Marine Barracks Washington, D.C. --
The Marine Barracks Washington executive officer’s flag football team thrashed the commander’s team to claim victory in the 48th annual Oyster Bowl at the Annex field here Dec. 2.
Team XO, headed by Lt. Col. Rush Filson, shut out the competition 18-0 in the annual officers’ flag-football game. This marks the second year the game was divided into Teams XO and CO and the second win for Team XO.
"The CO and XO split the teams pretty evenly," said Maj. Thomas Shields, quarterback for Team XO. "It was good fun and good competition. I think it’s one of the most fun events we do here."
Team CO, sporting yellow jerseys, started the hourlong game by kicking off to Team XO. Though the team used a balanced offense, possession quickly turned over to Team CO.
The commander’s team earned a new first down, but eventually had to return the ball to the team in red, which pushed its way to the 10-yard line before Capt. Lorelei Gaus ran in the first touchdown of the game. Gaus’ touchdown lit up the scoreboard in the first minutes of the game.
Team XO tried for the two-point conversion, since the field has no field goals, but was foiled.
Team CO gained a dozen yards from where they fielded the kick off, but not enough to score before the halftime whistle blew.
"Our stand out player was definitely Maj. Scott Clippinger," said Capt. Jonathan Wagner, Team CO right tackle, referring to the team’s starting quarterback. "His abilities, combined with a strong performance from the offensive line, allowed us to run for more yardage than we threw for."
Unfortunately for the officers in yellow, it wasn’t enough.
Ten minutes into the second half, on Team CO’s 30-yard line, Capt. Taylor Drake caught a juggled 20-yard pass. This set up Shields’ touchdown pass to Capt. Christopher Hall, furthering Team XO’s hold on victory.
After a balanced but unsuccessful drive from Team CO, Team XO reclaimed possession of the ball and rushed its way downfield, where Shields threw the ball into the back-left corner of the end zone to Capt. Daniel Meyers for the team’s third touchdown. However, Team CO still had some punch and shut down its opposition’s conversion for the third time, bringing the score to 18-0.
Once they fought their way to midfield, Clippinger threw a deep pass toward the end zone, which was intercepted by Filson, ending the game.
"It’s not about winning, it’s about camaraderie and building competitive spirit," said Shields. "I think we all had fun just playing a game together."
The game trophy, called "The Keg," is a small, black wooden barrel with 48 years worth of victors scrawled across its surface, each team name annotated with the game’s final score. The Keg is proudly displayed next to the officers’ basketball trophy at the officers’ bar in Center House here.
"Our goal for next year is to work hard on conducting a solid passing game," said Wagner. "In particular, a common understanding of the trips formation will present us with numerous options to both the strong and weak sides of the field."
The officers went on to lose to the Barracks staff noncommissioned officers 12-6 in the Blood Stripe Bowl.