Misawa, Kadena triumph in USFJ openers
Air Force teams ruled the day Saturday, as Misawa and Kadena Air Base each soared to victory in their U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League season-opening games.
Justin Stabler threw for two touchdowns and the Jets broke the game open with three fourth-quarter scores in a 28-15 road win at Yokosuka. Emanuel Griffin rushed for three touchdowns and Chris Crawes tossed two more as the Falcons roughed up Camp Hansen 36-6 on Okinawa.
“I was pleased with the effort,” Misawa coach Jeremy Sanders said after his Jets rallied from a 9-6 halftime deficit. “I told the guys not to get down on ourselves. They showed resiliency and came back. We just have to put it together for all four quarters.”
Stabler hit Jonathan Segarra for a 40-yard TD strike and Chris Cauthen with a 15-yarder. Jakai Alston rushed for a 5-yard touchdown and Davon McMillan a 10-yarder.
Yokosuka answered with touchdown runs of 15 and 40 yards by Christian McGee and a 35-yard Tim Hicks field goal.
“We broke down in the end, made some silly mistakes in the secondary,” Seahawks coach James Price said.
Griffin, the last holdover from Kadena’s two Okinawa Football League 2004 and ’05 titles seasons, had touchdown runs of 50, 25 and 15 yards plus a two-point conversion. Crawes tossed TD passes of 45 yards to Ronald Hill and 40 to Lamar King. Kenneth Giordono recorded a safety.
New coach Bob Friend scuttled Kadena’s primary run strategy of last season and “mixed it up, we ran it and passed it and played aggressive defense and got the results we wanted.”
The Wolf Pack could only reply with Enrique Mendez’s 5-yard touchdown run. “We made too many mental mistakes, too many penalties and missed blocking assignments,” new Wolf Pack coach Jason Stravers said.
Kadena visits defending champion Camp Foster and Yokota is at Yokosuka next Saturday.