By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 27, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 27, 2013) -- As the holidays approach, two Fort Rucker intramural football teams met on the field to play out their last game before many players leave to meet their Families for turkey and relaxation.
Waiver Wire and the Old Warriors, both of D Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, went head to head at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center football field Nov. 21, and Waiver Wire came out on top, beating their opponents 20-6.
"I think (the Old Warriors) are the No. 1 ranked team, so it was (a good victory), said 2nd Lt. Brennan Rendel, captain and quarterback for Waiver Wire. "Last time we played them we lost. It was a very defensive game and they ended up sacking me in the end zone, so it was nice to beat them this time."
Although both teams are from the same unit, Waiver Wire is made up of flight students and the Old Warriors are made up of cadre and permanent-party Soldiers, so the game was somewhat of a rival match.
The game started slow for Waiver Wire as they received and only managed a short return to start on their 20-yard line. They quickly picked up the pace as they followed up with a more than 20-yard pass that allowed them to get past the 50-yard line.
Rendel was on fire as he threw another 20-yard pass to get within 20 yards of the goal line, and then managed to run the ball for their first touchdown only minutes into the game.
The Old Warriors took their first possession and managed a decent return to start on their 40-yard line and were determined to prove they wouldn't be shown up with a 20-yard pass and 15-yard pass back-to-back.
Despite their aggressive attempt to keep up with their opponents, the Old Warriors faltered on third down throwing an interception that Waiver Wire returned to midfield.
The flight students managed to push downfield play after play, but the Old Warrior's defense wouldn't be defeated and forced a turnover just yards from the end zone.
After taking possession, the Old Warriors pushed downfield, but Waiver Wire picked off a pass and took the field at the 40-yard line to increase their lead.
With just two minutes remaining in the half, Rendel managed to get close enough to the goal line to run the ball into the end zone for his second touchdown of the game, leading the Old Warriors 14-0.
The team of cadre had their work cut out for them if they were going to get back into the game, and they took full advantage of the little time they had left in the half.
They came back with an aggressive offense and a Hail Mary pass that resulted in the Old Warrior's first touchdown of the game, but their luck ran out as they missed the extra point.
The touchdown didn't deter Waiver Wire, however, as they took possession with less than one minute left in the half, and they pushed downfield to get close enough to the end zone for a field goal before the half ended, 17-6.
The Old Warriors received to start the second half but weren't able to find the footing they had gained in the last seconds of the previous half as they threw their third interception of the game.
Waiver Wire pushed hard down the field and demonstrated their superior passing as Rendel rocketed the ball to his team mates with complete pass after complete pass, but the Old Warriors had other plans and forced a turnover at their own 20-yard line.
Although they managed to slow Waiver Wire, the Old Warriors pushed a little too hard as they attempted another Hail Mary pass, which resulted in their fourth interception.
The team of flight students took the opportunity to showcase their speed and agility as they pushed downfield toward the goal line, but penalty after penalty kept pushing them back.
Despite the multiple penalties, Waiver Wire managed to get close enough for a field goal with just 2 minutes remaining to inch ahead, 20-6.
With regulation time now on the clock, the Old Warriors had some time to try and turn things around, but one more interception dashed any of their hopes as the buzzer sounded.
Rendel said that it was his team's teamwork and strong defense, coupled with high energy that helped them pull out a victory.
"None of us really played football on any organized level, but we just had fun and played backyard football (tonight)," he said. "We've got a bunch of young guys with a lot of energy, so I think we just wore them out, and I feel really good about our chances to win the championship."
The Fort Rucker intramural football teams are off this week for the holidays, but will return for regular season games Dec. 2.