Jefferson City hangs on to defeat Chung-Hoon

Machinist’s Mate (Auxiliary) 2nd Class Bill Le reaches up to grab an interception. Le also caught two passes for touchdowns.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

USS Jefferson City (SSN 759) burst out to a 21-0 lead, but had to fight off a strong comeback by USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) to win by a score of 28-20 on Oct. 29 in an Afloat Division intramural flag football game at Earhart Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Jefferson City took advantage of an early mismatch, when Chung-Hoon started off with one player short of a full squad, but in the end, the team had to rely on its defense to secure the victory.

The win kept Jefferson City in the hunt for a playoff spot with one weekend of games remaining in the regular season, while Chung-Hoon fell to a record of 2-3.

“We wanted to go home, so I said let’s mercy-rule them,” Jefferson City quarterback Machinist’s Mate (Auxiliary) 3rd Class Trevor Samson said. “They got only five players, they want to play, let’s try, at least, to mercy-rule them.”

At first, Jefferson City’s aggressive attack paid off right away. The team took the opening drive of the game all the way to the house on just five plays.

Samson made it look easy in driving the team 65 yards for the first score, going five-for-five on passes with the final toss traveling 14 yards and into the arms of receiver Machinist’s Mate (Auxiliary) 2nd Class Bill Le for a touchdown and 7-0 lead after the point after touchdown (PAT).

Shortly after scoring the first touchdown, Jefferson City’s offense was back in business again. Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Jacob Foster came up with an interception for a touchback.

A quick pass by Samson on the first play from scrimmage set up Jefferson City on their own 38, before Samson went long over the top to Le for the duo’s second scoring hookup of the game.

The added PAT put Jefferson City up by a score of 14-0.

“I saw the mismatch early,” Samson said about the coverage on Le. “Anybody who guards Bill better be fast and good or else it’s going to be bad.”

Jefferson City defense forced Chung-Hoon to punt on fourth down and got the football back at their own 20.

A completion and two long rushes by Samson put the ball deep in Chung-Hoon territory at the 28.

Then, two more completions to Le set up a short toss to Machinist’s Mate (Auxiliary) 3rd Class Kevin Fail, who caught a pass from Samson just past the goal line for the team’s third touchdown of the game.

However, just before halftime, Chung-Hoon finally got things going on offense. Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Gabriel Allen stepped back in the pocket and launched a long fly ball deep over the top and into the hands of Gunner’s Mate Seaman Houston Bennett, who made the catch for a 65-yard touch-down that cut the lead down to 15 at 21-6.

In the second half, Chung-Hoon shrunk the lead down to nine after the team took its first drive after the break all the way on seven plays to make it 21-12.

The scoring play came on a 22-yard pass to Bennett for his second touchdown catch of the game.

Back on offense, Samson, who had already thrown for three touch-downs, moved the ball 20 yards on four plays to Jefferson City’s own 35.

On second down, Samson took the snap, turned it up field and was gone for what might have been the backbreaker of the game.

“I felt the pressure of the guys behind me,” Samson said. “I slowed my cut down and cut it back to the middle and it was just green in front of me.”

The 45-yard scamper to the house made it 28-12 with a lot of time remaining on the clock.

Chung-Hoon came right back with 40-yard bomb from Yeoman 1st Class Marcus Cunningham to Culinary Specialist Seaman Richard Kelly to make it a one-score game at 28-20, but two interceptions by Machinist’s Mate (Auxiliary) 2nd Class Scott Hofer and Le secured the game for Jefferson City.

“It’s been an up and down season,” Samson said about the year. “We’ve just got to play with what we’ve got. It’s been a tough season, but we’re doing good.”

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Category: Sports