Marauders raise record with fifth straight win

Tech. Sgt. Darren Pleasant beats the defense to make a reception, before turning upfield and scoring a touchdown on a 55-yard catch and run.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

A lot of things have happened so far in this year’s intramural flag football season, but one thing that haven’t occurred yet is a loss by the 747th Communication Squadron (747 CS) Marauders.

On Oct. 16, the Marauders came out on fire and rolled on to an easy 33-6 victory over Naval Health Clinic Hawaii (NHCH) in a Red Division matchup at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The win not only kept the Marauders’ winning streak going strong, but also kept them in a two-way tie for first place in the division with Pacific Command/ Joint Intelligence Operation Center (PACOM/JIOC) with both teams holding identical records of 5-0.

Next week on Oct. 23, the Marauders will face their biggest test of the season, when they square off against the Anchors of Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii, whose only loss came on a forfeit for use of an ineligible player.

Kickoff for the Marauders versus Anchors showdown is set for 7 p.m. at Earhart Field.

While the season is at the halfway point, the Marauders clearly demonstrated that the team isn’t above making adjustments to its attack.

In previous weeks, the Marauders used all-purpose player Senior Airman Jamal Jones as a heat-seeking missile to destroy the opposition’s offense and defense.

However, against NHCH, the Marauders switched gears from a run offense to a passing attack and it paid off early and often.

The main beneficiary of the change in offense was Tech. Sgt. Darren Pleasant, who completed a hat trick by catching three passes for touchdowns.

“We notice that a lot of teams focus on Sgt. Jones,” Pleasant said. “So we want to play a very diverse type of offense to keep the defense guessing, and make sure that they can’t just key in on one person.”

The first touchdown came off a flea flicker, with the ball going from Jones to Senior Airman Brandon Mattes, who hoisted a perfect toss over the top into the waiting arms of Pleasant on a play that covered 55 yards.

After the big play by the offense, it was the defense’s turn to shine and it didn’t disappoint. On NHCH’s first possession of the game, quarterback Hospitalman Daelen Johnsen got picked off by Staff Sgt. Isaac Logan to give the Marauders first-and-goal on the NHCH 15-yard line.

Two plays later, Jones took the ball into the end zone on a two-yard sweep to the left that made it 13-0.

Things got a bit interesting, when NHCH responded with a 60-yard drive of its own to score a touchdown on a pass from Johnsen to Hospitalman Conner McQuown that made it 13-6 in favor of the Marauders.

Up now by only seven points, the Marauders quietly stepped on the gas and responded with Pleasant getting his second touchdown catch of the day on a 12-yard pass from Jones.

After another interception by Logan deep in NHCH territory at the 10, Pleasant corralled in his third and final touchdown reception on a toss from Mattes that made the score 26-6.

Logan, who got two picks on defense, wrapped up the scoring for the night after catching a short toss into the end zone for the final tally.

“I wasn’t here last year, but we were a top-three seed and we lost in the first round,” said Pleasant about the team’s main goal for this season. “This year is more about redemption for last season. We got lots of talent, a lot of people have come in from different bases and locations and we don’t want to spoil it. So we pretty much want to go all out and win that championship.”

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Category: Sports