Moment #2 from 2019
Two Years is Two Too Many
Were still counting down the five most memorable moments of the Falcon’s 2019 football season. In case you missed our first three installments of this five part series, check them out here Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 .
COMING IN AT #2
November 2, 2019 Air Force 17 vs. Army 13
For any leg of the Military Academies Battle for the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy, it can be expected to be hotly contested, regardless of team records. Coming into their 2019 clash with Army, Air Force had already lost to Navy earlier in the year, making the teams number one goal each season, a trip to the White House, already out of reach.
Army consequently was still searching for their footing when they traveled to Colorado Springs. They were one loss away from being eliminated from Bowl Consideration, but the ultimate prize was still within reach for Cadets from West Point; The Commander-In-Chief’s trophy. Army finishes the season against Navy, therefore a win at Air Force not only would have kept their Bowl aspirations alive, but a third consecutive trip to meet the President.
When you lay all that was at stake for Army out there, you could easily be fooled into attributing the motivation factor to their sideline. To borrow a phrase from Lee Corso “not so fast, my friend”. The Falcons had endured two consecutive losses to the Black Knights, and the Army team and fan base has been spewing reminders of it for the full 24 months.
Its almost as if the Army contingent had forgotten that Air Force had won 18 of their 20 meetings prior. Perhaps that’s more palatable than a friendly reminder of how Air Force has also captured the CIC Trophy 18 times, as compared to their eight. But who’s counting?
The beauty of this rivalry is that none of the aforementioned matters when Military Academies play. These are bitter rivalry games, and the play on the field reflects that. But there is something beautiful about these games, and as a football fan you have to appreciate that individuals that are ready and willing to die for one another can flip a switch to punish one another for a full four quarters, without batting an eye.
The 2019 meeting between Army and Air Force was certainly of that bruising variety, which it was apparent that neither team would leave an ounce of breath on the field.
Coming into the game, you would have thought that a slight offensive edge belonged to Air Force because of D.J. Hammond’s ability to throw the ball. That was not the case at all this day, as Hammond’s most critical contributions came in his decision making, and modest yet grueling rush yards, which the Falcon’s needed every one of.
Jabari Laws on the other hand came out slinging and had a career day throwing the ball for over 200 yards. So while the Falcon defense kept the Army run game well below its average, the passing game became the real wild card.
In the end, multiple fourth down stops by the Air Force defense were the difference. A theme as the season went on, as we saw. This was a showing of fortitude by both teams, but in the end, the Falcons did what they have done more often than not against Army; Air Force Sang Second.