Flag football season opens with 226th Med. Log. Win
By Pfc. Abel Trevino
28th Public Affairs Detachment
LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq — Opening season for league play flag football started in the traditional LSA Anaconda fashion - a one-hour delay of game because of a red alert. Despite the delay, the 226th Medical Logistics Battalion defeated the 302nd Cargo Transfer Company 20-7 in a battle of defenses.
The game opened with halfback and defensive end Randy Anderson from the 226th Med. Log. Bn. making an interception and following it up by running a daring three-man flea flicker between himself, wide receiver Kevin Jackson, and free safety Jamie Poole. Although close to the goal, they weren't close enough to score.
Two plays later, 302nd CTC's cornerback James London made his first of two interceptions and ran back a 15-yard play before being tackled.
The 302nd CTC fought their way to the goal, but on a short pass to the end zone, 226th Med. Log. Bn.'s. linebacker Christian Lopez intercepted the ball at the goal line giving possession back to his team.
Turnovers were the course of the game.
Poole made the first big play in the game when he caught a 20-yard pass and ran it 20 yards into the end zone for the 226th Med. Log. Bn.'s first touchdown. The attempt at the extra point failed, and the score started off 6-0.
226th Med. Log. Bn.'s Poole also scored the second touchdown for his team on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Reggie White that he converted into a 5-yard run into the end zone. 226th Med. Log. Bn.'s Anderson cleaned up the scoreboard with the extrapoint, turning it into a 13-point ballgame.
With 90 seconds on the clock before the end of the first half, 302nd CTC's wide receiver Shareef Shabazz scored a huge touchdown and his teammate Steveland Jones ran in the extra-point.
The 226th Med. Log. Bn. fought back toward the goal with only four seconds left in the half, but 302nd CTC's London made his second interception and ran back 25 yards before being tackled and ending the first half of play with the score 13-7, 226th Med. Log. Bn. leading.
During halftime, the 302nd CTC discussed strategy to bring them back on top, opting to move away from the man-on-man defense to the zone defense.
"As sloppy as that first half was played, we're only down one [touchdown]," London told his 302nd CTC team. "We can do this!"
The 226th Med. Log. Bn. had a strategy that was working and had no intention of stopping it.
"They're going man-to-man [coverage] and we're exploiting the weakest person on the defense," 226th Med. Log. Bn.'s White said of his offensive strategy.
"Basically, I'm looking for the mismatch."
He continued to say that the 226th Med. Log. Bn.'s defense was putting pressure on the quarterback and forcing plays they could react to.
"We're good at executing and playing the fundamentals of football," 226 Med. Log. Bn.'s White said, summing up his team's playing style.
During the second half, Jackson caught a 25-yard pass and scored the final touchdown for the 226th Med. Log. Bn. After two penalties, 226th Med. Log. Bn.'s White ran in the extra-point bringing the score to 20-7.
226th Med. Log. Bn's. linebacker Michael Conrad and 302nd CTC's cornerback William Blow also caught one interception each.
"We're still looking for [team] cohesiveness," Blow said of the devastating loss. "Once we get that, the 302nd [CTC] will be a force."
302nd CTC's London commented that the score wasn't reflective of the way his team played and praised the discipline and sportsmanship of his opponents.
On the other side of the field, White commented that the 226th Med. Log. Bn.'s defense won the game with the turnovers that enabled their offense to make short yard touchdowns.
Editor's Note: Pfc. Trevino is assigned to the 28th Public Affairs Detachment from Fort Lewis, Wash. He is currently deployed to Iraq in support of the 13th Corps Support Command at LSA Anaconda.
(LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq) - 302nd CTC cornerback James London intercepts a pass in the first few minutes of the game. 302nd CTC faced 226th Med. Log. to kick off the flag football season.
(LOGISTICS SUPPORT AREA ANACONDA, Balad, Iraq) - 226th Medical Logistics Battalion’s halfback Randy Anderson runs along the sideline after catching a pass and heads for the endzone during the flag football season opening game here.