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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — New season, same old story, as Seoul American extended its 17-game winning streak, thanks to the arm and legs of Bruce Voelker.

The junior quarterback ran for a touchdown and passed for another, and Leo Pacheco returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown as the Falcons began the Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Korea season by shutting out Osan American 20-0 Saturday in a muddy, sloppy game at Yongsan Garrison.

Seoul American coach Julian Harden said his team was helped by a handful of breaks and penalties that deflated the Cougars’ chances.

“Osan was in the thick of it,” Harden said. “It could have gone the other way. The breaks went in our favor. Osan didn’t give up. [Coach] Tony [Alvarado] did a good job getting them ready to play.”

“It was a hard-fought game,” Alvarado said. “They just had a couple of big plays. They’re very good about getting those. My kids are young and inexperienced, it takes them awhile to get the jitters out and by that time, the game’s over.”

The Falcons went ahead for good on the opening kickoff, which Pacheco returned 90 yards for a score.

Voelker made it 12-0 with a 37-yard TD pass to Phillippe Anglade early in the second quarter, then finished the scoring with a 10-yard burst with 7:23 left in the third quarter.

A field that was already muddy thanks to driving pregame rain bogged down even further in the second half, and as players tired, penalty flags flew repeatedly and the ball became difficult to control, Harden said.

“Both sides had to do ironman in the second half,” Harden said. “The endurance was not there. I’m happy with the way we played, [but] we need a lot of work to cut down on penalties.”

Kris Stadler paced the Falcons with 91 yards on 13 carries and six solo tackles. Scott Tunis added five solos tackles and two assists. Voelker went 6-for-10 for 99 yards passing. The Falcons’ defense forced three fumbles.

The teams meet again on Oct. 16. The Falcons beat the Cougars by an average of 44 points in 2001 and ’02, but by just 20.3 the last three times they’ve played.

“We have one more shot,” Alvarado said. “We’re past the point where we’re not getting blown out. Now, we have to go get that ‘W.’ ”

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