Mortified after their 18-14 regular-season finale loss at Kadena five days earlier, Joint Task Force went to the air to avenge that defeat and reach the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League South Division title game.

Mike Geddie tossed two touchdown passes to Joseph Huewitt and another to Chris Speed and the Wolfpack forced two second-half turnovers to keep the Dragons at bay in a 26-12 victory Thursday at Camp McTureous.

Coach Darell Keith credited “practice” for the turnaround from Saturday.

“We actually practiced, came together, reassessed,” Keith said. “We had gotten away from what got us here. We went back to the basics, stopped trying to make the big play. I was very impressed with the Air Force gameplan. I don’t think we’re the better team than they, but we just wanted it more.”

The two teams exchanged touchdowns before the Wolfpack scored 12 unanswered points to ice the contest.

Huewitt snagged a 24-yard touchdown catch with 1 minute left in the first quarter; Kadena responded with Tim Lawson’s 17-yard scoring run 9:39 before halftime.

Chris Speed gave JTF a 14-6 lead with a 38-yard scoring catch, but Curtis Armstrong answered promptly with a 1-yard TD run, set up by a 51-yard pass from Xian Goldbolt to Eric Liranzo.

Huewitt’s 25-yard touchdown catch 15 seconds before halftime was the straw that broke the Dragons’ backs. Darrell Miller’s 2-yard TD run with 2:39 left in the third quarter provided insurance.

Miller had 61 yards on 13 carries. Geddie was 4-for-13 for 113 yards and ran 15 times for 53. Huewitt had three catches for 75 yards. Kentrell McCoy had a sack and a fumble recovery for JTF.

Goldbolt was 6-for-12 for 90 yards and also had an interception from the strong safety spot. Emanuel Griffin ran 16 times for 74 yards. Liranzo had 116 all-purpose yards.

Hospital cagers make history, reach first Far East Regional final

In what’s already been a history-making week, U.S. Naval Hospital Camp Lester of Okinawa reached the final of a Marine Corps Far East Regional sports tournament for the first time since they began playing in them 18 years ago.

Robert Weaver’s 21 points paced the Corpsmen past 3rd Marine Division/III Marine Expeditionary Force 70-65 in Thursday’s semifinal at Foster Field House. Brandon Smith had 12 points and Jacori Zephyr added 10. Division beat Hospital 74-65 in pool play one day earlier.

Until beating Marine Corps Base 79-77 on Tuesday, Hospital had never won one Far East Regional Basketball Tournament game in 133 tries in 18 years.

Hospital faced 3rd Marine Logistics Group in Friday’s championship. 3rd MLG dethroned three-time champion 1st Marine Aircraft Wing 66-62 in Thursday’s other semifinal.

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