MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- Football teams from Twentynine Palms, Miramar, Pendleton, the 11th Marine Regiment and MAG-39 squared off for this year's Best of the West Football Tournament held at Felix Field Nov. 16.
The first half of the Twentynine Palms and Miramar game was a shootout, both teams traded touchdowns for the first two quarters. At half-time the game was tied 19-19, and it stayed for the third and fourth quarters. The game finally ended, in overtime, after Twentynine Palms won the coin toss and sent their offensive team to the field. After three unsuccessful tries scoring, the host team kicked a field goal leading to their 22-19 victory.
"The offense played a marvelous game, but the defense and special teams need to improve their play," said Coach Pat Mills, Twentynine Palms. "Our communication amongst the players on the field was lacking. I strongly believe that we will improve our play on both sides of the ball given a week of uninterrupted practices."
The Twentynine Palms base team consists of 27 Marines from the Marine Corps Communication and Electronics School unit team and an additional 13 Marines specially picked from the remaining unit teams.
"Those that were picked up to play on the Best of the West team are some of the best players on the base," said Mills. "They all bring years of experience, enthusiasm, a strong desire and the determination to win."
"With only a week between Miramar and MAG 39, we should be much sharper," said Androy Senegar, Twentynine Palms. "We won the Miramar game because we were able to maintain focus and were able to display a quality that our team has shown all season ... and that is to play the game aggressively 'til the final whistle blows."
"They are a tough team but we will be mentally and physically ready to play them," said Mills. "We watched MAG-39 play the second game last Saturday. They have certain strength and weaknesses that we have begun to scrutinize in our preparation for our upcoming game this Saturday. We will be ready mentally and physically for anything that they throw our way."
"Football is not predicated on hype, but on execution, and most importantly, heart. There is no doubt that MAG-39 will have a strong desire to win, but it boils down to who wants it more. We do," said Senegar.
Coach James Shepard, MAG-39, felt confident after their Nov. 16 game against the 11th Marines.
"We play smash-mouth football, and we were playing for revenge that game, because we lost to 11th Marines by a point the prior game, said Coach James Shepard, MAG-39. "This game we controlled the ball for more than three quarters of the game and dominated them on the defensive side of the ball."
MAG-39 won 24-12 and are ready for the Twentynine Palms challenge, according to Shepard.
"We are always confident in what we do from a team standpoint,' said Shepard who stood in for his injured quarterback in their last game. "We have been playing together all year and I believe that our execution of the offense should be a little better than Twentynine Palms'."
Twentynine Palms plays MAG-39 Saturday at 10 a.m. at Felix Field. The winner of that game plays Team Hawaii Dec. 7. Help support the teams in part two and three of the Best of the West Tournament by coming out to the competitions.