15th MXG locks up Blue Division championship

Quarterback Courey Carrawell takes off for a gain, while leading the 15 MXG to victory by throwing for four touchdowns.

Quarterback Courey Carrawell takes off for a gain, while leading the 15 MXG to victory by throwing for four touchdowns.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Playing in their final game of the regular season, the 15th Maintenance Group (15 MXG) locked up the Blue Division championship and the division’s No. 1 seed going into the playoffs by polishing off the 37th Intelligence Squadron Cyber Predators via mercy rule, 26-7, on Nov. 28 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Although the 15 MXG got off to a slow start and fell behind to the Cyber Predators, 7-0, earlier in the first half, the team eventually showed off its championship form by racking up 26 unanswered points en route to the blowout win.

“We notice we have a tendency to come out a little stagnant,” said quarterback Courey Carrawell who is a Department of Defense civilian. “So, after we got out of our first possession, we actually got together and talked to each other. We got a chance to analyze their defense and that’s why we worked the left side.”

While the team’s offense got off to a slow start, the 15 MXG defense had no problem in establishing themselves right away.

The Cyber Predators picked up a first down on a pass play that covered 24 yards, but two plays later; the team’s mini-drive came to abrupt halt. Senior Airman Tyler Jenkins picked off a pass from QB Staff Sgt. Mark Geuldner at the MXG 26-yard line.

The interception would be the first of four picks by the 15 MXG secondary, with Staff Sgt. Rich Baltazar hauling in two of the four.

The steal by Jenkins went to waste when the MXG’s was forced to punt on four downs to hand the ball back to the Cyber Predators at their own 20.

This time, Geuldner guided the team with efficiency, as he navigated a 40-yard drive to pay dirt using only six plays.

One of those plays resulted in a clutch fourth down pass to reset the chains.

The final play of the drive resulted in a 19-yard scoring pass from Geuldner to Staff Sgt. Ian Hunter and the following point-after-touchdown made it 7-0.

The quick score by the Cyber Predators seemed to spark the 15 MXG’s offense, as Carrawell responded with an even faster score.

Carrawell drove the team into the end zone on only four plays, connecting three of four passes. The fourth play yielded a 30-yard catch-and-run for the touchdown by Tech. Sgt. Thomas White that cut the lead down to one at 7-6.

On the next drive by the Cyber Predators, Baltazar got his first pick of the game to set up the MXG in good field position at their own 39.

After misfiring on his first play from scrimmage, Carrawell found a streaking Sgt. Danny Nguyen down the left side of the field for a touchdown and 12-7 lead that stood through halftime.

Starting on offense in the second half, Carrawell, seeing that they could beat the Cyber Predators on a bomb to the left side of the field, exploited the weakness once again. The QB launched another rainbow over the top and into the hands of Jenkins for a 54-yard gain that placed the ball on the Cyber Predator’s one-yard line.

On the next play, Carrawell zipped a bullet into the arms of Tech. Sgt. Adam Speights for a touchdown.

A two-point conversion following the touchdown made it 20-7.

Then, minutes before the final whistle, Carrawell completed his fourth touchdown toss of the game with a pass to Baltazar for the final tally.

After clinching the title and the division’s top seed, Carrawell said that he feels really good about the team’s chances in this weekend’s playoffs, which will be held Dec. 3-5.

“I think we have an amazing shot at going deep in the playoffs,” he said. “As long as we stick together, focus on our defense, pull flags and communicate, we’ve got a good shot.”


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Category: Sports