MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- The Marine Corps Logistics Bases/Systems Command Knights and the Headquarters Battalion Vikings battled it out Tuesday for the MCLB Albany eight-man Tackle Football League championship.
Both teams finished regular season play with a record of seven wins and two losses, which might have made people think the game was an even match. However, the Vikings dominated the game and shut out the Knights 24-0.
The game started with the Vikings kicking off to the Knights, who were able to get the ball down to the Vikings' 20, but couldn't sneak anything past the wall of purple defenders.
Things were looking up for the Knights when Teleo Laury, Knights' defensive end, covered the ball after the Vikings fumbled it, but again the defense was solid.
In the final minutes of the first quarter the Vikings' quarterback, Herbert Kennedy, brought the ball close to the Knights' goal line with a 25-yard run.
Going into the second quarter the score was still tied at zero. But six seconds into the quarter the Vikings capitalized on Kennedy's run when he threw a bullet to Sheldon Watts, Vikings' wide receiver, in the end zone for a touchdown. The Vikings pulled ahead with a six-point lead after their two-point conversion was denied.
The Vikings offense was relentless and Kennedy ran the ball into the Knights' end zone for a touchdown four minutes later. The Vikings' two-point conversion was again no-good.
Scottie Sanders, Knights' linebacker, received the Vikings' kickoff and fumbled the ball, but the Knights recovered the ball at the 1. The Vikings kept the pressure on the Knights' offense and forced them to punt the ball when they could not get a first down.
Lady Luck was on the Knights' side when the Vikings fumbled the ball and Michael Donaldson, Knights' offensive and defensive lineman, recovered the ball on the Vikings' 17.
But again the Knights felt the wrath of the strong defenders and the Vikings gained possession of the ball. With 2:24 left to go in the first half, the Vikings had a chance to increase their lead when Watts caught a 30-yard pass from Kennedy. But the Knights defense proved they were still in the game and shut down the Vikings' offensive charge.
With the start of the second half the Knights looked revived as they took the ball to the 40-yardline after the Vikings kicked-off. The Knights continued their charge and managed to get the ball to the Vikings' 34. On the fourth down Alvin Payne, Vikings' cornerback, intercepted a pass from Chris Frey, Knights' quarterback.
With possession of the ball, Kennedy threw a 40-yard bomb to Watts who ran it into the end zone for a Vikings' touchdown. With the Vikings leading 18 - 0 going into the fourth quarter, the Knights' chance to oust the returning champions looked grim.
One minute and 33 seconds into the final quarter, the Vikings' offense drove the final nail into the Knights' coffin when Watts received an 11-yard pass from Kennedy for a touchdown, lengthening the gap.
However, the Knights would not go down without a fight and found themselves on the Vikings' goal line with a fourth down. But their luck had run out and they could not score. As the clock wound down, the Knights gave it their all to break the shut-out, but the Vikings' defense just said "no."
So, for the third year in a row the Headquarters Battalion team was declared the victor.