Tigers keep pace with division leaders

Senior Airman Tom Gillis breaks out into open for a big gain. Gillis scored two touchdowns to lead the Tigers over the Fire Sharks.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

The 324th/392nd Intelligence Squadron Tigers kept in the race for the Red Division championship by topping the 37th Intelligence Squadron Fire Sharks, 20-7, Oct. 23 in an intramural flag football showdown at Earhart Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

With the win, the Tigers have now won back-to-back games and are sitting in third place, only one game behind the Marauders and two games in back of division leaders Pacific Command/Joint Intelligence Operation Center, who remain as the only undefeated team in the division with a record of 6-0.

Next week Tuesday, the Tigers will go for their third win in a row, when they square off against Naval Health Clinic Hawaii in a 6 p.m. game at Ear-hart Field.

Against the Fire Sharks, the Tigers got off to a great start and then used a strong defense that kept their opponents off the scoreboard until there was only two minutes remaining in the game.

On the Fire Sharks’ first drive of the game, quarterback Staff Sgt. Richard Colmus dropped back to pass from his own 18 and had his toss picked off by Senior Airman Tom Gillis, who then proceeded to race down the left sideline and into the end zone for a pick six. The team then converted a two-point attempt after the touch-down to take a quick 8-0 lead.

“We were playing a bit aggressive because we thought we had the better athletes on our side of the football,” Gillis said. “So our defensive scheme was to play aggressive and attack the ball.”

After falling behind, the Fire Sharks mounted a drive of their own and drove the ball into the Tigers’ red zone at the 20-yard line. But on first and goal from the 20, Colmus went down the middle of end zone with a pass, only to have his second toss intercepted by Gillis.

Tigers quarterback Tech. Sgt. Edmond Gray got on the field for the first time on offense and directed a seven-play, 60-yard scoring drive that was topped off with a strike from Gray to Tech. Sgt. Jesus Alfonso for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead that stood up through half time.

Immediately after intermission, the Tigers started off with the football and in just two explosive plays, traveled the entire length of the field to pick up touchdown number three.

The big play came on first down from the 20, with Gray connecting with Airman 1st Class Gabriel Jean-Charles on a short pass to the right flat.

Jean-Charles grabbed the ball and made a cutback to the middle, before taking off all the way down to the Fire Sharks’ 18-yard line for a 42-yard gain.

Then on the very next play, Gray rolled to his left and flipped the ball to Gillis on an option that lead to the team’s third touchdown of the game and a 20-0 advantage.

“We learned early that the option works perfectly fine in this league,” Gillis said. “We have a few speedy guys, so we just want to put our speed guys in the open field and give them the opportunity to make plays.”

Later with only two minutes remaining in the game, the Fire Sharks avoided the shutout by scoring on a short-yardage plunge by Colmus that led to the final 20-7 score.

“We plan on finishing out the season strong,” Gillis pointed out, as the Tigers hope to stay in contention. “We don’t want to underestimate anybody in the future, but we think we can win it all.”

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Category: Sports