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Islanders complete dream season with 43-12 victory over
the Kitsap County Bears
The win recognizes the Islanders as the Minor League Football AAA national champions. AAA is the highest level of minor league/semi professional football.
The Islanders took the opening kickoff and marched down the field in a few plays culminating in a touchdown from one Gates to another -- Myles to Michael to make the score 7-0. After the Bears fielded the kickoff on their own two and stepped out of bounds they began their first drive deep in their own territory. Two plays later on a bad snap they took a safety for an Islanders 9-0 lead. At that point both teams traded possessions and the game was 9-0 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter the Islanders put together a quick drive and scored a field goal to make the score 12-0. A bit later the Bears took advantage of a short field and cut the lead to 12-3 with a field goal of their own. The Islanders came back with another touchdown to make the score 19-3. The Islanders then handed the Bears great field position and added to it with a couple of ill fated penalties which gave the Bears many chances and they took advantage of them scoring a touchdown. They then decided to go for a two- point conversion which failed. That made the score 19-9 and it stayed there until the halftime, Islanders with the lead.
The second half
saw the Bears take the kickoff and start a drive only to be
denied with an interception and the teams traded turnovers
and punts for most of the third quarter. The Islanders had
the ball inside the Bears 20 twice in the quarter and came
away with no points. The Bears took advantage and scored on
a short field cutting the lead to 19-12 with 1:19 left in
the third quarter. This had the makings of a very tight
The Islander defense took over and kept getting the ball back to the offense and when Myles Gates scored on a quarterback run it made the score 33-12 and that was the end of the game for all intents and purposes. The defense added a touchdown on an interception return. Following a Scott Burke-interception, the Islanders added a touchdown and a field goal by Doug Fletcher.
In post game interviews, Islanders head coach Tom Piccolotti commented on the Islanders as a group of men that came together during their season around a fallen teammate and used that to rally the team to the pinnacle at this level. A choked up and wet Piccolotti was moved by what this group did together as a team and said he could not be more proud of a group as he was of this team.
Brian Martinez, Islander president, was choked up as well, remembering all that this game and season meant to so many people and how much hard work and dedication it takes to be the champs.
The Islander organization is one that should be looked at for how it can be done at this level. Hard work, dedication, passion, and respecting the game all lead to this organization being the best this level has ever seen for many years.