Hernandez helps ASIJ stay perfect
Stars and Stripes
NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan – As David Hernandez continues to post big numbers, American School In Japan football remains on a winning track.
The senior quarterback was 7-for-15 for 159 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 87 yards and a score on four carries as the Mustangs improved to 5-0, beating Zama American 35-6 at Atsugi’s Reid Memorial Stadium.
“David’s done a lot of things for us, he’s been a good leader,” said ASIJ defensive coordinator John Seevers. As well as quarterbacking, Hernandez played defensive back, averaged 47.7 yards on three punts and kicked all five extra points.
“He’s made some big plays and bailed us out of a lot of situations,” Seevers said. On the season, Hernandez has gone 46-for-82 for 1,016 yards and nine touchdowns and rushed 32 times for 288 yards and eight touchdowns.
The Mustangs got a good mix of running from their other backs as well. Ryan Murphy scored three times and finished with 56 yards on 15 attempts and had eight tackles, and Antonio Malacad rushed for 87 yards on nine carries. Brandon Rogers caught four passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.
ASIJ’s defense recorded three sacks and forced two turnovers, including an interception by Rogers.
The Mustangs scored the first 35 points, triggering a running clock in the second half. Zama’s Hunter Klein broke the shutout by tossing an 87-yard touchdown pass to Rafael Morales midway through the final quarter.
With the win, ASIJ kept closing on its first Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools title since 2009. All they need is a win Friday at Nile C. Kinnick to clinch that honor. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Berkey Field.
“We’re looking forward to going down to Kinnick next week,” Seevers said.
The Trojans, who’ve lost four straight, head to Yokota on Friday; the Panthers are the only team Zama’s beaten this season. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
“We played a good team tonight. We have to get things on track,” Coach Steven Merrell said, noting that the visitor’s berth for next month’s Far East Division II title game is still up for grabs. “We still have something to play for.”