CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii --
Six Marines from U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific matched wits and intense finger control during a single-elimination Madden football tournament at Pollock Theater Aug. 15 here.
Petty Officer 1st Class Elliot Warley, force religious programmer for the Chaplains Office, organized the tournament for an opportunity to win a 72-hour liberty pass and help support the Headquarters and Service Battalion Enlisted Ball fund.
Presenting a $10 entry fee, the gamers chose their teams and put on their game faces as a projector set the scene on the virtual field of battle.
The players played until a 21-point lead was made to win the game or until the end of the fourth quarter. The championship game was a full, four-quarter game.
First on the field, Lance Cpl. Timothy Johnson, videographer for Combat Camera, playing with the New York Giants faced off against Lance Cpl. Robert Harling, production specialist for Combat Camera, playing with the San Diego Chargers.
Playing four, five-minute quarters, Johnson dug in immediately in the first quarter kicking one through the uprights for three and shutting Harling down with a heavy-hitting defense.
As the game progressed, Johnson continued to break through Harling’s defense, utilizing a running game and scoring the first touchdown off a short pass with the automatic extra point in the second and another shortly after, bringing the score to 17-0.
Looking grim in the second half, Harling fought for completions, but was unable to score before Johnson ended the game in the third quarter with short passes and another touchdown winning the game 24-0.
Harling, although getting shut out was still in good spirits and said its tough knowing he’s playing against a skilled and experienced opponent, but he was there to support the Marine Corps ball and try and win the liberty pass.
Next up, Cpl. Jacob McFarland, network technician for G-6, and playing with the Dallas Cowboys stepped on to the field against Lance Cpl. Matt Sweet, safety clerk for safety operations, and playing with the New England Patriots.
McFarland, who’s a large Madden enthusiast, brought his “A” game in the first quarter, running in a hail mary pass and putting the pressure on Sweet.
Sweet with his first possession threw an upsetting interception, giving McFarland the opportunity to run it in and score again keeping him in the lead 14-0.
Sweet couldn’t make any forward progress against the defense, allowing McFarland to score once more in the first quarter to win the game 21-0.
“My team wasn’t playing like they should have been,” Sweet said. “They’re playing with no heart, but we have to move on.”
Moving into the last match, Sgt. McKenzie Coffman, webmaster for G-6, rolled onto the field with the Pittsburg Stealers to try and take out Sgt. Jeff Cibrian, planning and operations noncommissioned officer for G-1 and playing with the Oakland Raiders.
Cibrian admitted he’s played Madden, but never with an X-Box controller.
Getting off to a good start and what looked to be an equally-matched game, both defenses were playing strong in the first quarter and it wasn’t until the second quarter that Cibrian had a chance to put one into the end zone and take the lead 7-0.
On a role, Cibrian scored again off an interception, but Coffman was able to gain a short drive putting him in field goal range to kick one in, brining the score to 14-3.
Cibrian sealed the deal in the third quarter, sacking Coffman’s quarterback and later scoring the winning touchdown, bringing the score to 21-3.
Coffman attributed his not-so-pleasant game to three interceptions he threw during the game.
With only two games left, stakes were high as McFarland stepped to Cibrian in the semifinals. The winner would then move on to face Johnson in the championship game.
As both players measured each other up on the field both were able to get into field goal range tying in the first quarter 3-3. But, it wasn’t until the second when Cibrian broke away for a touchdown, giving him the lead 10-7.
Moving into the third quarter, Cibrian was able to intercept two passes, running both back for touchdowns and taking the game 23-3.
In the final match-up, Cibrian faced Johnson in the ultimate showdown.
Johnson said he’s played humbly throughout the tournament, but now it’s time to apply some pressure.
Johnson did exactly that with his defense, shutting down anything Cibrian ran at him and soon after passing for a touchdown. Answering back in one swift run, Cibrian was able to score from the kickoff, evading the defense with quick feet and tying the game 7-7.
Late in the first quarter Johnson pushed in one more touchdown, barreling through the line and taking the lead 14-7.
Both teams struggled back and forth in the second quarter, but Johnson took away any doubt in the third quarter.
Punching in another touchdown on the goal line and soon after making another field goal, Johnson swept the scoreboard, keeping the lead 24-7.
Cibrian, who refused defeat, snuck back in the final quarter, scoring with a short pass and running in for another touchdown as the two-minute warning hit, bringing the score to 24-20, Johnson still leading.
In a final attempt, Cibrian tried for the two-point conversion but didn’t get the completion.
With the game coming to an end, Johnson let the clock run down and took the win with a final score of 24-20.
“I feel achieved,” Johnson said. “I thought I was going to play McFarland, but he got beat.”
Johnson received Madden-bragging rights, a 72-hour, liberty pass and a custom-made DVD of the tournament for his outstanding display of sportsmanship.
Warley said the tournament was a good time for everyone present and he also got to know some of the junior Marines as well. Also, there’s a Call of Duty 4 Tournament being scheduled for September.
For more information on the upcoming tournament, contact Warley at (808) 477-8863.