YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Morgan Breazell played Friday as if he’s looking to succeed former teammate Devin Day as Japan’s leading ground gainer.
The junior ran for 184 yards on 19 carries, including touchdown runs of 20, 25, 17 and 15 yards, and Michael Litman added 49 yards and a 9-yard TD run on seven carries as Yokota blanked Robert D. Edgren, 34-0, in Friday’s rainy DODDS Japan football opener. Day had 1,133 yards and 23 touchdowns last season.
The game was played with a running clock from early in the third quarter.
Despite coughing up two fumbles in a scoreless first quarter and four for the game in the slick conditions, coach Tim Pujol called Yokota’s performance a “good start, good job.”
“The conditions limited what we could do and see what we have to work on,” said the 13-year Panthers coach with 11 DODDS Japan and Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools titles to his credit.
“We have to do better with ball security,” he said. “We didn’t get much of a chance to work on our option and our passing game. But I was happy with the running game and the defense.”
Breazell also added 61 yards on four returns. Tre Bailey, a freshman, rushed six times for 67 yards and had 71 yards on three returns. All told, the Panthers amassed 403 offensive yards, all on the ground. Junior QB Stanley Speed had 45 yards on five carries and did not attempt a pass.
“They’re tough,” said coach Michael Gros, whose Eagles were seeking their first win over the Panthers since a 20-18 home victory on Oct. 24, 2008. Edgren hasn’t beaten the Panthers at Yokota since an 8-6 victory in the 1999 season opener.
“They were moving the ball and got through the line on every play,” Gros said. “We have to work on our offensive blocking and our team tackling.”