2021 Army-Navy Game Notes
Saturday, December 11, 2021
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
The Army offense took the opening kickoff and went right to work. On the fourth play of the drive, Army quarterback Christian Anderson took the option run and went 56 yards for a touchdown to get the Black Knights on the board first.
The drive went 75 yards on 4 plays, 2:00
Army 7, Navy 0
Navy’s offense started strong as well when they got the ball following Army’s score.
Sophomore Tai Lavatai started at quarterback for the Midshipmen, as he has much of the year.
Sophomore Xavier Arline entered to spell Lavatai and it was clear that Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo intended to platoon at the position. But Arline went down with an apparent hamstring injury after just two plays and Lavatai took the remainder of snaps for the Midshipmen.
The Mids earned a 1st and goal after sophomore wide receiver Jayden Umbarger rushed for 27 yards on a reverse. Lavatai then went in for the touchdown from the 8 yard line to tie the game.
The drive went 83 yards on 11 plays, 5:38
Army 7, Navy 7
Both teams were showing more pass formations and taking passing attempts than usual early in this game.
Anderson connected with sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Alston for 35 yards, then later in the drive hit senior running back Cade Barnard for a 12-yard 1st down completion to reach the Navy 16 yard line.
But the drive stalled when junior quarterback Tyhier Tyler allowed the play clock to tick to 0 on 3rd and seven and Army settled for a Cole Talley field goal to take a 3-point lead.
Army 10, Navy 7
The Army defense forced the first punt of the game from Navy to start the 2nd quarter after sacking Lavatai, then stopping senior slot back Carlinos Acie short of the first down.
Navy’s defense answered with its own 3-and-out and Army's Zach Harding’s punt bounced out of bounds at the Navy 1 yard line, which is where the Midshipmen took over possession.
Unable to do anything with the ball, Navy punted it back to Army from their own 8.
The Midshipmen defense continued to find their groove and reached Army’s quarterback Anderson three straight plays, including 2 sacks, to force another 3-and-out.
Navy finally broke the streak of offensive ineffectiveness when Lavatai found senior wide receiver Mychal Cooper down field for a 28-yard pick up and the first down. But a false start penalty on 3rd down forced a 4th and 8 from the Army 36. Junior kicker Bijan Nichols attempted to hit the longest field goal of his career, from 53 yards out, but the kick came up just short and wide left and Army retook possession without a change in score.
Army got to work again on offense. Anderson hit sophomore running back Tyrell Robinson for 23 yards to reach the Navy 15 yard line. But the Navy defense came up big again, sacked Tyler and forced Army to, again, settle for a Cole Talley field goal.
The drive went 49 yards on 8 plays, 4:42
Army 13, Navy 7
Navy’s offense put together a strong drive to start the 3rd quarter, which included a big 4th down conversion when senior slot back Chance Warren took the end around, avoided tackles and picked up 26 yards to set up a 1st and goal on the Army 2 yard line. On the next play Lavatai pushed into the endzone for his, and Navy’s, 2nd touchdown of the game.
Nichols gave Navy their first lead of the game on the PAT.
The drive went 74 yards on 10 plays, 5:58
Army 13, Navy 14
The rest of the 3rd quarter saw two punts from Army and one from Navy.
Navy was about to go 3-and-out after taking the punt from Army, but on 4th-and-1 Navy's senior linebacker Diego Fagot, on the punt kicking team, took the fake snap, ran off the left side and picked up 4 yards to get the first down and keep Navy’s drive alive. It was Fagot's only career offensive carry of his career. (After the game Fagot would tell CBS Sports sideline reporter that he did not know the fake snap was coming to him and he just reacted.)
Navy pushed down the field, but took another false start penalty on a 4th-and-4 from the Army 21 yard line and opted for a field goal attempt from Nichols. This time Nichols hit from 43 yards and Navy stretched their lead.
The drive went 49 yards on 15 plays, 8:56
Army 13, Navy 17
Now needing a touchdown, and with just over six minutes left in the game, the Army offense achieved only its second first down of the 2nd half. But the Navy defense continued to play their best game of the year when it mattered most and forced the Black Knights to punt again.
Navy took possession deep in their own territory. Lavatai was tackled for a loss on 3rd down and the Mids were forced to punt. Navy punter Riley Riethman did his part by hitting a 47-yard punt to put the Black Knights on their own 33 yard line with less than 3 minutes to play and no more timeouts.
Christian Anderson attempted to push the Army offense down the field quickly, hitting junior wide receiver Cole Caterbone for nine yards on the first play, then ran it himself for a first down two plays later.
Incomplete passes to Alston (which Alston should have caught) and to sophomore Ay'juan Marshall (which was almost intercepted by Navy safety Rayuan Lane) set up 3rd and 10. Robinson then caught a pass for 7 yards on 3rd down, which seemed to give Army some hope. On 4th and 3, Anderson tried to get the first down on the QB carry but was stopped one yard shy of the line to gain by Fagot and Navy's sophomore defensive end Jacob Busic.
The Midshipmen took over on downs and three kneel downs later, the Navy Midshipmen had won the Army-Navy Game.
FINAL SCORE: Army 13, Navy 17
0 TURNOVERS in the game
Christian Anderson: 9 rushes, 67 yards, 1 TD
Jakobi Buchanan: 4 rushes, 24 yards, 0 TDs
Tyrell Robinson: 7 rushes, 21 yards, 0 TDs
Tyhier Tyler: 9 rushes, 8 yards, 0 TDs
Army Total Rushing: 33 rushes, 124 yards, 1 TD
Tai Lavatai: 20 rushes, 62 yards, 2 TDs
Carlinos Acie: 9 rushes, 34 yards, 0 TDs
Isaac Ruoss: 9 rushes, 33 yards, 0 TDs
Navy Total Rushing: 52 rushes, 196 yards, 2 TDs
Christian Anderson: 15 attempts, 7 completions, 108 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
Tyrell Robinson: 1 attempt, 0 completions, 0 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
Army Total Passing: 16 attempts, 7 completions, 108 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
Tai Lavatai: 6 attempts, 4 completions, 82 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
Tyrell Robinson: 2 receptions, 30 yards, 0 TDs
Cole Caterbone: 2 receptions, 23 yards, 0 TDs
Isaiah Alston: 1 reception, 35 yards, 0 TDs
Cade Barnard: 1 reception, 12 yards, 0 TDs
Army Total Receiving: 7 receptions, 108 yards, 0 TDs
Mychal Cooper: 1 reception, 28 yards, 0 TDs
Marquel Haywood: 1 reception, 24 yards, 0 TDs
Mark Walker: 1 reception, 18 yards, 0 TDs
Chance Warren: 1 reception: 12 yards, 0 TDs
Kemonte Yow: 13 tackles, 4 solo tackles
Arik Smith: 9 tackles, 2 solo tackles
Nolan Cockrill: 8 tackles, 3 solo tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL
Diego Fagot: 9 tackles, 2 solo tackles
John Marshall: 8 tackles, 2 solo tackles, 1 Pass Break-up
Eavan Gibbons: 6 tackles, 3 solo tackles, 1 Pass Break-up