Army-Navy: Record-setting QB Malcolm Perry has ‘biggest game that I’ve ever played in my life’ – USA TODAY

Army-Navy: Record-setting QB Malcolm Perry has ‘biggest game that I’ve ever played in my life’ – USA TODAY

PHILADELPHIA — Until Saturday, Navy’s Malcolm Perry had one major blemish on his record-setting football career: He had never beaten rival Army.  

That changed Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field where the senior quarterback continued his record-setting season in the Midshipmen’s 31-7 win over the Black Knights in the 120th Army-Navy game.

Navy’s win snapped Army’s three-game winning streak and improved the Midshipmen’s all-time edge to 61-52-7 overall and 45-40-4 in games played in Philadelphia. 

Miss the nationally televised game? Here’s what you should know:

The hero

Perry continued his assault on the Navy record books. He rushed for 304 yards, his all-time single-game high and the most ever in the Army-Navy series.

His 55-yard touchdown run that tied the game 7-7 with 13:34 left in the second quarter and his 15-yard touchdown run concluded the game’s scoring with 1:42 left.

Before halftime, Perry had surpassed Will Worth to become the school’s all-time single-season total offense leader with 1,804 yards and surpassed Napoleon McCallum to become Navy’s single-season rushing leader with 2,831 yards.

He also logged his 20th rush of 20 yards or more, tops in the nation.

Additionally, Perry has now run for 100 yards or more in nine consecutive games and 10 total this season, another school record. Both are school records.

It wasn’t Perry’s first big game against Army. It marked the second time he had rushed for at least 250 yards against the Black Knights. He had 250 yards and a touchdown two seasons ago.

The play

The Midshipmen edited the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl playbook – and in the NFL team’s home stadium — to take the lead.

Tied 7-7, Navy faced first down at the Army 1-yard line with 13 seconds left before halftime. Out of timeouts, Perry handed the ball off to wide receiver Chance Warren who then completed a touchdown pass to fullback Jamale Carothers on the right side of the end zone. 

It was similar to the “Philly Special” that the Eagles used in their 41-33 win over New England in Super Bowl LII when running back Corey Clement took the snap, handed off to receiver Trey Burton who then tossed a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles. 

While the position’s roles were different, the results were the same. The late second-quarter touchdown provided momentum for both teams in their victories.

The surprise

Christian Anderson became the first Black Knight to make his first start at quarterback in the Army-Navy game since T.D. Decker in 1979. Anderson had appeared in five games this season, completing 5 of 19 passes for 117 yards and rushing 46 times for 388 yards. 

Anderson opened the game’s scoring with a 5-yard touchdown run with 27 seconds left in the first quarter. The score capped an 18-play, 78-yard first-quarter drive that took a whopping 10 minutes, 41 seconds off the lock. 

Senior Kelvin Hopkins Jr. and sophomore Jabari Lewis were listed 1-2 on the Black Knights’ pregame depth chart. Prior to Sunday, that duo had taken most of the Army quarterback snaps this season. 

Anderson finished with 21 carries for 56 yards and completed 2 of 4 passes for 18 yards.

The special visitor

President Donald Trump This made his third appearance at an Army-Navy game, the first coming when he was president-elect. He is one of 10 sitting presidents to attend the game. 

The president stood on the field with representatives from both service academies during the national anthem and then walked to midfield, waving at supporters on his way. Trump  stood on the Navy sideline, wearing his red cap, as the team ran onto the field before kickoff.

Arriving at Lincoln Financial Field at 2:32 p.m., Trump immediately went to the locker rooms to meet with the teams. He watched from the stands, sitting in a seat on the Army side during the first half and on the Navy side at the beginning of the second half. He left the game with approximately five minutes remaining in the third quarter.  

The calendar

Navy faces Kansas State (8-4) in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Dec. 31 at 3:45 p.m. (ESPN). It’s the Midshipmen’s 24th bowl appearance and their 15th in the last 17 years. 

The Midshipmen will open their 2020 season in Dublin, Ireland, on Aug. 29 when they face Notre Dame. 

Army is not bowl eligible. The Black Knights open the 2020 season on Sept. 4 at home against Bucknell.

The 121st Army-Navy Game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Dec. 12, 2020. 

Reach USA TODAY sports director Dave Ammenheuser at; Staff writer Tommy Deas contributed to this story. 

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