D Co., 1-145th AVN, poses with the intramural football championship trophy. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)
Published: January 9, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 9, 2014) -- Before the holiday season wrapped up, two Fort Rucker intramural football teams went head-to-head to battle it out for the title of post champion.
The D Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, Waiver Wires came up from the loser’s bracket to beat 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment Waffles 20-14 in overtime of the second game on the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center football field to earn the championship of the 2013 Intramural Football season.
“It’s been a long week and we had to beat this team twice (to win the championship), so I think we really earned it,” said 2nd Lt. Brennan Rendel, captain and quarterback for Waiver Wire. “We finally had a full roster and I just feel like fate has been on our side throughout the playoffs.”
The game started off as Waiver Wire received and managed a short return. They seemed to have trouble finding their footing early on as they struggled for a first down, but Rendel managed to make the runs necessary to secure the first down and hold onto the ball.
The Waffles defense continued to hold strong and block any potential passes by their opponents, forcing Waiver Wire to make running plays.
Despite coming to a fourth down, the D Co. team decided to go for the play to try for a first down, but were held back by their opponents, forcing the turnover midfield.
The Waffles offense didn’t seem to fair much better as their quarterback was sacked on their first play, but made up for lost yards with a run on the following play to get closer to a first down.
Like their opponents, the 11th Avn. Regt. team came to a fourth down and decided to go for the play, but was unsuccessful in its attempt at a first down and returned possession to D Co.
Although they weren’t able to advance during the possession, the Waffles bounced back with an interception followed by a Hail-Mary pass for the game’s first touchdown.
With more than half the first half gone, Waiver Wire had to step it up if they wanted to stay in the game, which they managed to do as they found their footing and managed first down after first down to move closer to the goal line.
Finally, with a 20-yard pass, D Co. managed their first touchdown of the game, but missed the extra point to trail their opponents, 7-6.
With only two minutes remaining in the half, the Waffles had time to extend their lead before the half as they pushed toward the opposing end zone, and managed to get within yards of the goal line, but an interception by Waiver Wire’s Robert Waters with less than one minute remaining in the half turned the tide for his team.
D Co. managed to get the ball downfield and score their second touchdown to take the lead, but weren’t finished as they went for the two-point conversion to make up for lost ground to end the half 14-7.
The Waffles had the advantage of receiving during the second half and were able to slowly push past their opponent’s defense and maintain first down, and get right up to the opposing goal line.
Waiver Wire’s defense held strong, however, as they were able to hold their opponents at the 1-yard line to force a turnover, but weren’t able to push past their own 50-yard line before returning the ball to the Waffles.
The two teams bounced possession back and forth for the majority of the half until the 11th Avn. Regt. team pushed back hard as the clock was winding down and managed to push up against the opposing goal line again with less than a minute remaining in the game.
The Waffles managed a touchdown with 17 seconds remaining and decided to try for a two-point conversion to win the game, but were unsuccessful, and Waiver Wire won 14-13, sending the two teams into a second game for the championship.
The Waffles took possession to start the second game but couldn’t seem to find their momentum. An interception by Waiver Wire put the pressure on as both teams seemed to tire, but D Co. showed no signs of letting up their aggressive play style.
They managed to push toward the goal line, but the Waffle’s defense tightened up to stop them at the 10-yard line, forcing a field goal attempt, which was unsuccessful.
Neither team was able to sustain a drive throughout most of the half, and it wasn’t until there was less than five minutes remaining in the half that either team made any headway.
Waiver Wire finally managed to break their opponent’s defense with a 25-yard pass followed by a running play for the first touchdown of the game.
Not to be outdone, however, the Waffles took possession and pushed hard against their opponents with less than a minute remaining in the half to take the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. They missed the extra point, however, and trailed their opponents 7-6 at the end of the half.
At the start of the second half, possession again bounced back and forth, but an interception by Waiver Wire afforded the team a chance at another touchdown, something they took full advantage of.
With pressure on the Waffles to get back into the game, two players seemed too focused on the ball rather than their positions on the field and collided, resulting in cuts to one player’s head, and a deep cut on the other player’s nose, which required stitches.
After about a 30-minute delay for medical attention, the game resumed and the Waffles didn’t lose any of their drive to get back into the game.
As they took possession, they managed first down after first down to push closer to the opposing goal line, and were able to complete a 15-yard pass for their second touchdown to tie the game, 14-14.
Waiver Wire wasn’t able to make any headway during their possession and gave the Waffles one final chance to take the lead with only seconds left in the game.
D Co. managed to hold them back, but the Waffles were able to get close enough for a field goal attempt, but were unsuccessful and the game went into overtime.
Each team had four downs to try for a touchdown and Waiver Wire managed a touchdown on their third play to win the game, 20-14.
“I just knew that by the way playoffs were going for us that we were going to rally, and I had no doubt in my mind that we were going to win the game,” said Rendel. “It’s been a great defensive effort for the last few games and a huge interception by Robert Waters for a touchdown. That was the turning point of the game.”
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/118037/
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