards.
Perry also became Navy’s single-season record holder in total offense and with nine straight 100-yard rushing games. He also became the career leading rusher in the Army-Navy series.
Army’s season is over.
Navy plays Kansas State on Dec. 31 in the Liberty Bowl.