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Cornerback Clarence Carey became the latest hero in the Misawa Marauders’ turnaround.

Carey intercepted three passes Saturday — and returned one of them 64 yards for a second-quarter touchdown — as the Marauders edged the Yokota Warriors 12-9 in U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League play.

After losing their first two games, the defending champion Marauders have won two straight and hold a one-point tiebreaker edge for second place over Yokota (2-3 overall, 2-2 league). Yokosuka leads the league at 3-0.

The top two finishers in the regular season host playoff semifinal games on Aug. 26.

The Warriors have dropped three straight after opening with two wins, including an 8-6 victory over Misawa in the opener.

“This was tremendous,” Misawa coach Dwight Abel said of Saturday’s game at Yokota High School. “There are no words to describe how much we needed this win to get back on track. And we knew we had to beat them by more points than they beat us and we did, even if it was by just one.”

Yokota struck first as Jacob Dowdell hit Patrick Piazza for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Misawa promptly answered, with Jamey Crawford’s 6-yard sweep cutting the gap to 7-6. Carey’s interception-return put Misawa ahead to stay. Ron Carmichael’s end-zone tackle for a safety for Yokota made the final margin 12-9 and the second half became a defensive standoff.

Carey’s three interceptions all were “huge,” Abel said. “He doesn’t make those interceptions, we don’t win the game.” Yokota’s receivers “are 6-foot-2, 6-3; our defensive backs are 5-7 and 5-8. We were very concerned about their receivers.”

The Warriors did have one last gasp but Luis Adorno-Martinez missed on a 40-yard field goal attempt with 6.6 seconds left.

Despite now looking upward at Misawa in the race for a home playoff game, Yokota coach Jonathon Pitts said he wasn’t worried.

“Yokosuka is good but they still have to come here and they have to go to Misawa,” Pitts said. “We won’t worry about our past mistakes. We’ll keep working and hope to make some breaks go our way.”



W L Pct. PF PA

Yokosuka 3 0 1.000 44 28

x-Kadena 2 0 1.000 80 0

Misawa 2 2 .500 56 29

Yokota 2 3 .400 43 72

Atsugi 0 4 .000 17 111

x-scheduled for six games vs. USFJ-AFL teams as non-league entry.

Saturday’s games

Misawa 12, Yokota 9

x-Atsugi at Kadena, ppd., Typhoon Ewiniar

Saturday, July 15

x-Atsugi at Kadena, 6 p.m.

x-non-league game

Stripes in 7

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