And he runs. The path is clear. He is surrounded by Navy teammates. All he hears are cheers. Next year Middleton will be serving as a duty officer in surface-warfare engineering for the U.S. Navy. Now he runs 98 yards for a touchdown to help clinch Navy's ninth straight victory over Army.
"I think about all the people who played here," he says after the game ends 31--17. "I think about how I didn't want to let any of them down." He points at a few young players. One of them will be next year's Wyatt Middleton. "Now it's up to them," he says. "They're the ones who can't let me down."
Why does Army-Navy still matter when it never changes? Funny thing: Maybe it matters because it never changes. And something more.
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