It's the moving postgame tradition of the annual Army-Navy game - players from each team standing at rigid attention side by side after nearly three hours of fierce competition while the anthems of the two academies are played.

Collin Mooney has experienced this before. If he has one wish for tomorrow's renewal of the rivalry at Lincoln Financial Field, it's for his team to sing last, for his academy's side of the field to fire the final cannon shot.

Because it means Army won.

The Cadets (3-8) have suffered through an unprecedented drought in a series that will be played for the 109th time. Their six-game losing streak against Navy (7-4) is the longest in the history of the classic, and they've been outscored by an average of 28 points per game during that time.

They're a team on a mission, no one more so than Mooney, the Cadets' star fullback, and his 27 fellow seniors on the team's three-deep chart, who will be wearing an Army football uniform for the last time.

"It's been tough, seeing the seniors around you having to sing first," Mooney said earlier this week. "You want to be that team that sings last. Seeing some of those guys in tears after the game because it's their last game and they didn't win, they didn't beat Navy, it motivates you and it makes you want to do better and to win. I have that picture in my mind."

Because of Navy's streak, the last three senior classes at Army never felt the elation of defeating the Midshipmen. Cadets coach Stan Brock said this year's seniors have a chance to go out winners, but added that they're in a unique situation.

"I've never thought that it's fair, that people go back into history and say: 'Well, you haven't done something for three years,' " Brock said. "This is the first year that they're seniors, and for a lot of them it's the first year that they've ever had an opportunity to even play or be a contributor in the Army-Navy game.

"So this is their opportunity to win. I think it's special for them. I think that they've worked very hard for this opportunity and I think that their expectation is to win."

As for himself, Brock said he didn't feel he was under any pressure, considering that a win would give long-suffering Army men and women serving around the world a reason to celebrate.

"I think we're going to go out and play the best we can," he said. "The world has watched us every year. We think we're better than we have been in the past. We think we'll be competitive. But, no, I don't feel any pressure."

Of course, the pressure component works both ways. Navy can extend its record for consecutive wins over Army and, at the same time, establish a mark with its 13th straight victory over either Army or Air Force.

The Midshipmen and their fans expect nothing less than a win, of which coach Ken Niumatalolo and his players are well aware.

"Every day when we finish practice, Coach reminds us that everyone that can hear his voice has never lost to Army," senior wide receiver Tyree Barnes said. "You don't want to be the class that drops the ball. You don't want to be the one that comes back that Sunday or Monday having lost to Army and have to walk around the rest of the year."

Mooney will do his best to make life miserable for Navy. The 5-foot-10, 247-pound Texas native has rushed for 1,285 yards this season and needs 54 more to become Army's single-season record holder.

Mooney paused to reflect when asked how he would feel once he ran onto the field at the Linc, knowing it would be his last game.

"That's a tough question," he said. "I'm going to play like it's my last game. The emotions are going to be high. I'm going to play as hard as I can - that's all I can ask of myself - and whatever happens to me, happens.

"I want to win so bad. The past three years, losing to them, it just hurts every year. I want it real bad this year, my senior year."

Contact staff writer Joe Juliano at 215-854-4494 or jjuliano@phillynews.com.