LANDOVER, Md. — Playing his last game before he goes to SEAL training, Alexander Teich did not want to be known as a member of the Navy team that finally lost to Army.
The fullback returned kickoffs, something he hadn’t done all year. He was running over to the stands to fire up the Brigade of Midshipmen that took up a quarter of the lower bowl of FedEx Field.
It took a bit more suspense than usual, but Teich and the Midshipmen made it a perfect 10 against the Black Knights, winning 27-21 Saturday in the 112th edition of one of the most passionate rivalries in sports.
“I’m an emotional person – I don’t know if you guys noticed yet,” the senior captain said with a smile. “I was amped. You don’t want to let that ball drop in on the senior class, and I was going to do whatever it took.”
With President Barack Obama presiding over the first Army-Navy game to be played in the vicinity of the nation’s capital, the Mids (5-7) got a pair of touchdown runs from quarterback Kriss Proctor and one from Teich to win their 10th consecutive game in the rivalry.
At least this one was close. Navy had won the other nine by at least a dozen points. The Mids needed a pair of fourth-quarter field goals from Jon Teague and a fourth-down stop in their own territory.
It eased the sting of Navy’s disappointing season. The Mids had a streak of eight consecutive bowl appearances end this year.
“Whatever it is – we’re not playing in a bowl game, we are playing in a bowl game – to beat Army for a decade is unheard of,” said Proctor, also a senior. “To do anything 10 straight times is hard to do.”
For Army’s graduating class, the sting won’t ever go away, even if they did finally make a game of it.
“’Almost’ – it doesn’t work. But it’s something I have to live with now,” Black Knights senior linebacker Steven Erzinger said. “ ‘Almost’ is my legacy now.”