Subscribe

CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — Greg Powell sure knows how to make an exit.

The Yokota Raiders’ veteran linebacker/fullback set up the game-winning score with 25 yards on four carries in the waning minutes, and Henry Freeman caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Yokota’s 8-0 victory over the Futenma Falcons on Thursday.

It was Powell’s last game in the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League. For five seasons, he’s been one of the pillars of a Raiders team that reached the league’s title game three years ago. Powell transfers to Kunsan Air Base, Korea’s 8th Security Forces Squadron, on Aug. 29.

“I just wanted to go out with a bang,” said the 36-year-old master sergeant from White Springs, Fla., who rushed for a game-high 39 yards on eight carries and recorded two sacks.

“This was my last game. I didn’t want to not leave it all on the field.”

Yokota (2-4) went 1-1 on an Okinawa road trip on which it dressed 15 players for Tuesday’s 10-0 loss to Courtney-Hansen and just 14 Thursday.

“This makes it all worth it,” Powell said of a road trip interrupted repeatedly by flight and game postponements caused by Typhoon Etau.

“It makes it sweet. Both of these were tough games.”

Powell helped ensure the road split after Yokota took possession with 1:52 left and the ball at the Raiders’ 37.

“He set it up,” Falcons linebacker Al Wilson said of Powell’s four carries, which pushed the ball to the Falcons’ 3-yard line. “He’s a go-getter. He’s one who will give you his last, even if his tank is empty. He’s no quitter.”

“He was the heart of the team,” added Yokota interim coach Jason Wolff. “He’s been the heart of this team all year.”

After Powell’s key runs, on third-and-goal from the Futenma 3, quarterback Dwayne Stephens found Freeman open at the front corner of the end zone. James Pringle added a two-point conversion with 45 seconds left.

The teams combined for 172 yards.

Stephens gained 133 all-purpose yards and added an interception from the safety spot. Freeman finished with 83 yards on four catches.

Left defensive end Cedric Smith added a pair of sacks and blocked a 42-yard field-goal try by Donald Hollamon, Futenma’s closest shot at scoring.

Nick Lee was Futenma’s lone bright spot, catching two passes for 38 yards and intercepting a Stephens pass.

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.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now