Army and Navy played football against one another for the first time in 1890 on The Plain at West Point. Navy first played football in 1879, generally playing only teams from Maryland and Washington, D.C., over the next decade. However, Navy agreed to play at West Point in 1890 for Army's first intercollegiate football game and the first athletic match with Annapolis.
The Army captain that day was Dennis Michie, seen in the center of the Army portraits. Michie, at 143 pounds, helped start the Army team and was later killed in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Michie Stadium, Army's home field, is named in his honor.
Another Army player was Truman Oscar Murphy ‘91, who started at left guard and had several solid runs, according to one newspaper report. Murphy gains mention because I was recently gifted a cabinet card with his portrait from the famous Pach Brothers studio in New York City.
Navy was 4-1-1 entering the Army game, having beaten or tied their local competition and lost to Lehigh.
Following the rules of the day, Navy dribble kicked the ball on the opening kick, picked it up, and ran 25 yards downfield on their way to scoring on the opening drive. Though outgunned, Army competed with Navy by being bigger and more physical, but Navy was superior in their football techniques and play, calling out plays using nautical terms on their way to a 24-0 victory. Quick learners, Army won the 1891 game 32-16.
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