The US Naval Academy and US Military Academy football teams faced off in their 115th meeting on Saturday.
The schools’ rivalry is one of the most unique in college sports. Though fiercely competitive, Army Cadets and Navy Midshipmen understand they’re playing for the same team: Team USA.
Midshipman Second Class Jeffrey Martino, a junior at the Naval Academy, took photos at last weekend’s game. We’ve republished them with his permission.
The Army-Navy game is the hallmark of one of the longest, most heated rivalries in college football. The U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Military Academy football teams have played each other since 1890.
2014 was Navy's year to host the game, and they threw down at M&T Bank Stadium. Both Academies make the transportation arrangements to get each of their more than 4,400 student bodies to the game.
A Naval Academy midshipman finds his bus and prepares to make the early morning ride to Baltimore, Maryland. Attendance is required of all students.
Game Day starts with one of the most impressive traditions, known as the 'march on.' Hours before the game, Army's Corps of Cadets and Navy's Brigade of Midshipmen file into formation outside the Stadium ...
... and take turns marching onto the field. The view is spectacular. Then the students settle into the stands as the tailgaters follow suit.
Cadets and Midshipmen must wear their Dress Blues, considered the 'black tie' of the Armed Forces' uniforms, the entire day. They're not allowed to bring any paraphernalia into the stands, although signs and sunglasses usually sneak in.
Even still, the signs are not what you'd typically see at a college football game. These Navy Midshipmen wave a famous political cartoon by Benjamin Franklin, depicting the American colonies as a fragmented snake.
The two schools have an exchange program that allows Cadets and Midshipmen to spend a semester at an alternative service academy. Prior to kick-off, they hold a 'prisoner exchange.' Participating students meet on the field and then rush to sit with their respective academies for the duration of the game.
A formation of U.S. Army helicopters flies over M&T Bank Stadium, and service members from the Navy Leapfrogs and the Army Golden Knights parachute teams make a grand entrance.
Members from the Army-Navy combined Glee Clubs perform the National Anthem together prior to the game. This is just one of the traditions that make this rivalry unique; while they're competitive, the schools are ultimately rooting each other on.
They understand they're playing on the same team, says Midshipman First Class Annie-Norah Beveridge, a senior at the Naval Academy. Both student sections will cheer, 'U-S-A!'
When the game is about to start, members of the Brigade shake their covers, or caps. Navy has won the game for the last 12 years.
Cadet Third Class Edgar Poe, a sophomore at the Military Academy, breaks a tackle for positive yardage. After Navy scores a touchdown late in the first half, the teams enter halftime with the score tied.
West Point graduate and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey, leads the Core of Cadets in a classic West Point chant.
Midshipman Second Class Keenan Reynolds, a junior at the Naval Academy and the team's quarterback, had game highs in both passing and rushing. Here, he scrambles out of the pocket, trying to find an open man.
As Navy pulled ahead in the second half, fans went wild. Midshipman Second Class Tom Toohig, a junior at the Naval Academy, gets a lift from his fellow company-mates.
Navy wins, 17 -- 10! Its 13-game winning streak is the longest in the rivalry's history. Midshipmen, huddled in the end zone, went bananas.
The game ends with another show of respect -- a tradition called 'honouring the fallen.' The two teams stand together and sing the losing team's alma mater. Army head coach Jeff Monken leads the group in the Academy's Alma Mater.
Then the players of the winning football team rush to their school's student section and climb into the stands, with a little help from their biggest fans.
In a tradition called 'Second Sing,' thousands of Midshipmen recite their alma mater, 'Navy Blue and Gold,' as heartily as they can.
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