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Islanders win big in Vegas, beating Georgia for MLFA National Title
   
RB Jason Harrison the games MVP scored 2 TD's on the day this one a 50 yarder. Photo Nancy Porfirio, http://nancyporfiriophotography.com

Las Vegas, NV - Head Coach Tom Piccolotti brought his team into Las Vegas last Saturday with very little knowledge of their opponent but that did not stop him and his Pacifica team from defeating the once undefeated Georgia Firebirds 20-6 to win the MLFA national championship. Georgia who came into the game 14-0 and the champions of the United Football Federation would suffer their first loss of the season at the hands of the Islanders.

Once teams have finished their local league play there are no rules in place for film exchange between teams playing in the national bowl games. It is on a voluntary basis and the Firebirds did not want to exchange, stating they didnít believe in it. That fact made game preparation much harder than usual for the Islander staff.

On one of the coolest nights Las Vegas had seen in months the Islanders took the field ready for battle. The day had been filled with isolated thunder storms and that kept the clouds low and the temps around 90 which was a relief for the players. The game started with both teamsí offenses struggling to move the ball and the first quarter would end with a 0-0 score.

In the second quarter the Islanders RB & NCFL offensive MVP Jason Harrison would start the scoring off with his first touchdown of the night running one in from the 15 yard line. The snap on the extra point was muffed and the score became 6-0. As Pacificaís offense started finding their groove their defense got even stingier, not allowing Georgia a first down other than from a penalty. Minutes before half time Islander QB Myles Gates hooked up with his former City College of San Francisco teammate WR Joshua Fale for another TD. This time the point after was good and the Islanders would go up 13-0 at half.

The third quarter was much like the first as both teams defenses rose to the occasion and for the most part stopped what eitherís offenses were trying to do. Georgiaís only score would come from a penalty assist. Early in the 4th quarter a Firebird receiver tripped over his own feet on a long route to the end zone and the referees inadvertently called a pass interference which gave Georgia a first down on the Islander 1 yard line. This led to a passing touchdown for the Firebirds. The extra point attempt was blocked. On the next possession the Islanders came right back and scored one of their own as Jason Harrison followed the block of his fullback Marley McNealey as they punched through the line and broke free on a 50 yard touchdown, his second TD of the evening.

Pacificaís defense again squashed anything Georgia tried to muster as the Islander offense played ball control football running out the clock to seal the 20-6 victory.

The Islanders still have one more game to play as the Minor League Football News has invited them to play in their version of the National Title. The MLFN is a national ranking body that has the Islanders ranked #1 and the Kitsap County Bears from Washington State #2. Every year they put on what they call the Consensus National Championship where they pit the 2 highest ranked teams in their polls against one another regardless of league affiliation. This years game will be played in So. Lake Tahoe on Aug. 27th with a 4pm kickoff. The game will be at the So. Lake Tahoe Sports Complex located at 2940 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe, Ca.
 

Linda Mar, Pacifica

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