It’s been a few weeks since we last updated you on the latest in the Ike Award competition between all three service academies, and we have had quite a few contests, so it’s time to catch up on where we stand and what’s upcoming in the next few weeks between Air Force, Army, and Navy Athletics.
Air Force vs. Army Football: Army Win 17-14
The Falcons traveled to West Point to take on the Black Knights for the second round of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy back in November, but they were unable to come away with the Trophy. Army used a familiar recipe, with Darnell Woolfolk rushing for 117 yards and a score and Kelvin Hopkins adding a six yard rushing TD of his own en route to a 17-14 victory over Air Force to retain the CIC Trophy.
Air Force fell behind 14-0 in the first half, with a costly interception by Army’s Mike Reynolds at the Army four yard line late in the second quarter keeping them off the scoreboard. After turning to Donald Hammond III at quarterback in the second half, they made a surge, outgaining Army 212-77 in the second half and getting within three points, but they were ultimately stuffed on consecutive downs, turning the ball over with less than two minutes left in the game.
Air Force vs. Army Hockey (Round One): Air Force Win 4-2
Air Force and Army squared off the same weekend as the two football teams did for a two game Atlantic Hockey series. In the first game, Air Force struck first, with Matt Pulver scoring on a rebound from Matt Koch. That score would stand until Army evened things up on a power play goal from Dominic Franco with 12 minutes to go in the second period. Air Force would regain the lead with under two minutes until the second intermission, but Army would tie it back up once again in the third on a goal from Brendan Soucie. However, Air Force would score two goals in the final three minutes of the game to seal the victory with Brady Tomlak netting the gamewinner and then Trevor Stone adding an empty netter to make the final score 4-2.
Air Force vs. Army Hockey (Round Two): Air Force Win 4-2
In the second game of the weekend, it was more of the same between the two hockey teams. Air Force jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a power play goal two minutes into the second period followed up by a Kyle Haak goal a few minutes later. On the ensuing faceoff, Army was able to cut the lead in half on a goal from Marshal Plunkett. Air Force would go up 3-1, but Army would close it to 3-2 on a backhanded score from Daniel Haieder. It was too little too late for the Black Knights, however, as another empty netter from the Falcons sealed the contest with the same final score as the night before 4-2.
Navy vs. Army Volleyball: Army Win 3-1
After having lost to Navy in three straight sets earlier in the season, the Army volleyball team defended its home court and got revenge on the Midshipmen with a three set to one victory in West Point.
Both teams traded points in the first set with neither of them leading by more than two points until Army got the final point to win the set 25-22. Army followed that up by building a comfortable second set lead en route to a 25-19 victory to go up two sets to none.
With their backs against the wall, Navy clawed back into the match with a set three victory. The Mids got out to a 14-7 lead before allowing the Black Knights to get back within one at 14-3. They would build the lead back to 20-16 before closing out the set 25-20.
However, Army would respond, jumping out to a huge 10-3 lead in the fourth set, on their way to winning the set 25-19 and securing the three sets to one victory.
Army vs. Navy Sprint Football in CSFL Championship: Navy Win 24-10
Navy was able to avenge its star series loss to Army by defeating the Black Knights in the CSFL Championship and picking up an Ike Award point while they were at it.
The difference in rushing was the main factor in the game, with the Mids outgaining Army on the ground 289-16 in the contest. Quarterback Braydan Chmiel was the star of the show, leading the team in rushing with 183 yards and a touchdown and throwing for two more scores as well.
Jared Wiltshire was on the receiving end of both touchdowns, gaining 55 yards to go with the two scores. The Navy defense was dominant as well, getting five tackles for a loss, three sacks, TWELVE pass breakups, and an interception on the night. Add in a blocked punt on special teams and it was quite the night for Navy.
Air Force vs. Army Women’s Basketball: Air Force Win 71-60
If there is a team currently showcasing itself as the biggest turnaround in service academy athletics this season, it might be the Air Force women’s basketball team. All they did against Army was pick up their first victory over the Black Knights since 2007.
Behind a sensational performance from standout freshman Briana Autrey, the Falcons used a fourth quarter surge to secure the win. After three quarters, Army held a small two point advantage, leading the game 54-52. But Autrey’s ability to create havoc on defense and drive to the rim on offense led to a 19-6 margin in the fourth quarter for Air Force and the 71-60 victory on the road against one of their rivals.
Autrey would finish with 22 points, two assists, two blocks, and two steals. Riley Snyder added 15 points and sophomore Kaelin Immel contributed 14 to lead the way along with Autrey and help secure the win for the Falcons.
We have five upcoming contests in the next two weeks for more Ike Award points. The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams from Army and Navy will square off this Saturday for the star in West Point. The Navy women’s basketball team will travel to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force next Friday Dec. 7. The Air Force and Army men’s basketball teams will square off on the 8th in the Springs as well, and of course, the Army-Navy football matchup is set to take place in Philadelphia on the same day at Lincoln Financial Field!