Marauders late drive enough to beat 15th CPTS

Staff Sgt. Jamal Jones cuts back to pick up a few more yards after making a catch.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

A touchdown pass from quarterback Tech. Sgt. Larry Best to receiver Staff Sgt. Jamie Brown with only 3:04 remaining in the game was all the Marauders needed to outlast and defeat the 15th Comptroller Squadron (15 CPTS), 7-0, on Oct. 17 in an intramural flag football Gold Division game at Earhart Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The victory gave the Marauders the most wins in the Gold Division with a record of 5-1, while the hard-luck 15 CPTS fell to 1-5.

“I knew that we had to score because our defense has been holding everybody,” Best said about the game-winning drive. “If we score, I know my defense is going to hold them at the end.”

To start the drive, things looked a little bleak for the Marauders, who were forced to begin their hurry-up offense all the way back at their own two-yard line.

After throwing an incomplete pass on first down, Best hooked up with Staff Sgt. Jamal Jones for a 31-yard pickup that immediately pulled the Marauders out of a deep hole.

“That guy is ridiculous. I wish I could clone him,” Best said about Jones. “He makes my job real easy. Every time I throw it to him, I know he’s going to make a big play or he’s going to make somebody miss.”

Four plays later, Best brought his team into the red zone on a nine-yard completion to Staff Sgt. Josh Veronese that placed the ball on the 15 CPTS 20-yard line.

On third down, Best took the snap from the 10 and made a dash toward the end zone, but was stopped at the two.

Now facing fourth and goal, Best got the hike from center, stepped back and rifled a bullet into the arms of Brown, who then broke the goal line in the right corner for six points and the lead.

“Jones is my first target, but I am looking at Brown in the back-field,” Best said. “I know for the most part he’s going to be there or push his guy and run it in from there.”

The Marauders appeared to have made on good on their point after touchdown attempt on a pass from Brown to Jones, who made a leaping grab in the back of the end zone.

However, the play was nullified on a penalty that forced the Marauders to do it all over again, only this time from the 20.

With the 15 CPTS in a prevent defense to keep any pass out of the end zone, Best took advantage of the spacing and ran a keeper all the way to the house for the PAT and a 7-0 lead.

The touchdown made up for the Marauders struggles on offense, as the team had a couple of touchdowns taken away on penalties and found difficulties managing its attack in the red zone.

In the first half, the Marauders took the ball from their own 16 all the way down to the 15 CPTS five-yard line, only to have a short five-yard scoring toss and a 20-yard pass for a touchdown taken away on two illegal blocking infractions.

With the ball being pushed back all the way to the 30, the Marauders were shut down and on fourth-and-goal were forced to punt the ball away.

“My cadence was a little off tonight,” Best said. “I was throwing my center off and kind of killed us.”

Following the win, Best said that the current Marauders are number one in his eyes and while he would love the chance to drive them to the Joint Base title, fate has other plans for him.

Best is PCSing and just played his final game for the Marauders.

Although he won’t be the one to lead the team into the playoffs, Best said that the Marauders are still talented enough to go all the way.

“We know that we’re going to have to score more points to get the higher seed and play some of the tougher teams,” he said. “But we know we can score on anybody.”

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Category: Sports