ASIJ remains perfect, hands Kinnick first loss
Stars and Stripes
TOKYO – Score the first of two rounds in favor of American School In Japan over Nile C. Kinnick in the chase for Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football title space.
David Hernandez passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another, Brandon Rogers caught one of those aerials and made a clutch interception with 3 minutes, 29 seconds left as the Mustangs prevailed 33-27 over the Red Devils in a see-saw battle Saturday at Mustang Valley.
“A good game. A barnburner,” Mustangs defensive coordinator John Seevers said. “That’s a great Kinnick team. They have some great athletes and they’re well-coached. I’m sure they’ll be waiting for us when we go to their place” on Oct. 11 for Kinnick’s homecoming game.
“We knew it would be back-and-forth going in to the game, and it played out the way we thought it would,” Kinnick coach Dan Joley said.
Hernandez upped his touchdown production to 15 on the season, also throwing to Joe Walker and Connor Hadden for TDs. Ryan Murphy rushed for the Mustangs’ other touchdown. ASIJ improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in Kanto.
Kinnick senior quarterback Dustin Wilson increased his touchdown haul to 21 this season. He went just 5-for-12 for 72 yards but ran for two touchdowns and finished with 51 yards on 10 carries.
Dre Paylor also accounted for two touchdowns for the Red Devils (5-1, 3-1). He rushed 26 times for 141 yards, including a 44-yard scoring scamper, and took five kickoff returns for 197 yards, including a 97-yard touchdown.
He also had six tackles, while Ian O’Brien had two sacks and Kyle O’Brien and DeAnthony Evans each recorded eight tackles.
Joley called it a “game of momentum. We’d take it and give it back. It was two good football teams. I didn’t like the outcome, but it was a great game. The kids will learn a lot from this and have the opportunity in two weeks to fix the outcome, and I think they’ll be ready.”
ASIJ next visits Zama American at Naval Air Facility Atsugi’s Reid Memorial Stadium; kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday. Kinnick travels to Robert D. Edgren for a 7:30 p.m. Friday kickoff.