Defending champ Yokota off and running again
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – Morgan Breazell and the rest of Yokota’s running backs began the 2012 season Friday in similar fashion to how they finished during last year’s Far East Division I title run.
Breazell and fellow seniors Raymond Butler and Stanley Speed combined to run for six touchdowns Friday as the Panthers rolled 44-19 over Robert D. Edgren in the DODDS Japan season-opening game for both teams.
“Overall, in August and our first game up here, I was pleased with our performance,” coach Tim Pujol said after his Panthers piled up 439 yards on 31 carries, while attempting just one pass, an incompletion by backup Marcus Henagan.
“We did a wonderful job of opening up holes with the running game,” Pujol said.
Breazell ran for touchdowns of 9, 7 and 3 yards en route to 184 yards on 17 carries. Butler rushed for 138 yards on eight attempts, with touchdowns of 35 and 42 yards. An 83-yard touchdown run made up the bulk of Speed’s 117 yards on six attempts.
Butler also had 10 tackles, while J.J. Henderson intercepted a pass and Anthony Visnyei recovered a fumble.
It was by no means, Pujol said, a perfect performance by Yokota, which gave up the most points it has to Edgren since a 20-18 loss four seasons ago at Misawa.
“We have to do a better job of tackling, too many yards gained after first contact,” Pujol said. “And we have to do better with kick coverage and get better at secondary coverage.”
Khalil Williams ran back a kickoff 84 yards for Edgren’s first touchdown, then Tristan Jefferson threw a pair of 12-yard touchdown passes, one to Williams and another to Louis Murphy.
“We’re thrilled,” first-year Eagles coach Blaine Miller said. “We saw some great things for our kids. Best thing to happen to us was play Yokota to open the season. And they’re a great team. You can tell that line has been together for a while.”
Next Friday, the Panthers host Zama American in a DODDS Japan/Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools battle, while Edgren travels to Nile C. Kinnick in a DODDS Japan contest.