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Daegu-Humphreys showdown will determine D-II host

By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 19, 2017

For Humphreys football, the game plan is simple: Win Friday at Daegu and the Blackhawks host Matthew C. Perry for the Far East Division II title on Oct. 28.

For Daegu, hopes all start with beating Humphreys on Friday by 20 points and hoping that will be enough to at least force a conference call with DODEA-Pacific leadership and the schools’ athletics directors to discuss tiebreaker scenarios.

“Win by 20, force the conference call; that’s our goal,” Warriors coach Blake Sims said. “The guys are really focused on the task at hand, more so than last week at practice. And it’s also homecoming and senior night, so it’s a pretty big deal for us.”

DODEA-Pacific athletics coordinator Tom McKinney confirmed to Stripes that if Daegu wins by 20 or more, it would trigger a conference call.

That would be a storyline similar to last week’s Division I scenario in which American School In Japan won 30-3 at Kadena, four weeks after the Panthers won 47-26 at Mustang Valley, making the teams even in the chase for the D-I visitor’s berth

That begat a call on Monday in which McKinney went over all the point-differential numbers with ASIJ AD Brian Kelley and his Kadena counterpart Tom Bell. The upshot: Kadena had a 15-point edge, 55-40, on ASIJ and will play at Nile C. Kinnick on Oct. 28 for the D-I title.

A win by 20 points for Daegu would make the teams even in head-to-head play; Humphreys beat Daegu 40-8 at home on Sept. 22, which gave the Blackhawks (a maximum) 20 points for tiebreaker purposes, according to DODEA rules.

The next step would likely be to compare point differentials in games against common opponents, and Daegu and Humphreys played three common foes each:

Daegu beat Seoul American 25-13 on Sept. 1 and Robert D. Edgren 39-21 on Sept. 15, while losing at Matthew C. Perry 44-8 on Sept. 9.

Humphreys beat Seoul American 53-20 on Sept. 15 and won 34-8 at Edgren on Oct. 6, while losing at home 20-10 to Perry last Friday.

All of that rests on what happens Friday. And while Daegu will play with one eye on the points, Humphreys plans to attack this as it does every game thus far, coach Steven Elliott said.

“Once the Perry game ended, our mindset was we can’t wait for Daegu,” Elliott said. “That’s our next game and that’s what we’re focused on.”

It’ll be a showdown between the Blackhawks’ balanced offensive attack spearheaded by quarterback Miles Brice against the Warriors’ backfield of Bishop Fields and Javeon Bell.

“They’ve been outstanding,” Sims said. “And we’re as healthy as we’ve been all season.”

“Play disciplined football, maintain and execute our assignments; if we do that, we win the game,” Elliott said.

This is the last regular-season weekend before the Far East fall sports tournaments, scheduled for next Wednesday through Saturday, though that may be contingent on Typhoon Lan’s track; it’s due to pass Okinawa and Tokyo from Sunday through Tuesday.

In the final prep for Far East, tennis players are dodging raindrops this weekend in the DODEA-Japan tournament at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, as will cross country runners in Saturday’s DODEA-Japan finals at Tama Hills Recreation Center. DODEA-Japan volleyball is being played at Kinnick.

ornauer.dave@stripes.com

Twitter: @ornauer_stripes

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