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Chiefs, shirts clobber eagles, commanders, 31-0

Eagles/Commanders team member Jeff Beckford rips Chiefs/Shirts Randall Raper's shorts off during a flag football game Dec. 14 that was put on to raise canned goods for Operation Warmheart and give base enlisted and officer leadership a chance for friendly competition. The Chiefs/Shirts shut the Eagles/Commanders out 31-0. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Gochnour)

Eagles/Commanders team member Jeff Beckford rips Chiefs/Shirts Randall Raper's shorts off during a flag football game Dec. 14 that was put on to raise canned goods for Operation Warmheart and give base enlisted and officer leadership a chance for friendly competition. The Chiefs/Shirts shut the Eagles/Commanders out 31-0. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Gochnour)

Jeff Beckford, Eagles/Commanders team member, breaks through the Chiefs/Shirts defense in a flag football game Dec. 14. The Chiefs slaughtered the Eagles, 31-0. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Gochnour)

Jeff Beckford, Eagles/Commanders team member, breaks through the Chiefs/Shirts defense in a flag football game Dec. 14. The Chiefs slaughtered the Eagles, 31-0. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Gochnour)

Chief player Kevin Candler tries to squeeze by Eagle members Jeff Beckford and David Ziegler during a flag football game between Buckley chiefs and first sergeants against Buckley colonels and commanders Dec. 14. The Chiefs/Shirts won 31-0. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Gochnour)

Chief player Kevin Candler tries to squeeze by Eagle members Jeff Beckford and David Ziegler during a flag football game between Buckley chiefs and first sergeants against Buckley colonels and commanders Dec. 14. The Chiefs/Shirts won 31-0. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Gochnour)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Buckley's chiefs and first sergeants shut out the base's colonels and commanders, 31-0, in a flag football game at the base field Dec. 14 designed to promote esprit de corps and collect canned goods for Operation Warmheart.

The canned food was the biggest drive for the colonels/commanders throughout the game, compared to the chiefs/shirts' fieldwork.

Chiefs quarterback Randall Raper threw to Marty Clifton for their first touchdown and ran in the one-point conversion to get a 7-0 jump.

Raper intercepted the Eagles' next ball and on the ensuing offensive possession threw to Clifton for the second touchdown. A goofy over-the-head backwards pass to David Lawrence landed the Chiefs an extra two points for a 15-0 lead.

Just two plays before halftime, the Eagles pulled out all the stops when Jeff Beckford tried to stop Raper during his drive to the goal line by gripping and ripping his shorts nearly off.

In the beginning of the second half, illegal forward passing and flag guarding by the Chiefs gave the Eagles a slight advantage by pushing the Chiefs back with penalty yards.

"We're getting more yards than the offense," Eagle David Ziegler said.

But that didn't stop the Chiefs. A 50-yard pass to Clifton put another six points on the board, and another completed pass gained two extra points for a 23-0 lead.

The Eagles had the ball for less than two minutes before Chief player Robert McGinn intercepted an Eagle throw.

The Chiefs lost 25 yards on third down to a renegade hiked ball. The team pulled off a Hail Mary with Raper's 50-plus-yard throw to Lawrence for first down, but the Eagles held them back to regain the possession.

Chief John Criswell intercepted the Eagles' ball and ran it downfield for the final touchdown of the game. An extra two points from a pass to James Erwin bumped the score up to 31-0.

But the Eagles didn't break down.

"We'll never give up," Eagle Chris Ayres said in the face of defeat toward the end of the game. "I've got one more in my bag, and it's called EPRs."

But time ran out before he could pull it out of the bag, leaving the Eagles with a plateful of failure.

The Eagles were good sports about their second sports defeat by the Chiefs - the Chiefs also beat them in bowling - reminding every player of the true purpose of the game, which was collecting canned food and boosting camaraderie.

The Eagles handed the Chiefs the Boone's Farm trophy with an offer for a basketball challenge after that season closes.
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