CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — Marcus Crawford’s 20-yard third-quarter touchdown run powered the Kadena Dragons past the Courtney-Hansen Titans 22-14 in the first interservice football game between two Okinawa teams in 14 years.
About 350 fans turned out for the first game played at Courtney Bowl since the Okinawa Interservice League folded after the 1989 season.
“It was a really good crowd,” said Tony Bowman, whose Courtney-Hansen team is in its first U.S. Forced Japan-American Football League season. “The Marines seemed to be really happy to have football on the island. I love our fans. They were very vocal.”
“Players on both sides, it was good to see healthy competition from teams of different service branches,” Kadena coach Glen Ballard said of the Air Force vs. Marine Corps rivalry. “It was a really good turnout.”
Both teams took advantage of miscues to score points. Kadena intercepted three Courtney-Hansen passes; the Dragons aided both Titans touchdown drives with penalties.
Crawford finished with 141 yards on nine carries. A.J. Hickman went 3-for-8 for 44 yards, including a 10-yard first-period scoring pass to Trent Beavers, who caught all three completions and ran 10 times for 51 yards.
Leonard Moses ran for a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Titans quarterback Ryan Heisinger scored both Courtney-Hansen touchdowns on bootleg runs: 12 yards in the waning seconds of the first half and 3 yards on the game’s final play. Sean Alderman ran 12 times for 100 yards.
Bowman put some of the blame for Crawford’s game-winning TD on his decision to run an unsuccessful fourth-down play deep in Kadena territory.
“That cost us the game,” Bowman said. “That was a 16-point swing.”
Ballard said penalties nearly cost Kadena the victory. The Dragons were flagged for 55 yards on Heisinger’s first touchdown drive, and three straight facemasking calls helped the Titans to their second TD.
“Both times they scored, we gave them a free ride down the field,” Ballard said.