PHILADELPHIA, PA - Tragedy and triumph describe the most bitter fought Army-Navy football battle in history yesterday, which resulted in victory for Army, who used a unique mixture of football tactics along with high-tech weaponry to defeat Navy with a final score of 0-0.
The rivalry between the service academies of West Point and Annapolis has never been more tense. Yesterday's victory marks the first Army victory over Navy in a decade.
"We realized going into this matchup that we needed to develop a better strategy," said West Point Head Coach Rich Ellerson. "So we took a serious look at their defense and realized they had a huge weakness that we could exploit."
Ellerson explained that his epiphany helped him understand fundamental differences in Army vs. Navy doctrine.
"The fact is that when you're learning how to drink martinis while driving a carrier at the Naval Academy, there isn't much time to teach defensive fortifications."
This realization helped the Army team to adopt an unusual offense that gave them the momentum in the game's opening half that Navy simply couldn't recover from.
At kickoff, the Navy team was dumbfounded as they watched the opposing players set up fortified machine gun positions, while other Black Knights began to dig foxholes with their cleats.
"We kicked off the football and ran towards them," said an emotional Bryan Thomas, a kicker for Navy. "But none of my fellow teammates made it through the first wave. They just opened up on us with .50 cals. I can't believe we weren't able to read that play."
Army Quarterback Trent Steelman was proud of the defensive line created on the field, which reminded him of traditional trench-lines they were taught in one academy class.
"My guys did a hell of a job out there. All around West Point, it's Beat Navy on every building," said Herzfeld. "I'm glad we finally got to beat them -- with machine guns, baseball bats, and let's not forget the grenades."
After the first play, Navy decided to call a timeout to assess the situation and come up with a solution to Army's .50 talking guns offense. They didn't realize that the coach had one more trick up his sleeve.
"We thought we'd have them on the first play, but they came back for more. That's when we called in a JDAM [air strike]. 'The enemy of my enemy is a friend' certainly applies, and we appreciate the help from our Air Force Academy fliers," said Coach Ellerson.
The remaining Midshipmen that were not killed or wounded in action formally surrendered to the Black Knights later in the first quarter. The game also made history by being the first college football game to be won through the unconditional surrender of the opposing team.