Interservice football: Long trip worth it for Dragons
They only brought 18 players and traveled two days via military aircraft, and bused some 1,300 miles, just to get to Misawa Air Base.
Thanks in part to Emanual Griffin’s two rushing touchdowns, the trip was worth it for the Kadena Dragons.
Griffin ran for touchdowns of 35 and 7 yards as Kadena downed the Misawa Jets 24-14 on Sunday at Misawa’s Hillside Stadium in the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League season opener for both teams.
Misawa has gone 1-6 since winning the 2008 league title.
Griffin played for Kadena’s 2004 and ‘05 championship teams in the old Okinawa Football League.
"Good trip," Kadena coach Will Cupp said. "We played really well with the 18 that we brought. Lucky we didn’t have any more injuries than we had."
Jason Wynn added a 1-yard scoring run and Christopher Ross returned a fumble 40 yards to complete Kadena’s scoring.
The verdict spoiled the head-coaching debut of the Jets’ Ben Mathe.
"They came in shorthanded and beat us straight up," Mathe said, adding that penalties and turnovers combined to hurt the Jets.
Darone Frierson hit Benjamin Valenzuela with an 80-yard touchdown pass and Ty Mills returned a blocked field goal 30 yards for a touchdown to account for Misawa’s points.