Rock Island Arsenal will host Army-Navy football game

Local News

Soldiers and sailors compete in the second annual Army-Navy flag football game in Memorial Park on Rock Island Arsenal on Dec. 13, 2019. (Photo by W. Wayne Marlow)

Bragging rights will be on the line when the Army plays the Navy in a flag football game at noon Friday on Memorial Field on Rock Island Arsenal.

The Army team is made up of 15 soldiers from First Army, Army Sustainment Command, Joint Munitions Center and U.S. Army Garrison-Rock Island. The Navy team is made up of 15 sailors and Marines from the Navy Reserve Center Rock Island. A trophy is at stake for the winner of the contest, a news release says.

Soldiers and sailors competed in the second annual Army-Navy flag football game in Memorial Park on Rock Island Arsenal on Dec. 13, 2019. (Photo by W. Wayne Marlow)

Admission is free. Attendees are advised to bring lawn chairs for seating, dress for the weather, and bring your own food and beverages, because there will be no vendor at the game site. Spectators will be required to have access to the installation to attend.

Event organizer Darryl Howlett, a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer from the Navy Reserve Center, Rock Island, and a current public-affairs specialist with First Army, looks forward to this year’s contest after the game’s cancellation in 2020.

“After everything that’s occurred during the last 12 months, a good old-fashioned hard-fought, trash-talking, football game between the Army and the Navy is just what the arsenal and the community needs,” he said in the release. “Of course, I’m always conflicted because I served for 25 years in the Navy and have worked as a Department of the Army civilian for 20 years. However, I always go with my first love. Go Navy!”

The game represents the third iteration of the current event. The Army and Navy military members held an informal game during morning PT in December 2018. A formal game was organized in 2019 by Lt. Col. (Retired) Joe Odorizzi, and current Navy Reserve Center Rock Island Senior Enlisted Leader Chief Petty Officer Patrick Zimmerman.

Army won in 2019 with a come-from-behind overtime victory. Navy raced out to a 14-point lead before the Army tied the game in a back-and-forth affair, the release says.

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