Stars and Stripes

Eddie Hamilton plunged in from a yard out, Michael Geddie added the two-point try, and Joseph Huewitt intercepted a Misawa pass in the final minute as Joint Task Force rallied for a 26-24 win over Misawa on Friday at Kadena Air Base’s Ryukyu Middle School.

The Wolfpack (2-0) moved a half-game ahead of defending champion Foster (2-1), which visited Yokota on Saturday. Misawa (0-3) led 18-6 at one point, but remained winless and in the North Division basement.

Joint Task Force survived the fight of its life, coach Darell Keith said.

“They’re awesome,” Keith said of the Jets, who brought less than 20 players and was outsized by the Wolfpack. He called coach Ben Mathe “a stud, and his team is a class act.”

“Tough loss, again,” said Mathe, whose Jets have been outscored 56-38 in the three losses. “Misawa played its game. We just came up short.”

It was a battle of Joint Task Force’s ground game against the Jets’ high, wide passing game.

Hamilton ground out 70 yards on 10 carries, including three short TD runs. Joshua Powell chipped in with a 1-yard scoring run, and Kent Onuoha, Chris Speed and Huewitt each picked off passes. Speed’s resulted in a long runback that set up the winning TD and two-pointer.

Darone Frierson answered by throwing all four of Misawa’s touchdowns. Ricky Gennie caught three of them and Justin Hampton the other.

“To lose on a last-second touchdown is more than I expected,” Mathe said.

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