Navy snaps three-game losing streak to Army behind dominant performance from Malcolm Perry

Navy's Malcolm Perry (10) leaps over Army's Donavan Lynch (11) during the second half on Saturday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Navy's Malcolm Perry (10) leaps over Army's Donavan Lynch (11) during the second half on Saturday in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Malcolm Perry made sure he wasn’t going to finish his acclaimed Navy career without a win over Army.

Navy’s senior quarterback was the best player on the field in Saturday’s 31-7 win in Philadelphia, snapping Army’s three-game winning streak in the series. The senior quarterback rushed for a whopping 304 yards, the most by any player in the history of the Army-Navy series, completely dominating the game without throwing a single pass. In the process, Perry set several Navy records, including the program’s single-season records for rushing yards and total offense.

After Army went up 7-0 to cap an 18-play drive that took nearly 11 minutes off the clock, Perry reeled off an electric 55-yard touchdown run four plays later to tie things up. It was a sign of things to come. Every time it looked like the Army defense was going to get off the field, Perry would break off a long run, showing his arsenal of jukes and cuts in the process.

Later in the first half, a 44-yard scramble from Perry set up the second touchdown of the day from Navy. This one came via the team’s first pass of the day, and perhaps an homage to the Philadelphia Eagles’ famous “Philly Special” with this trick play.

That play, a one-yard touchdown pass from receiver Chance Warren to Jamale Carothers, gave Navy a 14-7 halftime lead — a lead the Midshipmen would not relinquish.

Army, with freshman Christian Anderson starting at quarterback in place of injured senior Kelvin Hopkins Jr., did not have enough firepower offensively to get back in the game. The Black Knights went three-and-out on their first two second-half drives, allowing Navy to pull away. Army would gain just 148 yards of offense on the afternoon, with Anderson mustering only 56 yards on 21 carries.

The win gives Navy a 10-2 record entering its bowl game, the Liberty Bowl against Kansas State. It is the third time Navy has reached the 10-win mark in 12 seasons under Ken Niumatalolo, part of an impressive turnaround from an uncharacteristic 3-10 record a year ago.

Jeff Monken has done a great job at West Point, but this season has been disappointing for the Black Knights. With the loss, Army finishes the year 5-8, snapping a streak of three consecutive winning seasons. Under Monken’s watch, Army snapped a 14-game losing streak to Navy with a 21-17 win in 2016. That was the first of the three straight victories in the series for the Black Knights, but that streak ended Saturday thanks to the efforts of Perry on offense and the overall excellence of the Navy defense.

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