Chalk up another win for 613 AOC/PACAF

Tech. Sgt. Jason Winn gets past Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Janni on his way to 613 AOC/PACAF's third touchdown of the game.

Tech. Sgt. Jason Winn gets past Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Janni on his way to 613 AOC/PACAF’s third touchdown of the game.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

With a spot already secured in the upcoming intramural flag football championships, the combined 613th Air and Space Operation Center (613 AOC)/ Pacific Air Forces International Affairs (PACAF) squad showed no signs of letting up. The team defeated Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii A-Team, 21-6, on Nov. 21 in Blue Division matchup at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

By beating the A-Team, the 613 AOC/PACAF notched their 10th win of the season against only two defeats, while NIOC fell to 5-5.

“Practice like you play,” quarterback Master Sgt. Raul Garcia III said about their unrelenting style of play. “We don’t go into the playoffs with the mentality that we’re too good. We play the whole game.”

The A-Team got off to a shaky start when they were forced to play with only six players instead of the regulation seven.

Seeing an opening to get on the scoreboard fast, the 613 AOC/PACAF took full advantage of the mismatch and drove 65 yards on six plays to take a 6-0 lead.

Garcia was spot-on during the drive as he went four-for-four on passes and rushed the ball twice for 14 yards.

Eight of his rushing yards came on the sixth and final play of the drive, when Garcia took the ball into the end zone by himself.

The point-after-touchdown (PAT) was successful and the 613 AOC/PACAF grabbed a quick 7-0 advantage.

NIOC tried to respond after falling behind and appeared to be on their way to a score, when they got all the way down to 613 AOC/PACAF eight-yard line.

However, facing a fourth-and-goal from the 12, the drive came to a crashing halt, when 2nd Lt. Marcus Hendricks picked off a pass to give the ball back to the 613 AOC/PACAF at the NIOC four-yard line.

Despite getting the ball deep in their own territory, Garcia’s hot hand continued to keep the chains moving forward.

After misfiring on his first pass from scrimmage, Garcia quickly rebounded and stepped up to connect on his next three tosses to move the ball into NIOC territory at the 32.

Another completion picked up six yards and Garcia brought the team even closer with a 12-yard scamper to place the ball at the 14.

Then on the next play, Garcia went back to the air and found Tech. Sgt. Jacob Smith in the end zone for the team’s second touchdown.

The converted PAT raised the 613 AOC/PACAF lead over NIOC to 14-0.

While both scoring drives didn’t produce any flashy pickups, the team just used a simple and methodical way to get the job done.

“Everybody thinks you’ve got to throw the ball down the field to win the game,” Garcia said. “All you’ve got to do is work for the first downs until the end zone.”

In the second half, NIOC showed some life on their first drive after the break, by covering 65 yards on 10 plays to get on the scoreboard.

The big play of the drive came on a long ball from quarterback Petty Officer 2nd Class Josh Miyashiro to Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Janni that covered 39 yards and put the ball on the 613 AOC/PACAF one-yard line.

Four plays later, NIOC scored on an option from Miyashiro to Petty Officer 2nd Class Jarrell Settles that pulled the team back into the game, trailing by only eight points at 14-6.

However, the 613 AOC/PACAF squashed any hopes of a NIOC comeback, when Garcia needed only five plays to travel 65 yards and score the team’s third and final touchdown of the game.

Garcia tossed his second touchdown pass of the game when he threw a short pass to Tech. Sgt. Jason Winn, who made the catch and galloped 30 yards untouched and into the end zone.

The defeat for NIOC was especially tough as the team is in the heart of a battle to get the division’s final playoff spot.

While the team still has a shot, a win over the 613 AOC/ PACAF could lock the door on the final berth.

“It’s disappointing that we lost,” Miyashiro said. “We can only blame ourselves. A lot of our guys couldn’t make it for operational reasons, but we did what we could ask of ourselves.”

For now, the 613 AOC/PACAF, after playing their final regular season game, gets to relax until the playoffs.

Garcia said he knows the sting of losing in the first round of the playoffs and hopes that this year will be different.

“We have a little bit of a chip on our shoulders,” Garcia said. “The last two years, we were in the first round and lost both games on the last play of the game. We’re not looking to repeat that.”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: Sports