It took one last call to seal the game for Navy. Failing to convert on a third-and-1 from their own 48 with a little over two minutes left, the Midshipmen went for it on fourth down. Proctor got freshman tackle Jacob Drozd to jump offside.

"In my wildest dreams I didn't think we'd get that. I was just taking a chance," said Niumatalolo, who admitted that he would have called a timeout had Drozd not moved across the line of scrimmage.

Navy couldn't run out the clock and punted, but Army got the ball back with only two seconds left at its own 10-yard line. There was no miracle finish for the Black Knights, as the Brigade of Midshipmen in the crowd chanted "10 more years, 10 more years."


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Said Proctor: "We're not playing in a bowl game this year, but we are playing in a bowl game [against Army]. To win 10 games in a row is unheard of."

Niumatalolo knows that the winning streak will likely not go on for another decade.

"Every time we play them from now on, those games are going to be battles," said Niumatalolo, who has been the head coach or an assistant on the nine previous Navy teams that won by an average of more than 25 points a game.

Said third-year Army coach Rich Ellerson: "An inch is a mile. I know we're competitive, but I felt that way last year. We played those guys tooth and nail. I think [the games] are competitive, don't get me wrong. But that's not the same as saying you're winning."

Navy is all too familiar with that feeling. The Midshipmen had a season filled with similar frustration before Navy's first losing season in nearly a decade was forgotten in a sloppy but satisfying win.

Notes: Before the Navy team left Saturday morning from the hotel where it stayed Friday night, sophomore defensive end Jamel Dobbs had a seizure, according to deputy director of athletics Eric Ruden. Dobbs was taken to George Washington University Hospital in Washington where Ruden said he remains in intensive care while undergoing tests to determine what caused the seizure.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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