Yokota football: Things you need to know

Another program that has hung the "Unfinished Business" shingle outside its field house:

-- Examine the entire body of work, and you find Yokota is still the gold standard -- the 10 straight DODDS-Japan and Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools titles and well beyond, dating back to when the school opened in 1973. No DODDS school has won as many titles as has Yokota since 1973, and only Kubasaki has won more in DODDS-Pacific history.

-- Yet despite that legacy,this proud program has yet to win a Class AA title, and has reached just one Class AA title game, losing 39-13 at Kadena in 2007.

-- Memo to opposing special-teams' coaches: Do not -- repeat -- not sleep on the Panthers' special units. Last week against Nittai Dai Buzan, a Japanese high school team, senior DeEric Harvin returned to kicks for touchdowns, Yokota blocked a punt into the end zone for another TD and had Buzan's punting unit so flustered, it snapped the ball out of the end zone.

-- Speaking of Harvin, he and fellow senior back Rainey Daley weren't even supposed to be back for their swan song high school years. Yet here they are, and that "Unfinished Business" they speak of include finally summiting Class AA Title Mountain, and for Harvin, a basketball guard, avenging the Panthers' Class AA basketball tournament championship loss to St. Mary's International ... on Yokota's home court.

-- Memo to opposing offensive coordinators: Daley may look small, just 5-foot-5 and 125 pounds if he's one ounce ... but he plays somebody a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier. And he will attack your running backs and quarterback relentlessly.

-- Daley and Harvin are a luxury that's eluded longtime coach Tim Pujol recently -- players he's coached for four seasons.

-- Yokota remains at the Class AA level despite enrollment being well below the 360 cutoff. But that's the Panthers and that's Pujol for you.Pujol's a Texas guy. Doesn't matter to him whether it's Daegu American or the Dallas Cowboys; he and his team will suit up and play.

-- First game: Friday, 7 p.m. at Nile C. Kinnick.

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