966th gambles and wins

  • Published
  • By Mike W. Ray
  • Tinker Public Affairs
The 966th AACS flag football team was in a gambling mood Monday afternoon. The Controllers rolled the dice on fourth down four times, and it paid big dividends when it mattered most. Their go-for-broke risk-taking enabled the 966th to tie and then defeat the 76th SMXG, 20-13.

The 966th scored on its opening drive. Quarterback Alex Banachowski slashed his way to the 11-yard line, then tossed a touchdown pass to Brad LaForest. Although the PAT pass was intercepted, the AACS led, 6-0.

The 966th got the ball back when the 76th SMXG stalled and had to "punt." The AACS failed to convert on fourth down and the 76th took over at their opponents' 15-yard line.
Brandon Meeks promptly intercepted an SMXG pass, and the 966th took over at their 10. Passes from quarterback Jim Cromwell to Jordan Bell and Joey Bryant advanced the Air Controllers forward 19 yards, but a quarterback sack pushed the 966th back to their 25. For the second time, a fourth-down pass attempt by the 966th fell incomplete.

SMXG quarterback Justin Easley gained 11 yards on a keeper, then passed to Matt Castille, putting the 76th at the Controllers' 5-yard line. On third-and-goal, 966th linebacker Tony Swoboda stopped Easley at the 1, but on fourth down Easley lobbed a TD aerial to 6-foot, 4-inch tall Castille. Corey Kopec of the 966th broke up the PAT pass, so the score was tied, 6-6, at halftime.

The 966th started from their 4 but were intercepted at midfield by Travis Slater to end the first half.

In the third quarter, Banachowski guided the 966th from their 4 to SMXG's 31 on a couple of keepers. However, in large part because of a 31-knot (about 36 mph) north wind, the 966th center inadvertently hiked the ball over Banachowski's head twice, which resulted in SMXG taking over on downs.

Easley completed a pass to Castille but crossed the line of scrimmage to do it, which cost SMXG a down. Unruffled, Easley, starting from his 35, scampered to the Controllers' 14-yard line, where he fired a TD pass to Dan Humboldt. Slater snared the PAT pass, giving SMXG a 13-6 lead.

Going into the fourth quarter, the 966th marched from near midfield to the SMXG red zone, primarily on a long gainer by LaForest. On fourth-and-goal from the 1, the 966th gambled for the third time -- and on this occasion they succeeded. Kopec snagged the TD pass from Banachowski, and Bell caught the PAT pass. Again the score was tied, 13-13.

On defense, Kopec quickly intercepted a pass, giving the 966th the ball at SMXG's 33-yard line. The Controllers gradually proceeded to the 10, but there they stalled. Again on fourth down the 966th rolled the dice, and again it paid off: Banachowski zipped a game-winning TD pass to Bell and a PAT pass to Kopec. The 966th led 20-13 as time expired.
In a game earlier that day, the 33rd CBCS tore up Contracting, 26-7.

Both teams were penalized on their opening drives, and both had to "punt."

On CBCS's second possession, Contracting's Douglas Cornelius intercepted a pass and returned it to the CBCS 17. Contracting quarterback Zach Rasmussen dashed to the 5, and Jason Johnson was stopped at the 1. On fourth-and-goal, Rasmussen was sacked for a loss of 15.

A pass to Semaj Griffin put CBCS at Contracting's 10, where Jason Schad ran it in for a TD and quarterback Chris Roberts completed the PAT pass. CBCS led at the half, 7-0.
In the third quarter, Contracting had gained 24 yards when Rasmussen was intercepted by Teverence Davis. A quarterback keeper and passes to Chris Kitter and to Schad moved CBCS to the Contracting 18. Roberts raced down the left sideline for another score, and a PAT pass to Stephon Fleming raised the tally to 14-0.

David Poarch of CBCS intercepted another Contracting pass at the 10, and Roberts threw a quick strike to Kitter. The point-after attempt failed but CBCS had extended its lead to 20-0 by the end of the third quarter.

Rasmussen passes to Johnson, Cornelius and T.J. Ablay had Contracting knocking on the CBCS door, and on fourth down Ablay caught a TD spiral. He also clutched the PAT pass, making the score 20-7.

CBCS marched back downfield and Roberts scored on an 8-yard keeper. Final score: 33rd CBCS 26, Contracting 7.

Results from other recent games included: Gym Rats 43 vs 965th AACS 6; SCW-1 43 vs Navy Security 23; VQ-4 Shadows 19 vs 76 SMXG 6; Med Group 39 vs 966th AACS 6; Reserve Gold 39 vs Navy Security 21; Reserve White 23 vs SCW-1 12; M.F.R. 38 vs 31st CBCS 18; Contracting 20 vs 72nd SMXG 12.