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Army sinks Navy in 3-OT thriller flag football game

The Army team celebrate and pose with their trophy after defeating Navy in triple overtime at Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Cowan Stadium Dec. 8. Photo credit: Edzel Butac, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD - Army defeated Navy in their 23rd annual flag football game 35-28 in a thrilling, triple overtime tilt at Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Cowan Stadium Dec. 8, to make it three in a row for the Army team, made up with players from JBLM.

"Probably the most intense game that I've been a part of," said Chad Peabody, offensive coordinator for the Army. "I couldn't be more proud of the team, driving through multiple points of adversity and ultimately coming up with the win."

Navy never trailed in the game until the final score, and nearly won it in the first overtime.

In the first overtime, Army turned the ball over with an interception, and all Navy needed was a field goal for the victory. But a costly false start penalty on their field goal attempt set them back five yards, which proved to be costly as they missed the kick wide-right by mere inches.

The teams traded touchdowns in the second overtime, setting up the dramatic finish in the third overtime.

In the third overtime, the rule called for each team to have a one-play possession, which the Army capitalized with a perfectly placed fade route to tight end Drew Buchhaas for a touchdown. Navy's one-play possession resulted in an incomplete pass, and the Army sideline erupted and rushed the field to celebrate their victory.

"That's called resiliency!" the Army players screamed as they celebrated on the field.

This was a bittersweet victory for the Army's head coach Robert Pierce, who was coaching the team for the final time.

"I thought last year would be my last year here at JBLM being as I just retired, completing my 20 years of active duty in July," said Pierce. "The brotherhood?with my coaching staff and team drew me back in for another year and I'm glad I did."

Pierce added that his family may be relocating, but he's excited for what the future holds for him and his family.

The Army-Navy flag football series started in 2000 to coincide with the Army-Navy college football game. Navy still leads the flag football series 14-9.

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