MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif., --
The previously undefeated Bulldawgs went into the Best of the West football championship with their heads held high to meet their opponents, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Falcons at Felix Field Dec. 10, 2011.
The two teams worked hard in their respective league seasons to prepare for the match up in the championship game, held at the Combat Center this year.
“The team has been working hard. We lost the championship a couple years back and now we’re here to win it,” said Falcons coach Bennis Branch.
The sun warmed the cool December day as well as the teams’ competitive spirits as the game progressed.
Both teams had something to prove in this year’s championship.
The Falcons wanted to shows they could come back from losing in the Best of the West two years ago, and the Bulldawgs were on their home field and had to defend it.
Bulldawgs coach John Maddox told his players what they needed to do.
“We’re here representing this installation. We just need to do what we do and play clean and fair,” he said.
The Falcons had their own plan in place to win the game.
“If we’re going to win, we need to get out in front early and keep the pressure on the other team,” said Branch.
The Falcons did just that. They stuck it to the Bulldawgs in the first half and got their strong start.
The Bulldawgs could not get past the Falcons’ defensive line, and the Falcons’ pass rush gave the quarterback little time to execute their intended plays.
Miramar’s defense was astounding throughout the game. They kept the Bulldawgs’ from scoring in the first half and during most of the second.
It was in the fourth quarter when a glimmer of hope showed itself in the form of a Bulldawgs late game rally.
The Bulldawgs scored their first touchdown with less than 10 minutes left in the game. They were still trailing the Falcons by more than a few possessions.
The Falcons didn’t take the push by the Bulldawgs lightly. Even with a double-digit lead, the Falcons continued to play hard and still demanded the best out of their players.
Some of the Falcons’ hard play led to some fluster and loose penalties, allowing the Bulldawgs to score yet again in the fourth.
As Bulldawgs saw a comeback in their sights, the Falcons made one last stand and ousted any chance the Bulldawgs had left.
The Falcons finish off their domination of the championship in convincing fashion and took the Best of the West title by a score of 34-15.
“We did what we needed and we pulled it out,” said Branch. “We won!”