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Air Force secured the leg up in the 51st edition of the battle for the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy with its 13-10 win over Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Falcons spent much of the afternoon trying to defend its 10-0 first quarter lead from the upset-minded Midshipmen, and when the game was eventually tied in the fourth quarter, Air Force got the game-changing plays it needed from Haaziq Daniels and Brad Roberts to pull away with the win.
Navy’s defense did a solid job against Air Force’s rushing attack, holding the nation’s leader in rushing yards per game to half its average at just 200 yards on 47 attempts. Roberts (22 carries, 99 yards) and Daniels (14 carries, 65 yards) were the standouts for the Falcons offense with much of that damage done after halftime.
The first half for Air Force started strong with Daniels connecting on a 67-yard touchdown pass to David Cormier on the third play of the game.
Air Force goes through the air right away. What a start for @AF_Football. pic.twitter.com/QsBK1suRNB
The Falcons would take the ensuing offensive possession right down the field, adding a field goal to the total and establishing that 10-0 lead they would nurse for for the next three quarters. There were plenty of opportunities to pull away as Navy’s offense struggled to move the ball, but Air Force lost two fumbles and punted twice on its final four possessions of the first half.
Air Force would go on to clean up its mistakes in the second half, but Navy also found some success thanks to quarterback Tai Lavatai. With the ground game limited by Air Force’s defense, Lavatai took to the air for a career-high 20 pass attempts, totaling more yards through the air (129) than the team had on the ground (114).
Jayden Umbarger just goes up and GETS IT for @NavyFB pic.twitter.com/LAo9d13E78
Lavatai would go on to use his legs for the game-tying touchdown, dropping to pass only to take the free yards available between him and the end zone.
THE TUCK AND RUN! @NavyFB ties it up. pic.twitter.com/K4QLpj2zgd
Every year from 1997 to 2016, the winner of Air Force and Navy went on to win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, and these two programs have combined for 36 of the 45 outright wins in the series. Last year’s trophy was shared with Army retaining the trophy from its 2020 win. Now the focus of the competition turns to the Black Knights hosting Air Force next month. With a win in that game, Air Force would be poised to claim its 21st win in the series and hoist the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the first time since 2016.
Air Force sings second. pic.twitter.com/JwLryxwRUl
@AF_Football is 𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬‼#SunkNavy pic.twitter.com/78Jj63s9uv
Final#GoNavy | #RollGoats pic.twitter.com/3ka297dNpc
Down goes Navy‼️#SunkNavy pic.twitter.com/k6XGrM4ZNb
TOUCHDOWN TAI!!!!!!#GoNavy | #RollGoats pic.twitter.com/M5lSZ94TmH
10-3 Air Force after 3 quarters#GoNavy | #RollGoats pic.twitter.com/4zviMp0Vwz
A great day to show off the bling.#AmericasTeam🇺🇸 I #SinkNavy pic.twitter.com/nZaAjQbre5
That feeling when you recover two fumbles in the first half 💪#GoNavy | @NavyFB pic.twitter.com/cWPqMh7Y0k
One score game at the half#GoNavy | #RollGoats pic.twitter.com/j8DFDiKthH
The cross country and track & field teams were honored for their 2021-22 #TripleCrown during today’s Air Force football game! #SinkNavy pic.twitter.com/BMfT8iGFB7
You’ve gotta love the pursuit from John Marshall to force the fumble for @NavyFB. pic.twitter.com/fRCZG1etzK
1st Quarter in the books. The mids are down 10.#GoNavy | #RollGoats pic.twitter.com/b6kMgeDwT2
Setting the tone‼️@ziiqq3 ➡️ @_xDaviid for a touchdown! pic.twitter.com/z0tzvwD4aS
Trailblazer 👏👏 https://t.co/5ozjWhjBPb
Nothing like a video from warmups to get you fired up for the big game!#GoNavy | #BeatAirForce | @NavyFB pic.twitter.com/NzqmXEiGYi
Gameday at Falcon Stadium 🤩 pic.twitter.com/g4mRIuZ9gn
Let’s SET the bar Falcons! pic.twitter.com/l8FWurWNZy
Today’s the day❗ pic.twitter.com/eLgjsnjIG7
.@NavyFB faces off against Air Force in the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy
The historic rivalry continues today in Colorado Springs at 12 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. CT
Relive The Mids exciting OT win over East Carolina last week as you’re getting ready for the game today! pic.twitter.com/4ccZZqC1tA
ALL IN#GoNavy | #RollGoats pic.twitter.com/6JhMAUusyH
The quest for 2️⃣1️⃣ begins today pic.twitter.com/3xXElzzUTU
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