Ellerson’s job could be in jeopardy, and he knows it.
“That’s not my call,” Ellerson said. “Obviously, in the body of work, we’ve made some progress. But I wasn’t brought in to make progress. I was brought in to win some football games and beat Navy. I’ve lost to our rival five times.”
The snow that was forecast in the morning hours began during the pregame pageantry that makes this game a one-of-a-kind spectacle. The snow, along with the freezing temperatures, created an uncomfortable setting for those in the packed stadium.
Many of them left after the first half, which ended with Navy up 17-0.
Making his first college start, Army quarterback A.J. Schurr lost the handle on the wet football with his arm cocked to throw. Teammate Larry Dixon recovered, but the 20-yard loss doomed the Black Knights to end their first possession with a punt.
Schurr fumbled on the next drive, too, and this time Navy recovered at its own 38. That ended his day.
“If you’re struggling to hold onto the ball, that will get you out of there,” Ellerson said.
Following the turnover, Quinton Singleton burst through a hole in the middle and ran 58 yards to the Army 4, setting up a field goal for a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Angel Santiago came in at quarterback for the Black Knights at just about the same time the intensity of the snow increased. On fourth-and-3 at the Navy 33, Terry Baggett lost three yards.
Midway through the second period, Noah Copeland ran 39 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0.
In the third quarter, the snow turned to rain and Santiago did his best to make a game of it. After throwing a 29-yard pass to Xavier Moss, the junior quarterback scored on a 4-yard run to get the Black Knights to 17-7.
Reynolds answered with an 11-play drive that produced a field goal. Army then failed to convert a fourth-and-3 from its own 42, a futile gamble that all but assured the Black Knights another frustrating loss against their far more successful service academy rivals.
Reynolds scored his record-breaking touchdown with 6:22 left, and the conversion pass from wide receiver Brendan Dudeck made it 28-7.