Dozens gathered at Samuel Adams Brewhouse Saturday, during the Navy versus Army watch party, as the Black Knights faced-off with their rivals, the Midshipmen. The 120th showdown between the two programs displayed deep-rooted tradition for patrons at the bar.

“This is my first time watching the game,” said Spc. Tristen Luna, A Battery, 162nd Air Defense Artillery. “It’s exciting to be here and see the tradition that goes into the game even if the experience is just spectating at a bar.”

The game started with a welcoming introduction to President Donald J. Trump, followed by the singing of the national anthem by the Military Academy and US Naval Academy Glee Club.

As for the game, early in the first half, Army struck first on the scoreboard following a touchdown that brought confidence throughout the bar.

“Army is going to win. Army has to win,” Luna said. “We’re cooler and we aren’t water lilies.”

Unlike Luna, Spc. Cole Malone, Battery D, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, has experienced the Army versus Navy tradition first hand.

“I went to a game when I was 15 and didn’t know much about the military. It was an honor to see the tradition for the first time,” Malone said. “Now that I’m in the Army, the game has more meaning. My friend is in the Navy Reserve. If we pull this off, I’ll have bragging rights.”

The Army has come out victorious in the match up for the last three years, however, coming into the game, the Navy was 9-2, while the Army was 5-7.

“I predict the score will be 27-21, Army,” Malone said. “I think it’ll be a close game, but I think the Army is going to pull it away.”

Win, lose or draw, each branch knows when to come together and play their roles in defending our nation.

“We can talk trash to each other, but at the end of the day if someone messes with us, we have each other’s back,” Malone said. “One team, one fight.”

Mutual respect and solidarity are shown throughout the friendly battle. At the conclusion of the game, the teams meet in the center of the field to face the losing team’s stands and sing that alma mater. Both teams then turn to the side of the victorious and show respect to the winners by singing their alma mater.

Subsequently, as the fourth quarter approached, the Navy was in the lead 21-7. Malone remained confident that the Army would hear their alma mater last.

“I know we’re a run heavy offense, but I think we should start doing play action and take some chances,” Malone said. “I predicted 27-21. The time is now to make it happen.”

As the game concluded, Navy managed to defeat Army, 31-7. The victory marked Navy’s first win in the rivalry since 2015. In terms of the alma mater, Navy had the last word. The all-time record now stands at 61-52-7 in favor of Navy.

The tradition and competitiveness of this game runs deep, but once the final whistle blows we’re all one lethal cohesive unit protecting the Constitution of United States.

That is, until the next showdown.

“We’ll see them next year,” Malone said.