FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq - With four seconds on the clock and only 20 yards from the championship, the "AFC" All-Stars' quarterback Joshua Parker used a gadget play putting the ball in receiver Mario Grimes' hands.

Unfortunately, Grimes had to face a strong "NFC" defense in the form of Derrick "Sipp" Flowers, who put a stop to any thought of a dramatic ending just five yards short of the goal line on what would have been the game-winning touchdown, as the NFC beat the AFC in the 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's season-ending flag football all-star game, 41-36.

"I felt we had the game wrapped up in the first half," said AFC tackle Brandon Jones of Lake Arthur, La. "We just didn't do anything we did in the first half. We just got away from our game plan."

Through a tough regular season, the Headhunters of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division beat the Military Transition Team of Company E, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment.

This all-star game was the last game of the deployment series of football games according to Kenneth Patrick, the NFC's player-coach.

Even though the two teams were evenly matched, it didn't seem so the way the AFC started the game. They quickly scored the first two touchdowns as Parker ran both of them in. The AFC also forced a couple of turnovers and turned those into a couple of six-pointers.

"We just came out strong," said AFC's coach Sherrod Nevels of Sarasota, Fla. "We got a few good interceptions, and we had two stops in the red zone. We also capitalized on the turnovers."
The AFC's big tackle, Jones also scored two touchdowns. Joshua Fox caught three two-point conversions to add to the insult as they finished the half leading, 30-14.

During NFC's halftime speech, Christopher Thomas told the rest of his teammates that their individual time to shine in the All Star Game was over, and it was time to capture the "W" for the team. That speech seemed to be the right motivator as the NFC would put on a series of drives that left the AFC frustrated and wondering what went wrong.

"I told them in the first half, people are just playing to show off and stuff," Thomas said. "In the second half, it's for real. I guess it was enough to motivate the troops."

The NFC's Mike Jones started the second half off by scoring a 60-yard touchdown and Derrick Flowers dove in, adding the extra point. After that, the AFC added their last touchdown of the game, but the NFC scored three more times and relied on their defense for the rest of the contest.

"We just made a few defensive adjustments," Patrick said. "We concentrated on stopping their short game."

Even though the AFC's Jones admitted that it was a tough loss, he said he had to hand it to the other team.

"I have to give them props," he said. "It was a real good game."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16