Smoking hot NIOC pours it on in victory

NIOC receiver Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Travis Daniels keeps his eyes on the ball before hauling it in for the first of his three touchdown passes of the game.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

One year removed from being flag football champs at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii Anchors are on a mission to get the title back and whoever stands in their way had better look out.

After opening the season with a win over the Firesharks, the Anchors were laser sharp once again in upending the JBPHH Security Zero Fox Trot, 41-6, on Sept. 25 in a Red Division matchup at Ward Field.

In the lopsided win, NIOC receiver Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 1st Class Travis Daniels had a monster of a game by collecting three passes for touchdowns, while on defense, the Anchors got interceptions by Cryptologic Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Altie Holcome and Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 3rd Class Caleb Bunicardi, whose steal resulted in a pick-six.

While the Anchors have a few new faces on the roster, many of the team’s players are veteran returnees, who played on the championship squad two seasons ago. That, according to team captain Cryptologic Technician (Networks) 2nd Class John Posey, is the main reason why the NIOC looked so sharp in only its second game of the season.

“It’s kind of the backbone of our team,” said Posey about the Anchors experience. “We depend on the guys who have been here to show that, hey, this is how the game is played.”

On only the second play of the game, the experience came up big, when Holcome stepped into the flat and picked off a pass to set up NIOC in great field position on the Zero Fox Trot 23-yard line.

After quarterback Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) 1st Class Jermaine Carmenia hooked up with Posey on the 16, the QB dropped back on second down and delivered a strike to a wide-open Daniels, who was parked in the middle of the end zone for an early 6-0 lead.

Zero Fox Trot tried to respond and drove into the red zone with a first and goal on the NIOC 17.

However, the drive stalled after four straight incomplete passes handed the ball back to the Anchors.

On NIOC’s second drive of the game, the team drove out to midfield on five plays, before Carmenia delivered a pass over the top and into the hands of Posey for a 45-yard completion and touchdown.

The Anchors scorching-hot start continued on the team’s third drive of the game, as once again, Carmenia connected with Daniels for another touchdown just before the half that made it 20-0.

Up by three scores, the onslaught didn’t stop there, as with time running out in the first half, Bunicardi picked off a pass at the Zero Fox Trot 22 and took it all the way to the house for a 27-0 lead at the break.

Even though NIOC was armed with a huge lead, Posey said that it doesn’t mean the team was about to ease up.

“No matter who we playing, no matter what the time of the game is, the score is always zero-zero,” he stated. “Because at any given time, on any given day, something could happen.”

In the second half, Zero Fox Trot broke the shutout, when quarterback Master-at-Arms Seaman Kevin Hall found receiver Master-at-Arms Seaman Michael Smiley in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

NIOC came back to score two more touchdowns on passes from Carmenia to Posey and to Daniels – his third touchdown catch of the game.

“After being put out in the first round in the last season, the question isn’t how hungry we are, but who thinks they can take it from us,” said Posey about the team’s outlook for the new season. “We going put the work in. Everybody understands their role and they fulfill it, so that we can be in the best position.”

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Category: Sports