U.S.MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII-KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii --
In the season-opening game, the Camp Smith “Raiders” dominated the Marine Corps Air Facilities “Renegades” 52-6, during a 2008 Intramural Football League game at Pop Warner Field Sept. 3.
Setting the pace, Timothy Johnson, Raiders running back and lead scorer in the game, ran three touchdowns and a miraculous pitch for an assisted fourth.
The Renegades stepped onto the field for their first time playing in the intramural league, hoping to be a competitor during the season.
“I’m a football player and I wanted to play,” said Andrew Cece, Renegades head coach. “So I told a couple of the other guys, ‘hey let’s go find a team,” let’s go represent MCAF,’ and we created our own team.”
Cece said MCAF is a small unit and it’s a challenge to get participants out to play. Also, this game is going to be the hardest because it’s a new team.
On the other side of the field, the Raiders amped up for what could possibly be another great season.
“Their team’s brand new and we’ve never played them before, so we’re expecting a little competition,” said Carson Peapealalo, Raiders head coach. “But, we’re out here to have fun.”
Raiders, going undefeated in the 2007 Intramural Football League season, kicked off to the newly-formed team, starting an unpredictable battle in the first quarter.
Known for their hard-hitting defense and smashing helmets, the Raiders made short work of the Renegades offense in the first series, forcing a punt.
On a roll, the Raiders drove down the field utilized their running game, leading Johnson straight into the end zone for six, but missed the extra point.
With the score 6-0, the Renegades took possession again, but were stopped cold in their tracks by the Raiders defense and were forced to punt again, setting the Raiders up for another drive.
As Johnson and Jesse Mortensen, Raiders fullback and returning player from the previous season, pushed for yards, Jim Kikuchi, Raiders receiver, came up big, catching a short pass over the middle, landing in the end zone and putting another six on the board bringing the score to 12-0 after the extra point was ruled “no good!”
Beginning the second quarter, Peapealalo reinforced the offense, moving to a passing game resulting in a fumble, which the Renegades recovered.
Finally sticking the defense, the Renegades fought their way to a first and goal, only to be upset with a lost fumble.
Mortensen, unleashed like a freight train without brakes, pushed the line even further before Johnson took it in again with a diving leap into the end zone, extending their lead to 18-0,
Looking disgruntled with the score board, and the Raiders defense, Renegades caught a break with a massive play by Ryan Ratigan, Renegades quarterback, when he ran the ball 31 yards through the bruising defense and straight into the end zone, bringing the score to 18-6 after flopping on the extra point.
With three minutes remaining in the first half, the Raiders attempted one last drive to score before going into half time.
Johnson made two drives down the field, placing the Raiders on the 20-yard line and close enough for Fredrick Williams, Raiders wide receiver, to run in the last touchdown of the first half.
Going for the two-point conversion, Mortensen walked it in with ease - raising the score to 26-6.
Rolling into halftime, both teams went to their respective side of the field for a quick pep talk before they stepped back into battle.
“We’re not doing terrible and we’re not getting shut out,” Cece said. “The offense needs to execute and make things happen.”
Taking the field for the second half, the Renegades kicked off, the ball dropped into the hands of Mortensen, who unkindly broke through numerous tackles and scored from 65 yards out bringing the score 32-6.
Plunging into third quarter, the Renegades fought with everything they had, but were continuously pummeled by the Raiders unshakable defense.
In a display of skill, Johnson lateraled the ball to Williams while being tackled, who then ran it in for another touchdown and after, the extra point, changing the score 39-6
“We practiced hard and we played real hard,” Johnson said. “If it wasn’t for my blockers, my fullback and my line, I wouldn’t be anything.”
With 2:58 left on the clock in the third quarter, Johnson broke free again for another touchdown and with the extra point brought the score to 46-6.
Renegades in possession once again tried to go back to a passing game, but couldn’t make any completions, and were forced them to punt again.
Williams received the punt, fumbled on the catch, but was able to take control of the ball and run it back for another Camp Smith touchdown.
Because the large gap in the score, the special team took a knee for the extra point setting the score 52-6.
At the final sound of the buzzer, the Raiders took home the win 52-6 and the start of another possible undefeated season.
“I’m glad we scored,” Cece said. “I knew Camp Smith would be tough and I know they’re big.”
On the winning side of the field, Peapealalo said he expected a more challenging game and didn’t agree with how his team was reacting after running the score board up.
The next league game is scheduled for Sep 9, at 6:30 p.m. between the Headquarters Battalion “Warriors” and Combat Logistics Company 35 at Pop Warner Field.