Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va. --
Weapons Training Battalion defeated Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, 26-7, during the final intramural league flag football game at Butler Stadium on Nov 27.
In the final game before the playoffs, WTBN’s overwhelming defense and ability to make big plays washed out MCIA’s strong running ability and brutal second-half blitzing.
WTBN swept through first quarter with little opposition, quickly scoring two touchdowns with relatively little fight.
With 15 seconds left in the first half, MCIA was rushing to get on the scoreboard. Even with back-to-back running plays they did not get through WTBN’s defense. At halftime, the score was WTBN 14, MCIA 0.
WTBN received at the top of the third quarter and wasted no time pushing deep into MCIA’s territory.
Dodging MCIA’s blitzing defenders, Harland Gambill, WTBN’s quarterback, launched a long pass for a touchdown, bringing the score to 20-0 with 14 minutes left on the clock.
MCIA countered with a fierce combination of running and passing, which proved to be their best way of getting back in the game.
On the receiving end of a deep pass, a player for MCIA bounced the ball off his hands and nearly dropped the pass for an incompletion, but recovered for an impressive first down.
Immediately afterward, MCIA followed up on their momentum and pulled a huge run for more than 20 yards.
WTBN reestablished field dominance by forcing an interception on MCIA’s 20-yard line, but they simply could not move the ball. All of their pass attempts were swatted down by MCIA’s defense.
With six minutes left in the game, the ball went back to MCIA, who pushed up the field with a solid offense they previously lacked. They finally made a dent in the gap between them and WTBN with a touchdown run, bringing the score to WTBN 14, MCIA 6.
Down to the wire, with less than four minutes left on the clock, Gambill found a hole in MCIA’s defense and made a mad dash for the end zone. He dodged defender after defender, but ran out of steam short of his goal. He tumbled and rolled to a stop on the 20-yard line.
Gambill’s effort pumped up his teammates and the next play he threw another deep pass to which ended in another touchdown.
While going for the extra point, a sloppy toss from WTBN led into an interception, but MCIA’s offense once again could not make any leeway and turned the ball over on downs.
With little time left on the clock, WTBN managed to score another long touchdown pass, which tipped the scales and won the game.
“We did a lot better than last year,” said Gambill. “Our guys get deployed and sent away for things so we don’t always have a team.”
Tonight, despite not making the upcoming playoffs, their team held together for a final victory.
“It’s good to end the season on a high,” said Michael Abelar, one of the defensive captains for WTBN. “Our defense definitely kept us in this game.”
According to Abelar, even without a spot in the playoffs, his team was excited to be playing, and it shined through on the field that night.