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One squad enters Friday’s game bearing an unmasked sense of urgency, the other hoping it won’t be diminished by the enemy within.

That’s the stage upon which Kubasaki visits Kadena in Friday’s Game 2 of the best-of-three Okinawa Activities Council series to determine host rights to the Far East Class AA semifinal Nov. 3 against Seoul American.

On paper, it would appear Kadena has all the advantages. The Panthers routed the Dragons 45-0 last Friday at Kubasaki, the Dragons are hurting at skills positions, and it’s homecoming week in Panther country.

But coach Sergio Mendoza feels those are just the reasons his Panthers could be vulnerable to an upset.

“The biggest challenge isn’t the people wearing green (Kubasaki) but the people in black and gold (Kadena),” Mendoza said.

“We need to stay focused. This could change if we become our worst enemy. We need to maintain focus and not become complacent. The lights are turned off. The first game is over. We have to focus on the next one.”

“We could get overconfident,” senior defensive end Josh Carpenter said. “We have to guard against that.”

“Like coach tells us, we’re 0-0,” said senior guard Jose Caban.

The Dragons were missing three running backs last Friday and entered the week with starting quarterback Kaleb Robinson and tailback Josh Bales down with the flu.

Despite those woes, despite being outgained 336-111 and giving up five turnovers, “we’re optimistic,” coach Fred Bales said. “If you’re not optimistic, you’re not a coach. I liked our guys’ effort. Some guys are hurt, but that’s football, and you have to work through it.”

They’ll also have to work toward finding a way to stop Kadena’s newfound go-to back, Ernest Carr, among other weapons. In the Panthers’ power running scheme, Carr torched the Dragons for 194 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. On defense, Stanley Schrock had two pickoffs.

Kubasaki hoped it could work some of the infirmed back into the lineup, including running back Marquette Warren (left ankle) who lit up Yokota for 111 yards on nine carries in an inter-area contest Oct. 6. Warren, among others, would be among “a lot of gametime decisions,” Bales said.

“No question about anything. If we win, we play on. If we lose, the season’s over,” Bales said. “That should drive us and motivate us. If that doesn’t provide a sense of urgency, nothing will.”

Despite Game 1’s one-sided verdict, Mendoza felt Game 2 would be closer, “no matter what happened Friday.”

High school football

Japan

DODDS-Japan Football League

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Yokota 5 0 1.000 169 64

Edgren 3 2 .600 110 68

Kinnick 1 4 .200 84 126

Zama 1 4 .200 65 145

x-clinched ninth straight Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Japan Football League title.

Friday’s games

American School in Japan at Zama, 7 p.m.

Edgren at Yokota, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 26

Zama at Kinnick, 7 p.m.

American School in Japan at Yokota, 7 p.m.

End regular season

South Korea

W L Pct. PF PA

Seoul American 4 0 1.000 97 20

x-Taegu American 2 2 .500 33 28

Osan American 0 4 .000 14 96

x-clinched berth, host rights to Far East Class A championship game Nov. 3 at Camp Walker’s Kelly Field.

Saturday’s game

Osan American at Seoul American, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 27

Osan American vs. Taegu American at Kelly Field, Camp Walker, 2 p.m.

End regular season

Okinawa

W L Pct. PF PA

Kadena 1 0 1.000 45 0

Kubasaki 0 1 .000 0 45

Friday, Oct. 19

Kubasaki vs. Kadena at McDonald Stadium, Risner Fitness & Sports Complex, Kadena Air Base, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 26

Kadena at Kubasaki, 7 p.m., if necessary

End regular season

Guam

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Father Duenas 6 1 .857 189 36

x-George Washington 5 2 .714 122 63

x-Simon Sanchez 5 2 .714 74 81

Guam High 3 4 .429 62 82

John F. Kennedy 2 5 .286 26 104

Southern 0 7 .000 44 151

x-clinched playoff berth

Friday, Oct. 19

Father Duenas at George Washington, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 20

Southern vs. Guam High at Blue Jacket Field, Naval Station “Big Navy,” 7 p.m.

Simon Sanchez at John F. Kennedy, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 27

Guam High vs. Father Duenas at George Washington High School, Mangilao, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 28

Southern vs. Simon Sanchez at Ramsey Field, John F. Kennedy H.S., Upper Tumon, 7 p.m.

John F. Kennedy at George Washington, 7 p.m.

The Top Ten

The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes' 2007 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 13, points and last week’s rating, as compiled by Dave Ornauer of Stars and Stripes sports. Ratings are based on teams' win-loss records, quality of wins, strength of roster, schedule and leagues, point differential and team and individual statistics. Maximum rating is 500 points:

Record Pts Pvs

1. Yokota (Japan) 7-0 476 1

2. Seoul American 4-0 468 2

3. Father Duenas (Guam) 6-1 464 3

4. Kadena (Okinawa) 1-0 448 6

5. George Washington (Guam) 5-2 440 4

6. Robert D. Edgren (Japan) 4-2 432 5

7. Simon Sanchez (Guam) 5-2 424 7

8. Taegu American (S. Korea) 2-2 412 9

9. Guam High 3-4 396 8

10. Kubasaki (Okinawa) 0-2 364 10

Week 8 outlook

Friday, Oct. 19

Japan—Yokota 16, Edgren 12; Zama 14, American School In Japan 11.

Okinawa—Kadena 22, Kubasaki 8.

Guam—Father Duenas 20, George Washington 15.

Saturday

South Korea—Seoul American 18, Osan American 13.

Guam—Guam High 17, Southern 10; Simon Sanchez 19, John F. Kennedy 9.

Last week—6-1, .857.

Season—34-8, .810.

Week 7 grid honors

Yokota—Anthony McNeill 247 all-purpose yards, 3 touchdowns (199 yards, 3 touchdowns; 27 yards, 2 receptions; 21 yards, 1 return). Tony Presnell 144 all-purpose yards, 2 touchdowns (76 yards, 2 touchdowns, 9 carries; 68 yards, 2 returns).

Nile C. Kinnick—Chad Atchley 102 yards total offense, 2 touchdowns (5-for-7, 80 yards, 2 touchdown passes; 22 yards, 6 carries). T.J. Jones 10 tackles, 16-yard touchdown catch.

Kadena—Ernest Carr 194 yards, 3 touchdowns, 24 carries. Roosevelt Payne 118 yards offense, 1 touchdown (39 yards, 13 carries; 69-yard touchdown catch). Vince Coronado 6 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception return touchdown. Stanley Schrock 2 interceptions.

Taegu American—Trey Griffin 6-for-12, 157 yards, 1 touchdown. Brandon Spencer 102 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 catches. Daniel Garcia 5 tackles for negative yards, 2-point conversion catch, 1 blocked punt.

author picture
Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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