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Yokota Panthers senior running back Devin Day breaks free for yards against the American School In Japan Mustangs during Friday's Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football game at Bonk Field, Yokota High School, Yokota Air Base, Japan. Day rushed 25 times for 178 yards and five touchdowns as the Panthers routed the Mustangs 46-7.
Yokota Panthers senior running back Devin Day breaks free for yards against the American School In Japan Mustangs during Friday's Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football game at Bonk Field, Yokota High School, Yokota Air Base, Japan. Day rushed 25 times for 178 yards and five touchdowns as the Panthers routed the Mustangs 46-7. (Greg Holladay/Special to Stars and Stripes)
Yokota Panthers senior running back Devin Day breaks free for yards against the American School In Japan Mustangs during Friday's Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football game at Bonk Field, Yokota High School, Yokota Air Base, Japan. Day rushed 25 times for 178 yards and five touchdowns as the Panthers routed the Mustangs 46-7.
Yokota Panthers senior running back Devin Day breaks free for yards against the American School In Japan Mustangs during Friday's Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football game at Bonk Field, Yokota High School, Yokota Air Base, Japan. Day rushed 25 times for 178 yards and five touchdowns as the Panthers routed the Mustangs 46-7. (Greg Holladay/Special to Stars and Stripes)
Yokota Panthers senior running back Devin Day is surrounded by teammates and American School In Japan Mustangs defenders during Friday's Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football game at Bonk Field, Yokota High School, Yokota Air Base, Japan. Day rushed 25 times for 178 yards and five touchdowns as the Panthers routed the Mustangs 46-7.
Yokota Panthers senior running back Devin Day is surrounded by teammates and American School In Japan Mustangs defenders during Friday's Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football game at Bonk Field, Yokota High School, Yokota Air Base, Japan. Day rushed 25 times for 178 yards and five touchdowns as the Panthers routed the Mustangs 46-7. (Greg Holladay/Special to Stars and Stripes)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Devin Day is quickly proving he belongs in the pantheon of Yokota running back greats.

The senior ran 25 times for 178 yards and five touchdowns, giving him 368 yards and nine TDs on 41 attempts this season, as the Panthers avenged two losses last season to defending Kanto Plain champion American School In Japan 46-7 Friday at Yokota’s Bonk Field.

“Devin is a tough runner. He gets a lot of yards after first contact,” coach Tim Pujol said, adding, however, that it’s “the guys up front and his backfield teammates who open the holes for him.”

That Yokota is winning the battle of the line of scrimmage — the Panthers outgained ASIJ 399-20 on offense — pleases Pujol immensely.

“I like the play on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” he said. “And we have a lot of guys in the backfield who can run the ball, they block hard for each other. The team is not about one person, it’s about all of us.”

Morgan Breazell added 93 yards on five carries, including a 79-yard scoring run on the game’s second play. Myles Andrews was an economical 1-for-3 passing, hitting a wide-open Christian Namoca for a first half-ending 47-yard touchdown pass.

Interceptions by Andrews, Josh Chamberlain and Elliott Gardner each set up first-half touchdowns for the Panthers.

The lone bright spot for ASIJ was when Sam Hopkins recovered a first-quarter fumble, setting up Hayden Jardine’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Stern. Jardine finished with career lows of 4-for-14 for 60 yards, including the three interceptions.

Longtime Mustangs defensive coordinator John Seevers feels Yokota has taken strides back to 1999-2008 when they were winning 10 consecutive DODDS Japan and Kanto titles.

“It’s a good football team,” Seevers said. “Tim Pujol is always going to have a good football team every year. Good talent, good coaching staff, they’ll be a team to contend with this year.”

ornauerd@pstripes.osd.mil

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He served 10½ years in the Air Force, the last 4½ assigned to Stripes in Tokyo, and was then hired by Stripes on Oct. 25, 1985. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages Pacific Storm Tracker.
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