The Navy took the lead 7—0 Dave Fairbrother on 20 minutes before the Army scored three tries Semesa Rokoduguni 2, Owain Davies before half time to lead 19—7 at the beak. A further try for the Army James Farrell early in the second period saw them extend their lead to with half an hour of the match remaining. The Royal Navy staged the most remarkable of comebacks with tries from Gareth Rees and Rhys Dymmock-WIlliams either side of a penalty try to level the scores at with 9 minutes remaining. An Owain Davies penalty with 2 minutes to go seemed to seal the win for the Army before Royal Navy fullback landed a 45m penalty of his own to again tie the game 29—29 with less than a minute to go.
Moehring, a Navy junior, and his holder, Randy Beggs, would fall onto their backs at midfield and make snow angels. Amid a roaring crowd, they would flap their arms and legs as the falling snow chilled their faces.
They would feel what it was like to be heroes. Early this month, the dream nearly came true. Late in the Army-Navy game — a matchup both service academies obsess about all year — the score was , with Army ahead and Navy on a drive.
Navy advanced to the Army yard line, but penalties pushed the ball back and set up a yard field-goal attempt for Moehring with just a few seconds left. If he made it, he would equal his personal best.
He was confident he could do it. Snow and wind pelted his back. His foot smacked the ball just the way he wanted, and that ball flew straight and straight and straight some more. Until it drifted.
The kick was wide left, by maybe six inches. Moehring felt his knees buckle. He had longed for that chance, and it became a nightmare, with a live audience of more than 68, He apologized. He said he felt blessed to play football. It was striking that those messages were overwhelmingly positive.
Generations of Navy football players also reached out, saying that he had tried his best and that was all Midshipmen could ever ask for. Other kickers sent support, too.
That missed field goal will help define who he becomes. Moehring knows that now. His ruminations coincided with final exams, which began just a few days after Navy played Army. Moehring also took a required course in leadership, which came in handy after the missed kick.
In class, he had practiced how to put a positive spin on bad news and motivate people who were struggling.
His professor, a former Navy SEAL, often talked to him after the class, giving advice on resilience and relating how the SEALs would succeed on missions that did not go as planned. And he gave himself a break.
During an Uber ride even later that day, the driver chimed in with kind words, too. So, lesson learned. Moehring is moving on now.