Flag football playoffs to continue into new year

  • Published
  • By Mike W. Ray
  • Tinker Public Affairs
The Gym Rats repelled the 72nd Security Forces Squadron, 20-18, in a base flag football playoff game Monday night that see-sawed back and forth and literally went down to the wire.

The Security Forces scored on two first-half interceptions. Anthony Jones scored on a pick he returned 40 yards for a touchdown, and Daniel White scored on a 20-yard return following a pick-off.

In the second quarter, Taylor Lamar tallied for the defending champion Rats on a 15-yard pass play set up by a Cody Brooks interception, which made the score 12-6 at the half.

In the third quarter, Tony "Big Sal" Salafia intercepted an SFS pass and ran it back for a Gym Rats TD, and a 2-point conversion attempt was successful, giving the Rats the lead, 14-12.

The Security Forces scored again in the fourth quarter when a pass from Sherwin Lockridge to David Langston resulted in a 60-yard scamper and a pitch-back at the 10-yard-line to Tim McArthur, who ran it in for the touchdown. SFS reclaimed the lead, 18-14.

With only five plays left in the game, the Gym Rats opted for an aerial. Salafia scrambled to his right and found Brooks open on an out route; Brooks snared the pass and, evading two defenders, ran 40 yards for a TD. A 2-point conversion attempt failed but the Rats were again ahead, 20-18.

With four plays remaining in the game, SFS quarterback Lockridge completed a short pass, his next toss fell incomplete but the third was a long completion. On the final play of the game, 40 yards from the goal line, Lockridge scrambled to heave another spiral but was sacked by Brandon "the Gnat" Newhouse, who preserved the win for the Gym Rats.

In another Round Two playoff game Dec. 12, the 72nd Medical Group sunk the Navy's VQ-3 Iron Men, 26-12. The 552 AMXS forfeited to Navy VQ-4, and the 33rd Combat Communications Squadron forfeited to the 552nd MXS Prestige because the 3rd Combat Communications Group is conducting a weeklong training exercise at Glenwood.

In Round Two games played Dec. 8: Reserve White maintained its spotless record, shutting out Strategic Communications Wing 1 by a score of 17-0; the 552nd Maintenance Operations Squadron beat Reserve Gold, 16-7; the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center blanked the 552nd Air Control Networking Squadron, 18-0; and Navy VQ-7 forfeited to Reserve Red.

In Round One of the playoffs, held Dec. 1: SCW-1 eased past Reserve Red, 6-2; the MOS Cougars edged the OC-ALC, 24-20; Reserve Gold clobbered the 552 ACNS, 39-0; and VQ-7 forfeited to Reserve White, which ended the regular season as the lone undefeated team.

In other Round One games, played Dec. 7: the 72 MDG defeated the MXS Prestige, 30-8; VQ-4 was bested by the Gym Rats, 22-14; and VQ-3 torpedoed 33 CBCS, 27-0. AMXS, unable to field the requisite eight players, forfeited to 72 SFS.

Because of numerous postponements blamed on inclement weather and holiday schedules, the Tinker league flag football champion won't be determined until next year.

For the fourth time in two decades, the semi-finals and the championship game have been pushed back into January, Ralph Hawkins, co-commissioner of the Tinker AFB flag football league, announced.

The double-elimination playoffs began Dec. 1 and continued through Dec. 12. However, the season was temporarily suspended the next day, until the second week in January, because of "the poor playing conditions of the football field," Hawkins related.

Standing water on the field forced postponement of games that had been scheduled for Dec. 5 and 6. In addition, several teams "won't be able to play after Dec. 16th due to projected holiday leave schedules," Hawkins explained recently. "A lot of players have purchased airline tickets or made other plans to leave town Friday night for the holidays."

Also, the annual series of college football bowl games starts Dec. 17 and continues through the NCAA national championship game the night of Jan. 9.

Consequently, the current plan is to complete the Tinker league fall 2011 season Jan. 10-17:

· Round Three of the Tuesday night conference playoffs will held Jan. 10.

· Round Three of the Monday-Wednesday night conference playoffs will be held Jan. 11.

· Round Four of the Tuesday night conference playoffs will be on Jan. 12.

· Round Four of the Monday-Wednesday night conference playoffs will be on Jan. 16.

· The base league title game will be played at 6 p.m. Jan. 17.

Of the 16 teams that entered the playoffs, four have been eliminated. VQ-7 and AMXS forfeited both of their games; ACNS was held scoreless in its two games; and 33 CBCS lost one game and had to forfeit another.

In a related matter, Hawkins announced that the sixth season of Tinker spring flag football begins March 6 and ends May 22. Games will be played only on Tuesday nights, and the league will have only eight teams, he said.