Yokota Panthers2011 season record — 7-1, 304 points for, 52 points against; shares Kanto Plain championship with American School In Japan.Head coach — Tim Pujol, 13th season, overall record 106-19, 12 DODDS Japan and at least a share of Kanto titles, five Rising Sun Bowl championships.Key performers — Jesse Hogan, Jr., OL-DL; Stanley Speed, Jr., QB-DB; Dylan Kessler, Jr., OL-DL; Victor Madaris, Jr., OL-DL; Jerrell Fuller, Sr., OL-DL; Max Lester, Jr., OL-DL; Jake Jackson, Jr., OL-DL; Morgan Breazell, Jr., RB (859 yards, 107 carries, 7 touchdowns; Tre Bailey, Fr., RB (709 yards, 57 carries).Strengths — Size in the line (all are 205 pounds or more) that Pujol hasn’t had in 10 years. Veterans and experience. Strongest ground attach Panthers have had in at least six years.Drawbacks — Still thin in numbers, an injury or two from making the line ordinary. Not the best at the passing game or coming from behind; can be burned on special teams and on outside containment.
Seoul American Falcons2011 season record — 5-2 overall, 161 points for, 94 points against. First DODDS Korea title since 2008.Head coach — Rydell Wilkins, first season.Key performers — Harold Martin, Sr., QB; Ty White, Sr., RB (733 yards, 6 touchdowns, 108 carries); Tomiwa Akinbayo, Sr., WR.; Alex McDonald, Fr., RB; Matthew Choi, Sr., L; Sidney Mala’ulu, So., LStrengths — Teamwork, unity, ability to overcome. A ground game very much like the days when David Smalls (2006) and Trinadai Stansel (2008) powered the Falcons to D-I titles. Can also surprise in the air; Akinbayo is perhaps the team’s best athlete and Martin has a serviceable arm.Drawbacks — Youth, inexperience. Okinawa teams have not been kind to the Falcons this year, outscoring them 62-24.
Kadena Panthers2011 season record — 4-1 overall, 52 points for, 42 points against.Head coach — Sergio Mendoza, sixth season. Overall record 36-3, five straight Okinawa Activities Council regular-season titles (2006-10), three Class AA championships (2007, ’09, ’10).Key performers — Gabriel Ahner, Sr., L; Josh Dyer, Jr., L.; Dominic Shea, So., QB; Maverick Giron, So., QB; Nick Perry, Jr., RB; Justin Sego, Fr., RB; Joey Dyer, Jr., RB; Gage Bongo, So.; Chris McQuillan, Jr., WR.Strengths — Attitude, work ethic. Despite youth and inexperience, defense has been this team’s rock, allowing just four offensive touchdowns, and the Panthers somehow find ways to win.Drawbacks — Youth, inexperience. Four-week layoff between Oct. 3 6-0 play-in game victory over Guam High and the semifinal. Offense clearly misses the production of Shariff Coleman, Thomas McDonald, Stanley Schrock and those who came before them. About 50 percent of the roster consists of underclassmen.
Kubasaki Dragons2011 season record — 5-1, 173 points for, 44 points against.Head coach — Fred Bales, seventh season. Overall record 17-16, two Okinawa Activities Council title (also won in 2005), one Division I title (2005).Key performers — Jarrett Mitchell, So., RB (744 yards, 5 touchdowns, 66 carries); Tyler Smith, So., L; Tyshon Butler, So., L; Cristian Rivera, Sr., QB; Columbus Wilson, Sr., TE; Jacob Jadwin, Sr., L: Roland Hernandez, Sr., L: Brandon Crawford, Sr., WR.Strengths — Strong at skills positions, especially with the addition of Mitchell in the backfield to take pressure off Rivera and Crawford, who pretty much carried the team a season ago.Drawbacks — Youth, inexperience in the line. Struggled with Kadena, only putting up 27 points; got past Seoul American 41-17 on Sept. 16 mainly via big plays. They’ll need more than that to overcome Falcons this time.