Marauders continue to win behind new QB

Staff Sgt. Josh Veronese makes his way into the end zone to score the first touchdown of the game.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Despite losing their starting quarterback to PCS last week, the Marauders picked up win number six behind new signal caller Senior Airman Van Gordon and a tough defense that held the opposition scoreless for a second week in a row.

The Marauders beat the 17th

Operational Weather Squadron (17 OWS) Geckos, 20-0, on Oct. 24 in a Gold Division intramural flag football showdown at Earhart Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

In his first assignment as starting quarterback, Gordon engineered a 61-yard drive to pay dirt on the Marauders first possession of the game and never looked back.

Although Gordon admitted to having some butterflies at the start of the game, he said that things settled down real quick once he got behind the center.

“When you come out here for the first time, there could be some issues,” Gordon said. “It’s a new dynamic, but everybody was real supportive and in the right spot. It was nice.”

The Marauders defense, which has played tough all season long, asserted its presence on the first series of the game, when Staff Sgt. Jamal Jones picked off a pass at the team’s own 19.

While Gordon may have been a bit nervous, he never showed any signs of it. He came out slinging and connected on his first three passes to put the football in Geckos territory at the 26.

On fourth and one at the 21, Gordon ran a keeper to the 10 for a first down. Then, two plays later, he shuffled a short toss into the hands of Staff Sgt. Josh Veronese for a touchdown.

Gordon finished off the point after touchdown attempt on a scamper into the end zone for an early 7-0 lead.

“That first drive was a big boost,” Gordon said. “Being able to drive the ball downfield like that is a nice confidence builder. After that first drive, I felt like I could throw the ball and someone was going to catch the ball.”

Up by a score, the Marauders defense held strong again and forced the Geckos to punt the ball after only three possessions.

The kick sailed just over the 40-yard line and into the arms of Tech. Sgt. Josh Lawson, who turned the corner and broke down the right side of the field.

Lawson sped past the final defender and then managed to keep his stride just inside the sideline, before crossing the goal line for a touchdown.

“Sometimes you just got to get on your horse and go. I just ran away from the defense,” said Lawson who almost stumbled out of bounds, but tiptoed his way into the end zone. “I was definitely thinking I was going to go out, but hung on just long enough. I got a daughter, so I got to balance her on one hip sometimes and I think that helped a lot.”

Up by 14-0 going into the second half, the Marauders got the ball first after the break and marched 65 yards on 12 plays to score their third and final touch-down of the game.

The scoring play came on fourth down, with the ball resting just outside the end zone at the four. Gordon connected on his second touchdown pass of the game on a completion to Lawson.

From there, it was all up the Marauders defense which shut out the Geckos the rest of the way with support from Jones, who got his second pick of the game, and Sgt. Carlos Rodriguez, who put the game away for good with an interception of his own.

“I feel that we’re breaking into a good stride,” Gordon said after the win. “We had that little hiccup early on with that one loss. That was one team we definitely feel like we should have beat. But after that loss, you realize that not everything is for free. You need to work for every game.”

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Category: Sports