A BSTB player holds stretches to pull the flag of a Columbus Lions runner during the Nov. 27 Turkey Bowl.

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Dec. 4, 2013) -- Although the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, holds an annual Turkey Bowl flag football tournament, this year was the first year the tournament's winner played against the Columbus Lions professional indoor football team.

After the daylong tournament Nov. 27 at Essebagger Field on Kelley Hill, the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion team earned the right to test its football prowess against on the Lions in a 15-minute game that culminated the pre-Thanksgiving Day festivities.

The Lions' offense took the field and methodically moved the ball, scoring on a 30-yard touchdown pass to Earl Alexander. The extra point was successful and the Lions led 7-0.

BTSB found the going rough early in their first drive, but were able to move the ball to the Lions' 7-yard line where they scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Kenneth Shivers to Akeem Brown. The extra point failed and BSTB trailed by one point, 7-6.

Following a time out, the Lions went on the attack with a new quarterback, Lions' coach Jason Gibson.
Gibson moved the Lions down to BSTB's 40-yard line before finding Cody Pearcy streaking down the right sideline for a 40-yard, over-the-shoulder touchdown catch. The Lions converted the extra point to close out the scoring with the Lions taking the win, 14-6.

BSTB coach Deshaun James said his team met their goal during the game.

"Our goal was just to come out here and be able to score at least one touchdown," he said. "And we did that."

James said it meant a lot to be able to play against the Columbus Lions.

"Above all, it lifted the morale of our Soldiers," he said. "My players were extremely excited to be on the same field as these great athletes. Not only to play against them, but to prove that we are great athletes as well. This was also a great opportunity to show our partnership with the Columbus Community.

Gibson expressed his appreciation for being able for his team to play the Soldiers.

"It's just great to play with these guys," he said. "Nobody plays flag football in front of this many people, so this was fun."

Gibson said the game was a bit of a different challenge than what he, or his team was used to.

"Pulling those flags is hard," he said. "It was a challenge. It's fun to be out here with the guys and Col. (Charlie) Costanza. This is first class … great commander … and it was good experience for my guys too."

Page last updated Wed December 4th, 2013 at 00:00