Tigers break away from LRS with solid second half

Staff Sgt. Jesus Alfonso tries for a one-handed pickoff attempt.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

It probably won’t be good enough to secure the fourth and final playoff spot from the Gold Division, but the 324th Intelligence Squadron (324 IS) Tigers can at least end the season with a smile on their faces after beating the 647th Logistics Readiness Squadron (647 LRS) on Nov. 7 by a score of 26-7 in an intramural flag football game at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

In the regular-season final for both teams, the Tigers came off a 7-7 tie at halftime to score 19 straight unanswered points to improve their overall record to 4-4, while the 647 LRS finished at 0-9.

The game almost didn’t get started due to a lack of players by the 647 LRS, but a last-second addition to the team allowed the game to proceed with the LRS using the bare minimum of five players, while the Tigers started seven.

Still, the game wasn’t a runaway by any means in the first half, as the LRS held tough and put the stop on the Tigers attack.

“I think it was more trying to figure out the defense,” said Tigers quarterback Staff Sgt. Kevin Wibiral about the team’s slow start, despite having two more players. “Once we figured out that they were rushing just one, I think we had the time to figure it out. I was just glad both teams came out and we got a game.”

The 647 LRS got the ball first and surprisingly marched the ball deep into the Tigers territory with the nose of the ball resting on the 20.

However, the Tigers defense stepped up and produced back-to-back sacks that pushed the LRS all the way back to their own 37 and forcing them to punt.

The Tigers got the ball on their own 31 and made quick work by fashioning a three-play drive to the end zone for a 7-0 lead after the point after touchdown.

An option and completed pass put the ball on the LRS 28, before Wibiral connected with Senior Airman Joshua Blogna for the touchdown.

The Tigers struggled on offense for the rest of the first half, and with minutes before halftime, LRS may them pay for it.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Shanna-horn picked off a pass and returned it to the Tigers 20-yard line.

With only 15 seconds on the clock, LRS quarterback Staff Sgt. Richard Colmus rolled to his right and threw a spiral into the arms of Shannahorn for a touchdown, which led to a 7-7 tie at halftime.

After the break, the Tigers got the ball and methodically picked up 20 yards on five plays to place the ball at their own 35.

Then on the next play, Wibiral dropped back into the pocket and threw a bullet into the middle of the field.

Despite being surrounded by defenders, Airman 1st Class Brandon Bauer grabbed the pass, turned up field and ran all the way to the end zone for a 13-7 lead.

Wibiral said that the play was designed for Bauer and when he came through, it changed the entire momentum of the game.

“I was trying to spread it out and I know that he probably hasn’t gotten it as much as the other people,” Wibiral said. “So finally I said, ‘hey, we’re going to throw a curl to you.’ He made a good catch.”

After the touchdown, the Tigers defense made a big play. Staff Sgt. Jesus Alfonso intercepted a pass deep in LRS territory.

On the first play from scrimmage after the pick, Wibiral fired a pass for a touchdown to receiver Staff Sgt. Chris Steinke.

Another pick by Airman 1st Class Christopher Elliot led to the team’s fourth and final touchdown, with Wibiral tossing a scoring pass to Elliot.

Wibiral said while the team was in contention for a playoff spot until the final day of the regular season, he was disappointed that the Tigers didn’t do better this season after going 6-2 last year.

The team’s biggest obstacle to overcome this season was the injury of starting quarterback Tech. Sgt. Edmond Gray, who missed four games because of a hip impairment.

“That was the biggest loss of the season,” Wibiral said. “He (Gray) went down starting on game three. It could have changed things.”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: Sports