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JBLM wins, starts a new streak ... one

Michael Urban kicks the game-winning, 38-yard field goal in the Army’s 3-0 win over the Navy in the annual flag football series at Cowan Stadium on Joint Base Lewis-McChord Dec. 10. Photo credit: Bud McKay

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Michael Urban only got on the field twice Dec. 10 in the Army-Navy flag football game at Cowan Stadium on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The first time Urban was on the field, he kicked off for the Army to start the game.

He didn't get back onto the field until there was just 3.3 seconds left in the game and kicked a 38-yard field goal and booted the Army to a 3-0 win over the Navy. The win ends a 7-year losing streak for the Army in the series.

"Oh, man - I was ecstatic when the ball went through the uprights," said Urban, a sergeant with the 1st Multi-Domain Task Force. "I've struggled with my foot placement all week in practice, so I really concentrated on that when the ball was snapped.

"Wow! That was just an incredible feeling - I've never felt anything like that before."

And the Army team, comprised of players from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, hasn't felt any thrill of victory over the Navy since its 18-13 win in 2012.

"As soon as I called in the field goal team, I knew we were going to make the kick," said Robert Pierce, the team's head coach and a sergeant first class from the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command. "I know (Urban) - anything around the 20-yard line is chump change for him.

The Army-Navy flag football series started in 2000 to coincide with the Army-Navy college football game. After its 21st game today, the Navy, made up of players from Naval Bases Kitsap, Everett and Whidbey Island, leads the series 14-7.

Otis Sistrunk, a former JBLM sports director, started the series in 2000. Sistrunk, a former Marine, knew a thing or two about football. He played in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders from 1972 to 1978, winning Super Bowl XI in 1976 against the Minnesota Vikings. He retired from JBLM in 2014.

On the other hand, Urban didn't even play football in high school - he played soccer instead.

"I was only on the field for two plays all game today," Urban said. "I'm just glad that one of those plays counted for something."

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