Championship game crowns 95th SFS, ends exciting season

  • Published
  • By Derek Brown
  • 452nd Flight Test Squadron
I chose to officiate the 2009 Edwards Flag Football Intramural Championship rather than watch my favorite professional NFL team, the Washington Redskins, play Oct. 26. Avid NFL fans would snicker and say "Yeah because the 'Skins are not doing too well this season," which has never mattered to me because I love the Redskins win or lose.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock and or simply heading home after work looking over at the football field lights, all base sports fans know that each of the intramural sporting events have been coming down to the base powerhouses, 95th Medical Group and 95th Security Forces Squadron.

To recap, last year 95th SFS went undefeated the entire football season only to be beaten twice by 95th MDG in the playoffs and watch the crown being hoisted on the opposite side of the field. Coming into this season, the 95th MDG was top dog, only to be faced with 95th SFS again being the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, which quickly disappeared after a 26-20 overtime 95th MDG win in the winner's bracket sending 95th SFS the long way to the crown. Security Forces Quarterback Aaron "Doza" Mendoza had the weight of the world on him this season as he was asked to step in when the starting QB was injured.

On the first drive, he was intercepted in the end zone by 95th MDG Gary Mobley. The 95th MDG then drove the field on the strength and legs of their quarterback Jose Valenzuela.  First, he hit one of his receivers for a 10-yard touchdown pass combined with an extra point pass.

The 95th SFS went three-and-out, giving 95th MDG a 7-0 lead after one quarter.

In the second quarter, 95th MDG again drove down the field with catches by Amod, Donald Hart and Johnson then Valenzuela went long to Matthew Harrison for the touchdown and Thomas Reynolds grabbed another extra point catch for the 14-0 MDG lead. 

Playing a little out of sync, 95th SFS still managed to drive down the field using the speed of running back Ta'Racqus Young and hands of Jason  Braswell to inside the 5-yard line and faced with a fourth and goal. Doza tried to squeeze a pass into the end zone only to have 95th MDG safety Leroy Johnson step in front then blaze 80 yards for another 95th MDG score and extra point for a 21-0 lead. Then, 95th SFS appeared to see a dim light of hope as they went into their two-minute hurry up drill of short passes and runs to get an easy scoring pass from Doza to receiver Emmitt Clutch Smith failing on the extra point try to bring the half to a close 21-6.

In the third quarter, it was all defense from both teams however, the 95th SFS defense was starting to turn the tide as Brandon Council, Daris Hammons, Roccan Keys, Robert Rayford shut the 95th MDG run and turned up the heat on Valenzuela, getting three crucial sacks while Morris Gray and Armand Green threw what appeared to be a blank over the 95th MDG receivers the rest of the game.

With the championship on the line and their backs against the wall, the 95th SFS defense stopped 95th MDG three times in the fourth quarter and quarterback Aaron Mendoza came alive using the hurry up offense he found Smith again with an extra point for 21-13.

The 95th MDG went 3 and out giving 95th SFS another shot at the hurry up with the same result Doza to Smith for a 21-19 nail biter. The 95th MDG could not run out the clock with the 95th SFS defense again applying too much pressure forcing a punt with 1:44 left in the game.

The 95th SFS got two first down with short pass and runs to Rock then on fourth and goal. Quarterback Doza faked the pass and slipped into the end zone for the go ahead score ending the game 25-21 forcing what would now be a true Championship of "win or go home."

Now hold on to your seats because you should already of read about the down 21-0 come from behind 25-21 victory in the first game and after a 10-minute rest to lick wounds, adjust strategies, and forget who won or lost it was time for some football. Because just like all NFL teams professionals from the military world, we're about to decide on the field who would wear the crown of champion.

The 95th SFS got the first shot and turned the ball over when a 95th MDG safety intercepted the pass then the 95th SFS defense forced a punt to regain the ball. However, on the second 95th SFS drive, the result was the same; an interception this time the SFS defensive end Keys slipped in for a sack on fourth down to give the SFS offense yet another try on offense. A dropped fourth down pass to end the first quarter left this game tied at 0. 

In the second quarter, 95th MDG found their rhythm with a combo of short runs and passes resulting in two key first down.  The 95th MDG quarterback faked a short pass over the middle and went long for the 25 yard Touchdown. Speedster Leroy Johnson added a catch for the extra point and the 7-0 95th MDG lead. 

Trying their hurry up offense, 95th SFS fell short of the end zone as time ran out in the first half, with the score remaining 7-0. The 95th SFS had a great kickoff to start the third quarter, pinning 95th MDG deep in their own territory.

The 95th MDG, using the triple receiver threat of Admond , Mobley and Johnson, moved the ball to 95th SFS half of the field on three passes. However, when the quarterback tried to test that, the 95th SFS middle on short pass the 95th SFS middle linebacker stepped in front of for a big league interception.

Not wasting any time, 95th SFS went long to receiver Lee Fox who made the play of the game with a spectacular one hand grab down the sideline before stepping out at the 3-yard line. During the next play, 95th SFS then calmly passed to Braswell for the touchdown but missed the extra point for a 7-6 MG lead to finish out the third quarter.

The 95th MDG started the fourth quarter a little anxious for this contest to just end with them in the lead but the 95th SFS defense was not giving up any quality yards or first downs so another punt to 95th SFS and their hurry up offense, which was starting to tire out 95th MDG. But on the first pass, 95th MDG got another interception by Johnson to stop the 95th SFS drive, which put defense in action again this time Braswell stepped into get the interception. Security forces called timeout and set the stage for what turned out to be the game-winning drive on the next five plays. Doza spread the the 95th MDG defense out and dumped short passes to 95th SFS all purpose runner Ta'Racqus Rock Young who gained 40 yards with three minutes left to play the 95th SFS o-line dug in and gave Mendoza the time he needed to hit receiver Emmitt Smith over the middle for the go ahead touchdown and 12-7 lead. Medical Group went straight to work and chipped 30 yards of the 60 needed for pay dirt then disaster struck as SFS defense got a sack on fourth down to get the ball back. With time running out, 95th MDG stopped 95th SFS to regain control for a last chance with 52 seconds left in the game -- three plays later a fourth and goal hail mary pass to the end zone found regular dirt instead of pay dirt and the celebration the SFS team and fans had waited over a year for went into maximum overload! final 12-7.

Having the best seat in the house right on the field I saw the raw emotion of each player going and giving 100 percent I would have to give my game most valuable players to both 95th MDG and 95th SFS offensive and defensive line for going full speed with no pads for straight games that were not decided until the last play, which left no time for slowing down. We all have watched million dollar athletes compete on television with the lights, replays and flash but give me the final score of a Washington Redskins game because I'll choose to watch the professional men and women who have sworn to protect and defend not only their squadrons pride in sports but this great country we all enjoy being a part of everyday. With the field clearly marked 95th SFS and 95th MDG by the Rosburg Fitness Center, it looks like the tiebreaker might not arrive until this time next season.