Legion Soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group beat Performance of 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s intramural flag football Turkey Bowl championship Tuesday at Fryar Stadium.
Legion beat Performance two consecutive times to earn the trophy.
“Performance went undefeated this season, so for the tournament they have to lose twice,” said Andrew Stockard, program manager for Fort Campbell MWR sports.
Legion rose to the challenge, winning back-to-back games.
“Those were a good two games,” said Sgt. William Quiles, Legion team captain, after the gridiron matchup. “That’s probably the best we played all season. We put our best players on the field. We kept pride on the sidelines, and we just played down by down.”
Performance was proud of their accomplishments despite the loss.
“We had a great season,” said Sgt. James Middleton, Performance team captain. “Regardless of this last game, the guys played well.”
Middleton held no hard feelings to the victor and focused on his team’s success.
“They played a good game, they played a really good game,” Middleton said. “Hats off to them, they deserve it. We’re a lot better than we were when we first started. By far, we’re a more cohesive unit because of our experience [in the flag football league].”
First Lieutenant Clint Culver, a Performance player, was pleased with the growth of the team over the season.
“Our battalion strives to have a winning culture, and it starts with things like this,” Culver said. “We do a lot of good things [in terms of] military training, but this is where you really develop that team camaraderie, morale, and you get your footprint established on post. I think that when you have a football team that plays in three straight championship games in three different tournaments, it really sets you apart from the rest of the units that are on post. I’m really proud of our guys. We played an amazing few weeks of football. Playing in the finals, playing in the Turkey Bowl and down with the Tennessee Titans, it shows that we have a winning culture that’s only going to get better as we go on.”
Before playing in the championship game, Legion had to start the evening by playing an overtime game against 531st Hospital Center for the right to compete in the final.
“Last week … they ripped our quarterback’s jersey, but we didn’t get a holding call,” Quiles said. “It was clearly a holding because his jersey was ripped, so we protested the call and we won that protest.”
After winning the overtime game, Legion started the championship in the lead when Sgt. Keymonni Miller scored the first touchdown. Performance quickly responded with a touchdown and extra two points, both by Sgt. Jordan Wallace.
For the rest of the first game, Performance was unable to find success.
Specialist Damien Mohrmann scored Legion’s second touchdown and Miller followed it up with an extra point, bringing the score to 13-8.
Miller then stopped Performance’s long drive by intercepting the ball on the ten-yard-line and also ran in the final touchdown bringing the score to 19-8.
Staff Sergeant Kenneth McQueen intercepted another Performance pass around midfield, which drew the first game to a close.
The temperature dropped below 30 degrees Fahrenheit but spirits were high on both sides of the field as the players prepared to play the final game of the night.
“Are you all ready? This one actually counts,” said a smiling Staff Sgt. Danny Holmes of Performance as he shook his opponents’ hands.
Performance’s Sgt. Onaje Sigh started strong with an interception, but Legion held strong for the remainder of the game.
Mohrmann drew cheers from his team as he intercepted the ball and ran it more than 50 yards back for a touchdown.
“I feel like [Spc. Mohrmann] really stood out,” Quiles said. “He got two picks and ran one back for a touchdown.”
Sergeant First Class Keithtrick Howard followed with a Legion touchdown of his own, bringing the score to 12-0.
Specialist Jarvis Boles continued the Legion’s momentum with an interception before Mohrmann got his second interception of the night.
Howard scored a touchdown with two minutes remaining, but the ball was called back due to a holding penalty.
Performance kept Legion from scoring any more, but was unable to score themselves, finishing the final game with 12-0.
Legion cheered as Stockard presented them with the Turkey Bowl trophy, and the Soldiers left the stadium in high spirits.
“Fifth Group is going to continue to be good,” Quiles said. “Come out and watch us next year.”