CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa - For a guy listed on Kadena’s team roster as a running back, Joey Dyer is proving rather fair at catching touchdown passes as well.
The senior snagged two passes for scores, including one of 98 yards that broke the game open, and Justin Sego added two first-half TD runs as the Panthers routed Seoul American 35-0 Saturday in the inaugural game of the new Far East Division I football “everybody-plays-everybody” format.
“We decided to do a lot of different things this year,” Panthers coach Sergio Mendoza said of an offense that saw quarterbacks Maverick Giron and Dominic Shea combine to complete five of six passes for 138 yards – out of character for a “run-first” Panthers team of years past. “We said ‘let’s open the playbook early and have fun.’ ”
Kadena became the next-to-last DODDS Pacific team to open its regular season. The Panthers were slated to host Osan American last Saturday; that game was canceled due to Typhoon Bolaven.
“We were rusty in some areas,” Mendoza said. “That was about 10 percent of what I wanted to do. We were rusty in some areas. We have a lot of cleaning up to do. But I’m proud of the guys’ effort the first time out.”
Sego put the Panthers ahead 13-0 on TD runs of 1 and 29 yards. The Falcons promptly drove into Kadena’s red zone, but came up short as Alex McDonald was tackled at the Panthers’ 8-yard line on fourth-and-4.
Kadena was promptly hit with two procedure penalties and Giron was thrown for a yard loss, putting the ball at the Panthers’ 2. On second-and-16, Giron found a wide-open Dyer for a score and Kadena never looked back.
Joseph Hermon ran 2 yards for a score to close the third quarter, then Shea hit Dyer from 19 yards out to cap the scoring. The last 8 minutes, 29 seconds of the contest was played with a running clock.
David Padilla picked off two passes for Kadena’s defense, which held Seoul American to 47 yards on offense.
The Falcons (1-1) had escaped Daegu last Saturday 13-12 despite turnovers and penalties, but that all caught up to Seoul American this week, coach Jim Davis said.
“We made too many mistakes,” he said. “We have to go back to the drawing board. We can’t win games that way. They (Kadena) were well-prepared and well-coached. They attacked to the point and played hard. We’re bigger than they are, but they made up for it with quickness and speed.”
The Falcons host Kubasaki and Kadena entertains Nile C. Kinnick on Saturday in the next round of D-I games.