Army closes the gap, but Navy still the class

Published Dec. 12, 2010 5:01 p.m. ET

It had been 14 years since Army and Navy played a game that wasn't the season finale for one of them. It seems like it's been just as long since the Black Knights walked off the field against their storied rivals as winners.

If Saturday was any indication, the gap may at least be closing.

Navy made it nine straight against its service academy brethren, the longest run of sustained success in the 111-year history of the series. But if not for a costly turnover late in the first half, Army would have been within a field goal with 30 minutes left to play.

That's enough to give coach Rich Ellerson some hope after the 31-17 defeat.

Ellerson said he was proud of the effort the Cadets made to battle back.