MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – For a guy more noted for feats on the basketball court, Khalil Williams is proving rather fair at catching touchdown passes.
The senior receiver had 202 yards and three touchdowns on five receptions and Robert D. Edgren took the first step toward hosting the Far East Division II football championship game it last did in 2008, beating Osan American 40-7 on Saturday at Misawa’s newly field-turfed Hillside Stadium.
“He’s a special kid,” Eagles coach Blaine Miller said of Williams. “I recruited him hard and it’s paying off.”
Williams served as the lynchpin of an offense that racked up 305 yards in the air and 115 on the ground. Tristan Jefferson threw for most of those yards, as well as rushing 7 yards for a touchdown and running a kickoff 78 yards for another score. Ben Warren made an end-zone tackle for an Edgren safety.
Meanwhile, defensive adjustments made by assistant coaches Khaleem Shabazz and Justin Stabler also paid dividends as the Eagles (1-2), who gave up 73 points in their first two games, held Osan’s combined Maryland I and double wing to seven points. Tim Ampa scored on a 19-yard run for the Cougars (0-1).
“It’s going to be tough for opposing teams when they play against us,” Miller said.
The teams with the best win-loss record in games played between Edgren, Osan, Daegu and Zama American will host the team with the second-best mark in the D-II title game, part of DODDS Pacific’s new regular-season football system.
Despite the one-sided outcome, it wasn’t a perfect performance by the Eagles, who “need to keep learning,” Miller said. Being able to suit up just 20 players under the new system kept Miller from playing some of his young kids and develop depth. “We’re still not deep,” he said.
“Credit Osan. They’re young, but they’ll be an up-and-coming team,” Miller said. “That double wing gave me nightmares all week.”
It was the first game for the Cougars, the last DODDS Pacific team to open the regular season. They were to travel to Kadena on Aug. 24, a game postponed by Typhoon Bolaven. The two schools are still seeking a way to make up the contest.
“They are a good, solid team, with speed and strength. It was tough for us,” Cougars coach Duke Allen said of playing a team that already had two games under its belt. His players suffered what he called a “memory wipe,” missing blocks and assignments that saddled the Cougars.
Osan and Edgren played each other in the Division II title games three times in the 2000s, Osan winning in 2005 and Edgren in 2006 and 2008.
Edgren has next weekend off, while Osan hosts Zama at 7 p.m. Saturday.