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NEWS | Feb. 22, 2008

Medic Warriors complete undefeated season, capture flag football title

By David DeKunder Wingspread staff writer

The 12th Medical Group Medic Warriors capped off a perfect season Feb. 13 by winning the Randolph intramural flag football title over the AETC Communication Squadron Communicators, 31-6, at Grater Field. 

The Medic Warriors broke open a tight game at halftime by scoring on three of their four possessions and intercepting three Communicator passes in the second half, two of which led to scores. The 12th MDG defense picked up the intensity, shutting out the Communicators after half. 

By winning their three playoff games, including the championship, and going undefeated in all seven regular-season games, the Medic Warriors finished a perfect 10-0. 

Medic Warriors team captain and quarterback Hestroverto Martinez said winning the flag football title and going undefeated in the same season was quite an accomplishment. 

"From what I found out, the last team that had gone undefeated here did so 10 to 12 years ago," Martinez said. "Our goal, coming into the season, was to go out and compete. Once the sixth game of the season came around, we figured we could run the table." 

After stopping AETC/CSS from getting into the end zone on their first possession of the game, the Medic Warriors drove down the field and scored first on a 43-yard pass from Martinez to Tyler Small. The Medic Warriors converted the point-after when Small caught a pass from Martinez, putting the 12th MDG up 7-0 with 12:15 in the first half. 

With less than three minutes left in the first half, the Communicators got back in the game when Gabe Hernandez caught a 33-yard scoring pass in stride from Brent Robinson, beating a 12th MDG defender to the end zone. The conversion was no good, and the Medic Warriors remained on top 7-6 at halftime. 

On the first possession of the second half, the Medic Warriors would need only four plays and two minutes to score. Alex Larsen completed the scoring drive with a diving 23-yard touchdown catch from Martinez. The conversion was no good, but the Medic Warriors increased their lead to 13-6. 

Led by Robinson, the Communicators were able to put together a long drive on the ensuing possession. The Communicators drove to the 12th MDG 22-yard line where they faced fourth down. AETC/CSS tried to convert on fourth down, but Larsen stepped in front of a Communicator receiver and picked off Robinson's pass, returning it 69 yards for the score. After failing to make the conversion, the 12th MDG had a commanding 19-6 lead with over 15 minutes left in the game. 

Martinez said the Medic Warriors' ability to run the ball, with Martinez able to scramble for several yards many times, and a stingy defense were the reasons the 12th MDG won the base flag football title. 

While the Medic Warriors were the top team going into the playoffs, the Communi-cators took a much harder route to get to the championship game. After starting the season 0-5, AETC/CSS won their last two regular-season games and made the playoffs as the fifth seed in the six-team format. 

Once the playoffs started, the Communicators lost their first-round game against 12th CES, but beat the 12th Security Forces in the second round, the 12th Flying Training Wing in the third and defending champions Air Force Personnel Center in the semifinals to reach the title game. 

AETC/CSS team captain Hernandez said the Com-municators were left with a nine-man roster after losing players to injuries and people being transferred out. 

"After starting the season 0-5 and ending up in the championship game, I would call that a successful season," Hernandez said. "We played five games in three nights (during the playoffs); we were in every game. We had people playing both offense and defense. It took a lot of effort for these guys to get here."