MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif --
Week four of the Commanding General’s Intramural Football League featured a close match-up between Headquarters Battalion and the Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School at Felix Field Monday night.
Headquarters Bn. aimed to keep their unblemished season in-tact while MCCES tried to redeem themselves from a tough loss their previous meeting.
Charles Jefferson, Headquarters Bn. starting quarterback, wasted no time putting points on the board as he threw a 52-yard bomb to the end zone on the second play of the game.
The successful two-point conversion gave Headquarters Bn. an 8-0 advantage that would lead to another possession early in the first quarter.
After going three and out, Headquarters Bn. prepared to punt in their own territory when a bad snap lost them the ball and gave MCCES a first down on the one- yard line.
Daniel Pannell, MCCES starting quarterback, took full advantage of their field position by sneaking the ball for six points and narrowing the deficit to 2 points.
MCCES’s sudden burst of momentum didn’t last long as Jay Kwentua, Headquarters Bn. running back, returned the following kick off for an 80-yard touchdown.
Kwentua got the call again and ended the quarter with a successful conversion that put Headquarters Bn. on top of MCCES, 16-6.
The second quarter started out slow until Pannell launched a 70-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Dobbs, MCCES running back, and brought them a little closer.
Headquarters Bn. planned to close out the half with the lead until they fumbled the ball with just over a minute remaining in the second quarter.
Pannell put his team deep in Headquarters Bn. territory with a 20-yard pass to Dion Rosado, MCCES tight end.
Ladarrius Robinson, MCCES middle linebacker, finished the scoring drive with a four-yard touchdown run to give his team the lead.
Pannell connected with Rosado for two points and ended the half ahead of Headquarters Bn., 20-16.
Eager to get the lead back, Headquarters Bn. put a scoring drive together on their first possession of the second half that earned Kwentua his second touchdown of the game.
The remainder of the third quarter was quiet, and Headquarters held onto their 24-20 lead entering the final quarter.
Headquarters managed to put MCCES in a tight spot early in the fourth with a touchdown drive led by Ryan Kennelly, Headquarters Bn. running back.
Down 32-20 with less than four minutes to play in regulation, MCCES needed to score immediately.
Dobbs supported his team’s cause with a 60-yard kickoff return that made a comeback possible for MCCES.
Pannell recognized the urgency needed and threw a lob pass to Justin Simmons, MCCES wide receiver, that closed the gap, 32-26.
Headquarters Bn.’s bench held their breath as MCCES’s successful on-side kick put the outcome of the game in jeopardy.
MCCES tried desperately to start another drive, but came up short after four downs. Headquarters Bn. ran the clock down in the last minutes by holding onto the ball and, more importantly, the 32-26 win.
“MCCES came out and played us hard in the first half,” said Johnnie Sanders, Headquarters Bn. defensive coach. “It was a test that we needed. We made some adjustments in the second half and realized the number of weapons we have on this team.”
Headquarters Bn. continues to lead the CG’s intramural football league with the best record, and plans to stand unbeaten at the season’s end.