By Russell Sellers, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 22, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 22, 2011) -- The Fort Rucker Intramural Football preseason is under way and things didn't start off so well for the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group team.
TAOG dropped its opening game to Team Biscuits, a non-Commander's Cup team made up of flight and Basic Officer Leadership Course students, 22-0.
This was definitely not how TAOG quarterback Michael Webber saw things starting out this season. Still, he's got time to work on things before the regular season begins Oct. 3.
"We've got a lot of work to do in practice, especially on receivers running their routes," he said. "But, it's not all on one person. I made a lot of mistakes out there, too. I'm going to have to work on a lot of timing issues in the next week."
Neither teams' offense looked all that great at the beginning. Several miscues and missed routes allowed both the TAOG and Biscuits defenses to run the field for the entire first quarter.
It wasn't until near the end of the second quarter that Biscuits QB Chris Simpkins began to find his rhythm.
The Biscuits offense pushed its way deep into TAOG territory with about five minutes to play in the second quarter. After several dropped passes, Simpkins decided to run the ball in himself for the TD. Unfortunately for the Biscuits, its attempt at a 2-point conversion fell short.
Still, after stopping a TAOG drive cold, the Biscuits were right back in the red zone and a quick pass from Simpkins to wide receiver Bynum Jaeger put another TD on the board. This time the 2-point conversion worked and the Biscuits took a 14-0 lead.
At the beginning of the third quarter, it looked like TAOG might just get its act together and put some points up.
Webber found a solid combination of throws and running plays thanks to receiver Brad Larson, who had three solid catches in the third quarter, all for significant gains.
Larson's ability to run the ball also helped to get the TAOG deep into Biscuits territory, but an interception by Dave Geib, Biscuits defender and coach, followed by a subsequent half-field run ended any scoring hopes.
In the fourth quarter, the TAOG decided to change things up by putting Webber at wide receiver and subbing in Lekendrick Lee at quarterback.
While Webber had the speed to keep up with the receiver routes, his hands weren't as swift as his feet. Double coverage coming from a relentless Biscuits defense didn't help matters.
TAOG tried one more time to get into the endzone, but it wasn't to be. After drawing an offensive pass interference penalty, TAOG just had too much ground to make up for the first down that could have kept its drive alive.
Geib attributed the team's win to effective on-field communication and that it was an early-season game.
"I think they had us beat a couple of times with their offense," he said. "The core of our guys played together last season and their ability to communicate on the field really helped."
He added that this first game gave him a better idea of who should be playing at what position during the rest of the season.
"Sometimes I think we rush a little too much, but we should be able to work that out in practice," he said. "We rotated three different people at the quarterback position and I think we're ironing out some issues."