Navy player is first-rate

South Philadelphia native Kyle Eckel returned to his old stomping grounds in grand fashion last weekend.

The junior fullback rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, helping Navy defeat Army 34-6 in the 104th meeting between the service academies. In the Army-Navy game’s debut at the Linc, Eckel carried the ball 32 times and averaged 4.8 yards a carry, which includes touchdown runs of 16 and 12 yards.

The Philadelphia Sportswriters Association named the athlete, originally from 17th and Packer, the contest’s Most Valuable Player.

Eckel finished the season with 1,178 rushing yards. Senior quarterback Craig Candeto rushed for 1,022 yards, marking the first time in Navy history that two players rushed for more than 1,000 yards in the same season.

Not bad for a debut performance at Lincoln Financial Field.

Photo provided by the U.S. Navy