OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea – Same pairing, different season.
Daegu American sewed up its second straight Far East Division II title game berth when it beat Osan American, 28-6, on Friday - spoiling the Cougars’ homecoming game behind the running and linebacking of Jacobi Myles and Tre Griffin’s two touchdown passes.
“The kids have been working hard for a whole year toward this,” coach Ken Walter said, adding that the Warriors took last year’s 46-38 Division II title-game loss to Zama American “to heart” and told him they’d do “anything” for another crack at the Trojans.
They’ll get their wish. Daegu (4-2 overall, 4-0 league) will travel to Camp Zama for the Division II title-game renewal on Nov. 6; tentative kickoff time is 4 p.m. at Trojans Field.
“We’re happy to finally get the tickets punched,” Walter said.
Myles carried 11 times for 114 yards and a touchdown and Jarel “Tank” Connie added a rushing TD of his own to go with 77 yards on seven tries. Griffin was 4-for-11 passing for 59 yards, including TD tosses of 42 yards to Darius Wyche and 11 yards to Christian Dawes.
Daegu’s linebacker corps of Myles, Xavier Washburn and Ryan Banzon – the latter celebrating his 18th birthday – kept Osan’s offense bottled up except for the Cougars’ opening second-half possession. “The defense looked really good,” Walter said.
He also got a look at his team’s future, starting Wyche at quarterback – the junior went 2-for-3 for 16 yards – and using sophomore Lee Wright at running back – he got 72 yards on three carries.
“We weren’t as sharp and crisp tonight as we wanted to be, but when we executed, we marched right down the field,” Walter said. “When we took the seniors out and put the future in, they moved down the field as well.”
The Cougars (0-5), meanwhile, endured a “rough night,” coach Aaron Mundy said, due to injuries to two players. Dominic Oliveiro was lost for the season with a broken arm, and Damian Flynn – who had just returned from an injury – suffered broken bones in his wrist and is also done for the season.
“We’re a walking M*A*S*H unit right now,” Mundy said. “We could have folded, but they banded together and fought to the final whistle, so I’m proud of them for that.”
Daegu plays an exhibition game Saturday against a Korean team to close out its regular season, while the Cougars entertain Seoul American on Oct. 29 to end their season.