FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- A late defensive surge couldn't save the War Eagles of 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment from losing to the Guardian Eagles of 158th Airfield Operations Battalion in the intramural football championship game here Dec. 15.

Guardian Eagles Coach Michael Webber said the key to victory was teamwork.

"We played perfectly," he said. "It was a near-perfect season and I couldn't have asked for a better team."

The Guardian Eagles' toughest challenge of the night didn't come from the other team, but from the bitter cold setting into various receivers' hands.

Webber also played quarterback for his team and opened up the passing game early with easy completions to wide receiver Deausha Watts and running back Hubert Agard.

After stopping the War Eagles' opening drive, Watts managed to find the end zone after a short series and put the Guardian Eagles on top early.

After a back-and-forth defensive struggle in the second quarter, Webber connected with Watts for his second TD of the game, but a missed two-point conversion attempt left the team at 14-0.

The War Eagles began to find some footing in the third quarter as RB Blake Duncan managed to push one in to finally put his team on the board. A successful kick following the TD put the score at 14-7.

Unfortunately for the War Eagles, the mounting comeback would be short-lived.

Webber opened the fourth quarter by running in his first TD of the game after several pass attempts failed to connect.

After a successful two-point conversion the score was 22-7 in favor the Guardian Eagles.

While things looked bleak, the War Eagles refused to quit and made good on a long drive late in the fourth quarter that resulted in a TD by WR Greg Oats with two minutes left in the game.

A two-point conversion put the score at 22-15, but the Guardian Eagles still held the lead.

The Guardian Eagles managed to hold off a determined War Eagles defense and run the clock out to hold on to the win.

The loss was disappointing, said Robert White, War Eagles coach. Still, he said his team played hard and that's all that mattered in the end.

"We had a few injured players after playing the night before, but we still did good," he said. "Our team started together and we finished together. We fought hard and I'm proud of them."

Prior to the game, the Guardian Eagles' usual purple jerseys went missing so the team had to use some backup yellow jerseys instead, Webber said. He said it helped the team in a way by motivating them to play harder.

"I couldn't have asked for a better way for the season to end," he said.