MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The MCCES Eagles topped off their season with a 24-6 victory over the Bulldawgs of HQBN during the Commanding General’s Intramural Football League Championship game Nov. 25 at the Combat Center’s Felix Field.
The win broke a three-year championship winning streak for the Bulldawgs.
Tu Tran, the head coach of the Eagles, said his team was ready for the Bulldawgs and played physical football.
“We watched a lot of tapes from our previous games against them,” Tran said. “We focused on containing their key players and played a tough, physical game.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Eagles struck first on an 18-yard scamper by running back Michael Dixon.
The Bulldawgs struggled to get anything going on offense, and throughout the game, lost the battle for field position.
Dixon scored again on an eight-yard toss from Eagles’ quarterback James Rambo, to give MCCES a 14-0 lead going into halftime.
The Eagles started off the third quarter by tacking on a 30-yard field goal, which put them up 17-0.
The Bulldawgs knew they had to do something to get back into the game and showed signs of life when defensive back Nathaniel Snider intercepted a pass from Rambo late in the third quarter. However, the Eagles’ defense stepped up and made a big stop on a Bulldawgs fourth down attempt, getting the ball back with 3:34 left in the quarter.
The Bulldawgs finally put points on the board in the fourth quarter when quarterback Charles Jefferson launched a 28-yard strike to running back Timothy Clark bringing the score to 17-6 with just 4:53 left in the game.
Time was not on the Bulldawgs’ side, but their defense held and forced MCCES to punt with 2:04 left to play. As the Eagles punted the ball, the Bulldawgs fumbled the return, giving the MCCES special teams a chance to recover the loose ball. The Eagles’ Wesley Lane came up with the ball, making any chance for a Bulldawgs comeback nearly impossible.
The Eagles drove the nail in the coffin with 33 seconds left to go in the game as Rambo threw his second touchdown pass of the game to wide receiver Justin Simmons.
As the final seconds ran off the clock, the Eagles couldn’t hold in the excitement any longer, and celebrated their victory at midfield.
Dixon, who was named the game’s most valuable player, said beating the Bulldawgs was a Thanksgiving treat.
“It feels great to beat Headquarters Battalion,” said Dixon, a Baton Rouge, La., native. “Now I’m going to get fat on some turkey.”
Mark Geletko, the head coach for the Bulldawgs, said he was proud of his players’ effort.
“We had a great season with a great group of tough, hardworking guys,” said the Pittsburgh native. “These guys have been out here since July giving 100 percent and that’s all you can ask from a player.”
The Eagles’ victory may be short-lived as they are currently preparing to take on the top team from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., in the Best of the West Competition here Dec. 12.
“We’re going to focus on the fundamentals and get back to the basics in preparing for Miramar,” Tran said.