The lights were on at the Army football field on a cool fall night, bringing back memories of the troop flag football games of yesteryear.
But this wasn’t the Charlie Company Wolfpack vs. the Bravo Company Bulldogs or any of the other units that called Redstone home before the Ordnance school departed for Fort Lee, Virginia, in 2011. These were civilian teams.
Nov. 19 brought a semifinal playoff game in the inaugural year of the Marshall flag football league. No Punt Intended played the Renegades to decide which would advance to the championship game two nights later.
Jonathan Grizzard caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Costabile with 27 seconds left and Eric Bryson ran for the extra point as No Punt Intended edged the Renegades 21-20. Ben Copeland intercepted a pass in the closing seconds to preserve the win.
“Obviously I started out at quarterback and wasn’t getting it done,” Grizzard, who played mostly wide receiver and was a rusher on defense, said. “The thing about this team, we pick each other up. Someone’s struggling, someone steps up and makes plays. That’s how we are. That’s how we’ve been successful this year. It’s all about the team.”
Besides Copeland, Josh Donahue and Adam Lindquist intercepted a pass apiece for No Punt Intended (5-1). The team advanced to play the Trashed Pandas (5-1) in the final.
“Honestly, just good defense. Good communication,” No Punt Intended captain Cory Efird said. “We just had fun. Our guys are good at keeping it light and having fun. And when you do that it comes out good – mostly – at the end.”
The Renegades (4-3) opened the scoring at 16:55 in the first half on quarterback David Moore’s 20-yard pass to Joe Gaines.
Grizzard caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Bryson late in the half and Bryson ran for the extra point as No Punt Intended led 7-6 at intermission.
Costabile threw a 10-yarder to Bryson and connected with Grizzard for the extra point for a 14-6 lead four minutes into the second half.
But the Renegades tied the score with 9:40 left when Moore connected with team captain Tyrin Thurmon on a 27-yard catch and run and added a two-point conversion pass.
The Renegades went up 20-14 at 2:45 when Gaines caught a 20-yard deflected pass from Moore. But No Punt Intended answered by marching 65 yards in seven plays in two minutes and adding the decisive extra point.
“It was just a great game,” Thurmon said. “Both guys executed.”