Thunder rolls -- second quarter explosion powers 'Cats to win
December 10, 2009
By Jeremy Wise
In 1980, The Clash sang, "I fought the law, and the law won." Monday night at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility, the law finally registered a defeat.
The Thundercats' offense exploded for 21 points in the second quarter in a 21-6 win over the 6th Military Police Detachment Bulldogs in intramural football's first playoff game.
The clash between D Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment flight school students and local law enforcement began as a defensive struggle. No one scored in the game's first stanza.
Thundercats cracked the MP defense midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Pat McDonald completed a 19-yard touchdown strike to Scott Rosenshein, capping a seven-play drive.
On the ensuing Bulldogs' drive, Ross Dula sacked Bulldogs quarterback Quadreecus Nealon, pinning the MP squad on the 2-yard line. Following a punt, the 'Cats received the ball at the 26-yard line.
Two plays later, McDonald hit Joseph Hall with a 21-yard touchdown strike. After the extra point, the 'Cats led 14-0.
The Thundercats' defense stymied the MP offense once again, and with less than 30 seconds to play, the flight school students took possession at their 43-yard line.
On the final play of the first half, McDonald dumped a short screen pass to Hall. Hall weaved through several layers of would-be tacklers, finding paydirt after many seconds of running.
"We really try to have fun and not take it too seriously while staying competitive," McDonald said of the team's philosophy and reason for success.
The Bulldogs made some halftime adjustments and scored on their first drive. Nealon completed a key pass on third down to Henry Lockett, picking up 22 yards.
A few plays later, Jerad Poor hauled in a Nealon pass and dashed into the end zone. The two-point conversion pass failed, and the Bulldogs trailed 21-6.
The Bulldogs mounted one more serious threat, driving several yards in 13 plays. The Thundercats' defense stiffened inside the 30-yard line, and a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
McDonald and his wide receivers effectively burned most of the clock with short pass completions on an eight-play drive.
"We have pretty good experience with our football knowledge. It keeps a fast pace," said Thundercats Head Coach David Galbreath. Galbreath noted the fast pace is designed to "take advantage of teams" who don't possess a good understanding of the game.
The MP squad earned one final chance, but their final drive died at the Thundercats' 40.
Poor, the Bulldogs head coach, said the offensive line did not protect the quarterback well in the loss, and the quarterback held onto the ball too long.
"We've got to quit going deep and do short passes," he said.
With the win, the 'Cats improved to 6-5 on the season and continued a late-season improvement. McDonald said the team experienced a rough start while the players adjusted to each other's abilities.
The Bulldogs, who dropped to 6-5, face elimination in a contest tonight. Poor said his team must play as a cohesive unit in order to survive.