PHILADELPHIA—In the end of this 93rd meeting between Army and Navy, it was the faces and the embraces that told the story: the tears and sobs of defeat as Navy safety Chad Chatlos and his dad, George, embraced on one side of the field, and the cheers and screams of victory as Army kicker Patmon Malcom and his family embraced on the other.Minutes earlier, Chatlos and his Navy teammates watched in disbelief as Malcom's 49-yard field goal with 12 seconds left gave Army an emotional 25-24 win over the Midshipmen before a crowd of 65,207 at Veterans Stadium.
Navy lost its third straight game to finish the season at 1-10. Army ended the year 5-6.
"It's probably the toughest loss I've ever seen as a coach," Navy coach George Chaump said afterward. "We totally dominated, and we lost it."
Dominated statistically, that is. Navy had a 21-10 advantage in first downs, a 237-174 advantage in rushing yards, and a 33:39 to 26:21 advantage in time of possession.
But those numbers were left meaningless by the right leg of Malcom.
An all-East kicker for Army as a sophomore, it was Malcom's somewhat controversial fourth-quarter punt that put his team in position for his the game-winning field goal.
With 3:17 left and Navy leading, 24-22, Malcom's punt on fourth ** down from the Navy 46 appeared to be carried into the end zone by Army's Aaron Mitchell for an apparent touchback.
But the officials ruled that Mitchell had possession of the ball on the 1-yard line before sliding 5 yards deep into the end zone.
With Brian Ellis at quarterback for the first time in nine games (Jason Van Matre suffered a sprained thumb on Navy's preceding possession), the Midshipmen were unable to move the ball.
Pinned against the back of the end zone, punter Brian Schrum could get off only a 31-yard kick.
Army had the ball at the Navy 32. Three plays later, with time running out, Malcom hit a 44-yard field goal that set off a wild celebration on the Army sideline.
But the 25-second clock had expired before the kick and the Cadets were penalized 5 yards.
Facing another pressure kick, Malcom, with a 25 mph wind at his back, knocked the next one through the uprights from 49 yards out with 12 seconds left to seal the Army comeback.
"This is the best feeling, ever," said Malcom, whose longest kick before yesterday was 46 yards two years ago against Duke. "I dream this kick every night.
"After [the first kick] went through I started celebrating and my holder came over and told me we had to do it again," Malcom added. "I knew that the first kick had made it by at least 5 yards and I knew that if I hit it again, just like the first time, that it would be good. The second kick was almost easier."
And harder to stomach for the Midshipmen, who finished 1-10 for the second straight season.
This was a game that the Midshipmen never should have lost, not after jumping out to 17-0 and 24-7 leads and not after holding in check the ground game of a team that was ranked fourth in the nation in rushing.
The Midshipmen could do no wrong in the first half. Fullback Duke Ingraham, who had two touchdowns this season, scored two more in Navy's first four possessions on runs of 24 and 7 yards. Navy led 17-0 and appeared up to the task of salvaging its season with its second straight win against Army.