The Army West Point football team made it three in a row over Navy on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, winning by a final score of 17-10 and keeping the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy in New York for the second year in a row. It was quite the day for the Black Knights.
There were some big time performances on both sides of the ball as the teams scratched and clawed their way to another close edition of America’s Game.
We are here to dish out some final regular season CIC MVP awards before naming MVPs for each team for the entire year and voting on who should be the offensive, defensive, and special teams MVPs across all three service academies this season.
Offense: Kelvin Hopkins, Jr., QB, Army
I went back and forth on this decision at first, as Kell Walker made a couple huge plays in the game. The 51 yard run by Walker on the first drive setup the Hopkins rushing TD and a big 25 yard reception on 3rd and 12 later in the first half kept an Army drive going that resulted in a missed 33 yard FG by John Abercrombie.
Ultimately, however, Hopkins scored both touchdowns for Army and converted several big third downs with both his arms and his legs. He ended the game only 4/9 passing for 61 yards, but those completions helped lead to 10 of the Black Knights 17 points. He led the team in rushing with 64 yards on 18 carries and the two touchdowns.
Hopkins and Darnell Woolfolk have been the backbone of the Army offense this year, and he put on another great performance in the biggest game of the Black Knights season.
ONE DRIVE. ONE TOUCHDOWN.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 8, 2018
Army strikes first. pic.twitter.com/WNV9GgOdJQ
Defense: Jaylon McClinton, DB, Army
Jaylon McClinton had a huge game for the Black Knights defense. He led the team with 9 tackles including a tackle for a loss.
He intercepted Zach Abey on Navy’s second drive of the game.
And perhaps the biggest play, he forced the Garret Lewis fumble at the Army six yard line after Lewis had picked up a first down and was leading Navy towards its first touchdown of the game.
James Nachtigal, Kenneth Brinson, and Elijah Riley also had great games and big plays, but McClinton was the star of the show on defense Saturday night.
Army picked a GREAT time to force a fumble. pic.twitter.com/jVDgBVbnwk— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 8, 2018
Special Teams: Bennett Moehring, K, Navy
Moehring wasn’t given the chance to kick the game winner this year after missing one in the snow just barely wide left last year. ESPN College Gameday did a great segment on Moehring yesterday during their pre-game show about what he learned from that moment in 2017.
However, with the Navy team down 17-7, and under a minute to go, coach Niumatalolo elected to let Moehring try a 46 yarder to get the Mids back within one score and the senior kicker drilled it straight through the uprights.
It was a great moment for the Arkansas native, even if it came too late to make a difference in the outcome of the game!