Kaiserslautern flag football champs unable to grab European title

Story and photo by Thomas Warner
LRMC Public Affairs

***image1***An undefeated regular season propelled the unit level flag football team from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center to the U.S. Army Europe overall championship tournament.

The team from LRMC, however, was unable to capture the trophy at the USAREUR Tournament, held Nov. 2 to 4 in Dexheim. Made up entirely of active-duty players, the Landstuhl team lost its opening game to a squad from Hohenfels, then lost again to the USAREUR Headquarters team from Heidelberg.

Wiesbaden beat Schweinfurt in the finals of the USAREUR Tournament. Landstuhl finished the campaign with an overall record of 15-3 and can at least savor its USAG-Kaiserslautern championship.

“After going undefeated (12-0) in the regular season we lost by a touchdown in the game of the USAG Tournament,” said Staff Sgt. Morris Porter, one of a handful of players from last year’s squad. “That got our attention and we bounced back to win the remaining games at the USAG tourney. It set us up to try and win at the overall USAREUR.”

The maroon-clad LRMC unit, though, met up with stiff competition on the first day of the USAREUR event and got sent home.

Three years ago, the LRMC team went to the tournament at Stuttgart and won the USAREUR title. The 2007 LRMC team nipped last year’s USAREUR champs, 212th CASH, twice during the regular season.

“They gave us our best competition during the season,” said Sgt. Darius Taitt, the only current LRMC player from the 2004 title team. “Those were our closest games prior to the playoffs.”

Pfc. Josh Jackson’s brilliant play helped the team advance to the USAREUR finals.

“Josh won the MVP trophy at the USAG Tournament but he tried to give the award to his teammates,” Sergeant Porter said. “The organizers there made him keep it, but that shows what kind of person he is.”

Sergeants Porter and Taitt pointed to consistency as the main ingredient in the championship season. The squad used a two-quarterback set on offense and featured some of the best defensive statistics among the eight teams in the USAG-Kaiserslautern circuit.

“We threw very few interceptions and teams didn’t score much on us, period,” said Sergeant Taitt. “We gave less than 50 points in the entire regular season, which was 12 games.”

Landstuhl also scored often, piling up over 200 points during the regular season. All games prior to the playoffs were played on the fields at Rhine Ordnance Barracks.