College football is a sport built on tradition and competition. The annual Army-Navy Football game may be the greatest representation of these qualities. For over a century, the Army Black Knights have competed against the Navy Midshipmen for inter-service bragging rights, a privilege unlike any other. As a Navy enthusiast, there is nothing more satisfying than beating Army in college football (Especially for 14 years in a row.)

Unfortunately for me, this past weekend, Army defeated Navy for the third consecutive year. The Midshipmen entered the game as the underdog, posting a 3-9 record before taking on the 9-2 Black Knights. I thought that the game was over before it even started. Not only did Army produce a better record this year, but they were also carrying motivation from 2 powerful wins in 2016 and 2017 and arguably had the better alternative uniforms. Army also had one of its greatest seasons in program history, defeating solid teams such as Liberty, Hawaii, and Air Force.

Despite Navy’s seasonal struggles, there was still hope. Unfortunately for the mids, Zach Abey and the offense could not get it going, turning the ball over four times once inside the 5-yard line. The fact that Navy was down 10-7 with about 7 minutes left was a praise to the Midshipmen defense. After Army drove 82 yards in 5 plays to score their first touchdown, Navy only let up one other touchdown, off of a fourth down play. Some games are decided by one play and others are determined over the course of the match. There is no mistaking that the Army football team outplayed Navy in one of the most exciting games of the year. It was a tough loss for Navy fans—one that will take long to heal—but there is always next year.

Featured Image via Danny Wild/USA Today Sports