Camp Smith's finals trip blown with melee
By Lance Cpl. J. Ethan Hoaldridge
| | November 28, 2005
U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES, PACIFIC, CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii --
Ten seconds left in the game, the score 21-6. Camp Smith Mad Dogs’ quarterback takes a knee to run the time off the clock. It should have been a semi-final intramural football championship win over the 3rd Marine Regiment “Dirty Third” at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Nov. 28.
When it all seemed said and done, both teams let their emotions get the better of them, and the ensuing melee caused both teams to forfeit the remainder of the post-season.
Trash talk was being tossed back and forth between the two teams Monday night, and fists began to clench on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Threatening words led to blows, and both benches emptied onto the field. It was a swarm of black and gold jerseys.
An event that lasted less than a minute unfortunately overshadowed 40 minutes of hard fought football.
“Both teams were wrong for fighting, it’s just disappointing to see Camp Smith’s best season for a few years end like this,” said Jason Gates, Mad Dogs wide receiver. “We played a great game,” he said.
Camp Smith used their usual plan of attack, running the ball play after play, with a few passes mixed in to keep Dirty Third’s defense honest.
Jonathan “Big Jon” Kahapea, Mad Dogs fullback, put the first six points on the board, as he bulldozed through Dirty Third’s defensive line with six minutes to go in the first quarter.
The remainder of the first half was wasted away with turnovers and penalties.
It was in the final seconds of the half that things got intense.
With the Mad Dogs in possession of the ball, running back Rodney “Mac” McCullough continued to pound the ball up the field, every yard hard earned.
On a reverse-run play, Mac went up the left side diving into the endzone to boost the score to 13-0. Quarterback Marlon Cummings ran out of options and scrambled right, rolling into the endzone for a two-point conversion, making it 15-0.
The half seemed to be over with only five seconds on the clock, but Dirty Third’s quarterback Taurean Smith hurled the ball deep connecting with his receiver Rick Almeida. The ball was almost stripped, but Almeida came away with it closing the score to 15-6 after a missed extra point attempt.
Early in the fourth quarter, Dirty Third recovered a fumble and marched down the field with solid passing and running by Smith.
It was third and ten for Dirty Third when Smith tossed up a pass that was tipped by Brenden Villa’hashimoto, Mad Dog safety, but still caught in the endzone by Dirty Third.
The touchdown was called back because of penalties and Dirty Third’s frustration increased.
“It’s a tough fought game, but these penalties killed us,” said Almeida.
To no surprise, Camp Smith continued the running game, keeping the ball out of the air.
Fullback Sinapao Roberts stuck the dagger in Dirty Third with a third quarter touchdown with six minutes left.
The remainder of the third and fourth quarter were consumed with interceptions and turnovers on downs by both teams.
The final score was 21-6 Mad Dogs, but due to the unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the game, it was all for nothing.
“All the players from both teams have been suspended for the remainder of the season due the altercation at the end of Monday’s game,” said Joe Au, the MCBH intramural sports coordinator. “The game scheduled for Dec. 5 has been cancelled.”
The Championship game will be played tomorrow (Nov. 30) between HQBN and CSSG-3.
“This is a first fight that we have had in the 4 years that the league has been here. This type of behavior will not be tolerated, if this happened at the beginning of the season both teams would forfeit their remaining scheduled games,” said Au.
The coaches gave the players something to think about after the game.
“This football game is not what you’re about, gentlemen,” said Terry H. Choi, Dirty Third head coach. “We’re all on one team whether you’re Marine, Navy, Air Force or Army. That’s who we are.”
After shaking hands both teams rallied in a huddle, yelling on the count of three, “one team, one fight.”