LANDOVER, Md. —Playing his last game before he goes to SEAL training, Alexander Teich absolutely, positively, emphatically did not want to be known as a member of the Navy team that finally lost to Army.
The fullback was out there returning kickoffs, something he hadn't done all year. He was running over to the stands to fire up the Brigade of Midshipmen that took up a quarter of the lower bowl of the Washington Redskins stadium.
It took a bit more suspense than usual, but Teich and the Midshipmen made it a perfect 10 against the Black Knights, winning 27-21 Saturday in the 112th edition of one of the most passionate rivalries in sports.
"I'm an emotional person — I don't know if you guys noticed yet," the senior captain said with a smile. "I was amped. You don't want to let that ball drop in on the senior class, and I was going to do whatever it took."
With President Barack Obama presiding over the first Army-Navy game to be played in the vicinity of the nation's capital, the Mids (5-7) got a pair of touchdown runs from quarterback Kriss Proctor and one from Teich to win their 10th straight in the rivalry.
At least this one was close. Navy had won the other nine by at least a dozen points. The Mids needed a pair of fourth-quarter field goals from Jon Teague and a fourth-down stop in their own territory before those in the blue uniforms could start chanting "10 more years!"
It eased the sting — and then some — of Navy's disappointing season. The Mids had a streak of eight straight bowl appearances come to an end this year.
"Whatever it is — we're not playing in a bowl game, we are playing in a bowl game — to beat Army for a decade is unheard of," said Proctor, also a senior. "To do anything 10 straight times is hard to do."
Consolation will be harder to come by for Army, though at least Black Knights linebacker Andrew Rodriguez beat out a Navy player — guard John Dowd — among others to win the William V. Campbell Trophy as the nation's top senior scholar-athlete
For Army's graduating class, the sting won't ever go away, even if they did finally make a game of it.
"'Almost' — it doesn't work. But it's something I have to live with now," Black Knights senior linebacker Steven Erzinger said. " 'Almost' is my legacy now."
Army0 14 7 0—21 Navy 7 7 7 6—27
Navy—Proctor 4 run (Teague kick), 1:06.
Navy—Teich 10 run (Teague kick), 7:05.
Army—Steelman 34 run (Carlton kick), 3:34.
Army—Brown 5 run (Carlton kick), :49.
Navy—Proctor 2 run (Teague kick), 12:43.
Army—Brown 25 pass from Steelman (Carlton kick), 9:45.
Navy—FG Teague 23, 12:03.
Navy—FG Teague 44, 10:26.
Rushing—Army, Brown 11-82, Maples 13-82, Dixon 10-65, Steelman 12-62, Hassin 4-7. Navy, Proctor 32-97, Teich 18-93, Greene 7-46, Santiago 4-27, Diggs 3-25, Howell 1-4, Stukel 1-4.
Passing—Army, Steelman 4-6-0-77. Navy, Proctor 1-3-0-13.
Receiving— Army, Brooks 2-42, Brown 1-25, Barr 1-10. Navy, Greene 1-13.