MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Marine Aircraft Group 12 defeated Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron 43-22 in the 26th annual 2017 Fall Classic football game at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Sept. 15, 2017.
The game was set up to increase unit camaraderie and competitiveness across the air station.
“If we go out on deployment, it’s just like playing football,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Walter Williams, a MAG-12 wide receiver and cornerback. “We have to build chemistry, know how each of us plays and recognize our assets.”
Before the game began, MAG-12 called the coin toss to determine who will kick and receive. MAG-12 selected tails and lost, allowing H&HS to receive the ball at the beginning of the first half and kick off the second.
At the beginning of the game H&HS looked as if they were going to “take the cake” this year, intercepting the ball once and scoring two touchdowns, but they began to slip up as the game progressed to the second half, throwing two interceptions for major turnovers.
“Losing is not always good, but as long as we were out there having fun that’s all that matters,” said U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Malik Grimes, an H&HS cornerback. “I feel like we could have done better than we did.”
Last year H&HS snagged the title from MAG-12, so they sought out to keep what was rightfully theirs.
“H&HS took the title from us last year, but today we secured it back,” said Williams. “I hope MAG-12 can continue to hold on to it.”
Even though the tension was high, everyone left the field with good sportsmanship towards each other.
“I love football, win or lose,” said Williams. “Even if we would have lost I would of still shook hands, because I’m doing stuff with the people I love.”