LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS –
The 37th Mission Support Squadron's flag football team kept their perfect record intact Aug. 14, producing an 18-6 victory over the 37th Communications Squadron. MSS is now 3-0 for the season.
Both teams remained gridlocked for most of the first half, and with time running out in the first half, MSS elected to punt, putting Comm on their own 5-yard line. However, on Comm's first possession, MSS defensive end Shad Clark intercepted the ball, giving his team great field position and one last chance to score before the half.
"Interceptions have been huge for us so far this season, and it's something that we work on in practice," said MSS coach Roberto Porras. "If our guys can't get to the flag, they make a point to get to the ball. Clark is one of our better defenders, and his athletic ability allows him to do things that most guys in the league can't do."
MSS scored on their second play with Quarterback Roberto Hernandez completing a 5-yard pass to wide receiver Reginald Quince as time expired in the first half.
MSS took their 6-0 lead into the second half, and faced early pressure to keep their lead. Comm receiver Mason New started the second quarter with two quick receptions, including one during which he spun between two defenders and cut past a third for an 18- yard gain. However, a great blitz package from MSS would keep Comm out of the end zone.
"I have to credit (defensive end Corey) Mackey for the blitzing," Porras said. "Mackey applies the majority of the pressure and forces quarterbacks to make decisions that they don't want to make."
MSS took advantage with two huge pass plays to start their ensuing drive. The first catch was made by wide receiver Russell Callaway. The second catch was made by wide receiver Timothy Creech as he took a little hook route and turned it into a big gain when he cut back up the middle. Creech scored a touchdown on the very next possession with a short slant route, giving MSS a 12-0 lead.
Comm and MSS traded possession of the ball with little activity for the rest of the quarter.
However, at the beginning of the third quarter with MSS moving into scoring position, Comm cornerback Jonathan Fluery made an amazing catch in the end zone. However, the ruling on the field was ruled out of bounds when he completed the catch, giving more life to an MSS scoring drive. On the very next play MSS would attack the end zone again. Fluery made contact with the ball again as it bounced of his chest and into the hands of wide receiver Shad Clark for another MSS touchdown, bringing the score to 18-0.
"Shad has been on the team for four or five years now," Porras said. "If a player can match up with his speed, they can't match up with his size and vice versa. When he gets double teamed, his presence opens up the rest of the offense. Most teams in the league are aware of him already."
With time running out in the fourth quarter, Comm would make a quick strike up the middle as quarterback Lance Rose connected with receiver Bryan Gresham for a big gain. On the very next play, Rose found New in the end zone in double coverage and New made a spectacular falling-down catch, giving Comm their only touchdown of the game.
MSS has two games next week, including one against the 314th Military Intelligence Battalion Aug. 20.
"Despite our record, we aren't looking past anybody," Porras said. "We're excited about next week's games. The 314th MIB is the defending champion. We know that they are going to want the win just like we do, so we are going to have to bring our 'A' game."