It was the third week of the season for Fort Leonard Wood’s intramural flag-football teams, but the first week they played without major interruptions from inclement weather.
Several of the 13 all-military teams participating this season made their debut in games played Sept. 11 and 12 on Field 1.
The 58th Transportation Battalion started the week off with a loss, falling 27-20 to the 14th Military Police Brigade Sept. 11, but bounced back the following night to earn a 24-14 victory over the 50th Engineer Company.
“We played well,” said Jason Vanbelkum, 58th Trans. Bn. quarterback, who rushed for a touchdown and threw for two more against the 50th Engr. Co. “We had a couple of mistakes, but other than that we came together at the right time and played well.”
The 58th Trans. Bn. team scored on its first possession, with Vanbelkum throwing a 10-yard pass to receiver David Goff in the end zone on a fourth-down play. The quarterback then rushed to score the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
After holding the 50th Engr. Co. scoreless, the 58th Trans. Bn. took over possession at the 35-yard line. A 25-yard pass to receiver Kevin Galloway put the ball on the 6-yard line, where, after an incomplete pass, Vanbelkum scored on a six-yard run. The quarterback also completed the 2-point conversion to extend the 58th Trans. Bn. lead to 16-0.
The 50th Engr. Co. bounced back early in the second half, starting with a key interception by Caleb Pellegrin that gave them possession at the 21-yard line. Dakota Uplinger caught a short pass from quarterback Willie Gray, then ran the ball to the one-yard line. Two plays later, a short pass from Gray to Cameron Ross scored the first touchdown of the game for the 50th Engr. Co., although a 2-point conversion attempt failed.
Two plays after the following kick-off, the 50th Engineers again found themselves in possession of the ball following a key interception, this one by Christopher Hawes. Starting from the 15-yard line, Gray marched the team steadily toward the goal posts, until, on a third-down play, a short pass to Andrew Taylor put another six points on the scoreboard. Another short pass, this time to Uplinger, completed the 2-point conversion and put the 50th Engr. Co. within two points of the lead, 16-14.
Starting deep in their own territory following the kickoff, Vanbelkum led the 58th Trans. Bn. in a 75-yard trudge across the field, earning first downs on a five-yard pass to Ronshen Butler-Lawson at midfield, and a diving catch by Galloway at the 19-yard line. Later, after a pass to Derek Bremer put the ball on the 7-yard line, Vanbelkum found Jonathan Hooper in the end zone for another six points, and a short pass to Goff for the 2-point conversion gave the team its final 10-point lead.
With only about a minute remaining on the clock, Gray ran the ball to the 35-yard line for the 50th Engr. Co. on the ensuing kickoff, but the company’s offensive drive stalled there, and time expired before their next series could be completed.
Following the game, which improved the 58th Trans. Bn. season record to 2-1, Vanbelkum indicated the team showed some improvements, as well as some areas that still need work.
“We’re going to have to work on our defense a little bit,” he said. “We’re just looking forward to the rest of the season.”
In other games played Sept. 12:
— The Office of the Staff Judge Advocate defeated the 515th Engineer Co. Sappers, 20-0;
— The 14th MP Bde. defeated the 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, 23-14.
In the other game played Sept. 11, the 554th Engineer Battalion defeated OSJA, 24-6.
Games scheduled for Sept. 13 were postponed and will be made up at a later date.
The early part of the flag-football season was interrupted several times by inclement weather. Games began Aug. 29. In those games:
— The 58th Trans. Bn. defeated the 515th Sappers, 24-14.
— The 554th Engr. Bn. beat the 252nd/180th Military Police Detachment, 22-6.
On Sept. 6, the 50th Engr. Co. beat the 2-10th Inf. Bn., 12-8.
With four weeks remaining in the season, the 14th MP Bde. and the 554th Engineer Battalion, both with records of 2-0, share the lead of the intramural flag-football standings. They are followed by the 58th Trans. Bn., at 2-1, the 50th Engr. Co. and OSJA, both at 1-1, the 2-10th Inf. Bn. and 515th Engr. Co., both at 0-2, and the 252nd/180th MP Det. at 1-1.
The U.S. Marine Corps Detachment and the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence have yet to play.