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No. 23 Navy beats Army in 120th edition of annual rivalry

Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry rushed for a career-high 304 yards and two touchdowns while President Trump was in attendance.

PHILADELPHIA — Navy has defeated rival Army in the 120th edition of the annual college football matchup, winning 31-7 Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

The No. 23-ranked Midshipmen (10-2) reclaimed the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy after losing to the Black Knights (5-8) for three years in a row. They prevented what would have been the West Point, New York, service academy’s first four-game winning streak since the 1990s.

The Annapolis, Maryland, school now leads the series 61-52-7.

Not unusual for the service academies’ heavy run-style of play, Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry rushed for a career-high 304 yards and two touchdowns.

Army quarterback Christian Anderson led the Black Knights’ ground attack, rushing for 56 yards and their only score, a 5-yard run that gave them the 7-0 lead near the end of the first quarter.

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Credit: AP
Navy's Malcolm Perry (10) runs for touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Army, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

President Donald Trump was in attendance, making his second consecutive appearance at the Army-Navy game. He was also at the 2016 game as president-elect.

By custom, presidents sit on the Army side of the stadium for one half and the Navy side for the other.

After performing the coin toss before the game, Trump sat on Army’s side of the field in the first half and crossed over to the Navy side for the second. 

The president used the opportunity to tout a new policy that allows academy athletes to defer their military service to pursue careers in professional sports.

Visiting the Army locker room prior to kickoff, Trump joked that Coach Jeff Monken now had no reason to lose another game. The Commander-In-Chief shook hands with players on the Army team and then visited Navy’s locker room, where he congratulated the Midshipmen on a “hell of a season” before walking on to the field for the national anthem.