PACOM/JIOC maintains undefeated record

PACOM/JIOC quarterback Staff Sgt. Martin Dietrich winds up to go deep against the Marauders.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

With only two more games to go in the regular season, Pacific Command/ Joint Intelligence Operation Center (PACOM/JIOC) needs just one more win to lock up the No. 1 seed in the Red Division heading into the playoffs.

PACOM/JIOC inched closer to their goal by getting past the 747th Communication Squadron (747 CS) Marauders, 19-12, in a battle of two of the top teams in the division Nov. 6 at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The win raised PACOM/JIOC’s overall record to 7-0, while the Marauders dropped from second place to third with a record of 5-2. It was the second loss in a row by the Marauders, which started the season on a five-game winning streak.

Next week, PACOM/JIOC can secure the division’s No. 1 seed with a win over the Fire-sharks, which entered play Nov. 6 with a record of 0-6.

“It comes with our defense getting a shutout nearly every week,” said PACOM/JIOC quarterback Staff Sgt. Martin Dietrich about being undefeated. “It’s been that way in every game I’ve played so far. It makes it really easy on me because I don’t have to force too much knowing that my defense got my back whenever I step on the field.”

PACOM/JIOC established themselves early against the Marauders by scoring first to take a 6-0 lead.

Starting at their own 15, PACOM/JIOC needed just eight plays to score, but the team still needed to convert on a clutch fourth and goal from the 15 to go out in front.

On the scoring play, Dietrich dropped back to pass on fourth down and rifled a pass into the arms of Senior Airman Antonio Gause, who made the grab in the end zone.

“It was crucial,” said Dietrich about getting the first score. “You let them (Marauders) get a little bit ahead of you and gain momentum, things can turn from bad to worse real quick.”

However, with the ever-dangerous Senior Airman Jamal Jones leading the charge for the Marauders, the lead didn’t last long, as the 747 took the next drive 60 yards on six plays to tie the score at 6-6.

Jones did most of the heavy lifting on the drive, as the QB went two-for-two on passes and picked up 57 yards on the ground. Jones finished off the drive with a short 3-yard pass to Tech. Sgt. Brett Devor inside the end zone for six.

After Jones put on a show just before halftime to tie the score, Dietrich came out on fire in the second half and put PACOM/JIOC back in front on the team’s first possession.

On second down from his own 20, Dietrich got the ball in the backfield and then broke out into the open on a 43-yard run that moved the chains deep into the Marauders’ territory at the 17.

Two plays later, Dietrich pitched a strike to receiver Master Sgt. Darryl Hill, who made the catch and took it into the end zone from six yards out.

The Marauders almost answered with a matching touchdown, but the drive ended at the PACOM/JIOC 14, when defensive back Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Austin Baker picked off a pass.

From there, Dietrich put the game away for good with a 57-yard drive that was capped off by a pass from the quarterback to Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Matt Dennis for a touchdown with less than two minutes remaining on the clock.

While PACOM/JIOC should be favored to wrap up the No. 1 seed next week, the road to remain undefeated could be in serious jeopardy Nov. 20, when the team matches up against

Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii Anchors, who picked up their fifth win against two losses.

Should PACOM/JIOC get past the Firesharks, team captain Mike Todd, a Department of Defense civilian, just about guaranteed an undefeated season when, he said, the team will meet and defeat NIOC.

“They (NIOC) already got two losses,” Todd said. “That’s the best team right there (pointing over to the Marauders) and we just got them. NIOC is up next, but I don’t see why people are still talking about a two-loss team.”

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Category: Sports