Javier Sustrate, player for Unknown, pushes past opposing team members as he runs the ball during an intramural football game at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center football field Oct. 7. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)
Published: October 10, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 10, 2014) -- Although this year’s Fort Rucker Intramural Football season will be shorter than usual, this year’s teams aren’t holding back when it comes to fierce competition.
The Dirty Birds of 1-58th Airfield Operations Battalion took on Unknown, which was made of up Soldiers from multiple units, during a game at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center football field Oct. 7 that kept spectators and players on the edge of their seats.
With literally a last second touchdown to tie the game, the Unknowns pushed the game into overtime for a chance to take the win, but it was Dirty Birds who came out on top, pulling out a win, 32-26, to remain undefeated so far in the season.
“We had a good game, and even though our quarterback had a rough night we still stayed strong and we got that much-needed win,” said Pvt. 1st Class Kenneth Sauceda, Dirty Birds team captain.
Dirty Birds were down by two touchdowns early in the game, but Sauceda said his team’s ability to work together helped them pull through.
“We just stayed strong. We know our talents and our capabilities, so we just had faith in our team and gave it our all,” he said. “One of our biggest strengths is that we’re resilient, and because of that we’re able to get the win and we’re going to take it all the way.”
Dirty Birds received at the kickoff, but started off slow with a short return. Their quarterback didn’t seem able to connect with his receivers, and they weren’t able to secure a first down and gave possession to their opponents within minutes.
Unknown was fairing much better with multiple completions that allowed them to push downfield toward the opposing goal line. Although Dirty Bird’s defense held strong, it wasn’t strong enough to keep their opponent’s from a first down to get within 10 yards of the goal line.
The 1-58th AOB team managed to hold Unknown back to a fourth down, but a pass to Stephen Stahl, Unknown player, sealed their first touchdown, and with a successful two-point conversion, gave them a healthy lead to start.
As Dirty Birds received, they pushed aggressively toward the end zone and managed to get within 10-yards of the goal line, but an interception in the end zone returned possession back to Unknown, who took advantage of their fortune and pushed hard for first downs.
From the opposing 30-yard line, a Hail Mary pass to Will Knight, player for Unknown, locked in their second touchdown, securing their lead, 14-0.
Dirty Birds had their work cut out for them with minutes remaining in the half and it would be multiple turnovers before the 1-58th AOB team saw any progress.
With less than a minute remaining in the half, down by two touchdowns, Dirty Birds had to pull out all their tricks to get back in the game, and they did just that with a 20-yard pass to Emmanuel Stallworth, Dirty Birds player, who ran into the end zone for the team’s first touchdown.
They decided to go for the two-point conversion, but were unsuccessful.
Now, with only seconds remaining and Unknown in possession, Dirty Birds had a small window to turn things around before the end of the half, and they accomplished that feat with an interception during their opponent’s first play that allowed them to run the ball all the way in for their second touchdown.
Again they went for the two-point conversion, but were unsuccessful and trailed their opponents by two points.
The stakes were raised going into the second half as both teams hit their stride, and although Unknown received to start the half, the Dirty Birds’ defense managed to hold them back and forced a turnover at their 7-yard line.
Luck wasn’t on their side, however, as the 1-58th AOB’s quarterback threw another interception to return possession to Unknown, who took advantage of the situation and managed their third touchdown within the next few plays to extend their lead, 20-12.
Dirty Birds came back aggressively, though, and managed another touchdown to keep on their opponent’s heels. Their defense managed to tighten up and force another turnover, which gave the 1-58th AOB the chance the break through Unknown’s defense.
And break through they did as they slipped through their opponent’s cracks for their fourth touchdown to take the lead for the first time in the game, 26-20.
It was still anybody’s game with less than 30 seconds on the clock, and Unknown was determined not to go down without a fight.
They pushed hard toward the opposing goal line with complete pass after complete pass for the first down. With only seven seconds remaining, Unknown was within 20 yards of the end zone, and one final pass put them on the 1-yard line with less than one second remaining in the game.
Unknown managed to run in for their final touchdown to tie the game, but were unsuccessful in their 2-point conversion attempt, which sent the game into overtime.
During overtime, each team had four downs to score, but it was Dirty Birds who were able to push through and score to win, 32-26.
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/135995/
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