For the fourth time in many years, Team Enlisted claimed the annual 1st Information Operations Command Turkey Bowl flag football championship title—this time, booking a dominating 40-2 victory over Team Officers, Nov. 27 at Pullen Field.
According to Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Barfield, NCOIC, Mission Assurance Detachment, 2nd Battalion, IO Command, and event coordinator, the contest is part of an “ongoing and storied tradition that pits officers and noncommissioned officers against each other in friendly competition. Leveraging all their physical skills and mental agility, the officers and NCOs challenge each other for the coveted trophy.
While the Turkey Bowl features two teams on the gridiron struggling to outmaneuver each other into the end zone, it’s also a time of bonding. The Turkey Bowl offers an opportunity for the entire 1st IO team to strengthen our ties with teammates, family, and friends.”
“This is a proud tradition with 1st IO Command, officers versus NCOs, and it’s about friendly competition and having a good time,” added Col. Brian Mellen, 1st IO commander and Team Officers captain. “Let’s enjoy the game, enjoy the camaraderie. Have a good time and be safe out there.”
Bruised egos and hurt feelings ended up being a distinct possibility when the dust finally settled on what ended up being a singularly lopsided matchup. The Enlisted offense, spearheaded by quarterback, 1st Sgt. Zachary Moon, wasted no time moving the ball down the field with a stellar passing game that exploited any and every opportunity provided by the Officers’ defense. Connecting with Sgt. 1st Class Ian Stanley and Sgt. Dacoda Worth, the NCOs booked a string of touchdowns. The early fortunes, combined with Team Enlisted’s no-prisoners approach to defense—which resulted in a trio of interceptions and a pair of sacks—sent the officers to the bench at halftime trailing, 28-2.
The second half quickly unfolded as an encore performance of Team Enlisted’s surgical execution on offense, combined with the same dogged determination on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage. Yet another string of spot-on passes resulted in another two touchdowns while the defense shut down every attempt by the officers to get a miracle comeback effort off the ground.
The game clock finally expired with Team Enlisted on top 40-2, earning the Enlisted its fourth consecutive Turkey Bowl title.
While a win always feels good, the game was
about more than just scoring points and taking home trophies, said Command Sgt. Maj. John Cuevas, 1st Battalion, 1st IO Command.
“This is really about camaraderie and teambuilding,” he said. “It gives these Soldiers an opportunity to get just out here and play each other.”
“I have to give a big shout-out to the friends and family of IO who came out today. Unfortunately, it’s become a tradition that we get slaughtered,” Mellen said after the game. “But it was a good, hard-fought game and I really appreciate everyone sticking to the spirit of the game and that nobody got hurt.”