On This Date in Sports December 1, 1945: Army-Navy for the Nation

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For the second straight season, the fate of the National Championship is on the line in the Army-Navy Game in Philadelphia. Army seeking their second consecutive National Title has the top ranking, while Navy was seeking redemption from a 23-7 loss in 1944. The Cadets came into the game off three straight shutouts. Powered by a big first quarter, Army would win 32-13, as Doc Blanchard led the way to the Heisman Trophy. 

The 1945 Army-Navy Game had a celebratory feel as World War II came to an end three months earlier. Among the 102,000 in attendance, that day at Philadelphia was President Harry S. Truman. Army coached by Earl Black sought a second consecutive National Championship, while Navy led by Oscar Hagberg sought their first tile since 1926. 

The 8-0 Cadets marched into the game with a 17-game winning streak, having their last loss in the 1943 Army-Navy Game. Meanwhile, Navy held a record of 7-0-1 with a 6-6 tie against Notre Dame, being the only blemish. Army destroyed the Irish, who entered the game ranked second, 48-0. During November, Army was especially dominant, winning three games against Villanova, Notre Dame, and Penn by a combined score of 163-0. 

 The Midshipmen were sailing along with a #2 ranking in the AP. They had played nearly as well as Army, with their lone blemish coming when they tied Notre Dame 6-6. Following their draw with the Irish, Navy had a pair of impressive wins over Michigan and Wisconsin by a combined score of 69-14. 

The key to Army's success were backfield mates Felix "Doc" Blanchard and Glenn Davis. Besides a defense that ranked among the best in college football history, the running of Blanchard (Mr. Inside) and Davis (Mr. Outside) made the team from West Point nearly unbeatable. Blanchard and Davis ran all over Navy in the first quarter to build a 20-0 lead. Doc Blanchard scored the first two touchdowns, while Glenn Davis raced 51 yards to help Army take a commanding lead. Navy was able to play Army even the rest of the game, but that first-quarter deficit was too much to overcome, as the Cadets won 32-13. 

Army would lay claim to a second National Championship, as Doc Blanchard became the first player from a service academy to win the Heisman Trophy. Blanchard would be joined by his backfield mate Glenn Davis in 1946, as Army won a share of the National Championship with Notre Dame, who ended the Cadets' winning 25-game winning streak with a scoreless tie.