U.S. MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII-KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii --
The Camp Smith Raiders defeated Marine Aircraft Group 24 Bandits 20-14 during a 2008 Intramural Football League game here Sept. 17.
Both teams held the crowd in suspense as the game ended with Raiders wide receiver Jim Kikuchi scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime, pulling in a miraculous catch in the end zone.
The first quarter ended with neither team making a mark on the scoreboard. Both teams’ defense remained on alert.
Less than one minute into the second quarter, Raiders corner back Red Allen scored the first touchdown on a 35-yard run but missed the two-point conversion. Raiders defense thwarted the Bandits scoring attempts, leaving the score at 6-0 going into halftime.
Despite their 6-0 lead, Raiders head coach Carson Peapealalo didn’t feel his team was playing to their full potential and the team was missing key plays.
“We’re making a few mistakes and missing assignments,” Peapealalo said at halftime. “We can come out strong if we focus on our assignments.”
The Raiders managed to stay on top in the third quarter with Brenden Villa-Hashimoto, wide receiver, scoring the team’s second touchdown on a one-yard run and successfully completing a two-point conversion.
“We’re playing to their level, but we can play better,” said Lavonne Watkins, Raiders defensive lineman.
In the final quarter of the game, the Bandits finally pulled together and caught Raiders defense off guard with tight end Dominique Cook scoring on a 25-yard run. Within the next minute Cook pushed through the Raiders defensive line on a 15-yard run and scored a two-point conversion, making the game tied at 14-14.
The game went into overtime. After three turnovers between both teams, Raiders offense came together with Kikuchi’s game-winning catch in the end zone.
While the Bandits managed to come back strong in the second half, it wasn’t enough to stop the Raiders from their 20-14 victory.
Kikuchi attributed the Raiders’ overall success to teamwork.
“It is a team effort. There is no individual in the game,” said Kikuchi.
On the opposite side of the field, Terry Choi, Bandits head coach, applauded the Raiders for their victory.
“We came on in the second half of the game. My hat’s off to Camp Smith,” he said. “We look forward to playing them again.”
The next 2008 Intramural Football League game is scheduled to take place Sept. 30 with Headquarters Battalion Warriors facing off against MAG-24 Bandits at 6:30 p.m. at Pop Warner Field here.