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One coach went so far as to refer to the weekend’s Pacific high school football slate as “seminal.”

For at least three teams, that might be the case:

Taegu American, winless in nine tries against Osan American, will try to end the skid that dates to a 26-10 victory over the Cougars in 2002. The Warriors host Osan at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Guam High, 1-9 against a Father Duenas Memorial team that’s outscored the Panthers 450-55, tries for its second-straight victory over the Friars and for a school-first two straight regular-season wins. The game is 7 p.m. Saturday at Naval Station.

And Zama American seeks its first back-to-back regular-season victories since late in the 2004 season at American School In Japan at 7 p.m. Friday. Zama went a combined 1-14 in 2005 and 2006.

“This is a huge weekend, in particular for us at Taegu,” Osan’s fifth-year head coach Tony Alvarado said. “This is a huge one. This is not just another run-of-the-mill battle. This is new territory we’re covering. There’s just something different about this year.”

What’s different is the shoe being on the other foot. Osan is the team with 33 underclassmen among the 37 players who tried out, while Taegu oozes experience, particularly among its skill-position players.

And unlike years past, when school spirit seemed absent from the Taegu American community, “confidence, intensity and spirit” abound at the school, Alvarado said.

He credits the Warriors’ Far East Class A tournament championships in girls soccer, volleyball and basketball since 2005 for that.

“There’s a huge turnaround taking place at that school, and it’s bleeding over into every sport,” Alvarado said. “That is very evident.”

First-year Warriors coach Ken Walter also senses a change among his charges, mainly seniors who have gone their entire Taegu careers without a victory.

“They have a swagger this year. They expect to win every game,” said Walter, adding that some of his players cried openly after losing to four-time league champion Seoul American 19-12 last Friday.

“They were heartbroken last week. It’s a different atmosphere. This is a big game for us. We need to win to keep that confidence going. But Tony’s a good coach. He’s going to have his kids ready.”

Just as Taegu beating Osan would put the Warriors in the driver’s seat for rights to host the Class A championship on Nov. 3, so, too, would Guam High topping Father Duenas make the Panthers “for real,” said Guam High coach Brandon Miller.

“Beating them would solidify us as the best football team on the island,” Miller said of Saturday’s contest at Naval Station’s Blue Jacket Field.

“It’s easier said than done,” said Miller, whose Panthers’ only victory over the Friars was last season’s 14-7 victory in the season opener. “This one is even more special. The other eight or nine years, they had a team at Guam High. Now, they have a program.”

A program is what first-year Zama coach Steve Merrell is trying to help build. The Trojans won just once, 7-6 over Robert D. Edgren, the last two seasons, then dropped their first two games this season before holding on to top Edgren 20-19 last Friday.

“Every week, we’ve made progress, and we validated that by the victory,” he said. “We’re headed in the right direction and the victory shows progress is happening. We want to continue that progress.”

H.S. football standings and schedules

Japan

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 3 0 1.000 107 26

Robert D. Edgren 1 1 .500 39 27

Nile C. Kinnick 1 2 .333 50 68

Zama American 1 2 .000 59 105

Amer. School In Japan 0 1 .000 0 29

Friday, Sept. 21

Zama American at ASIJ, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 22

Yokota at Edgren, 1 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 28

Yokota at Zama American, 7 p.m.

Edgren at Kinnick, 7 p.m.

Guam

W L Pct. PF PA

Father Duenas 3 0 1.000 69 6

Simon Sanchez 3 0 1.000 49 26

Guam High 2 1 .667 49 22

George Washington 1 2 .333 32 45

Southern 0 3 .000 12 56

John F. Kennedy 0 3 .000 8 64

Friday, Sept. 21

George Washington at J.F. Kennedy, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 22

Simon Sanchez at Southern, 10 a.m.

Father Duenas vs. Guam High at Blue Jacket Field, Naval Station “Big Navy,” 7 p.m.

The Top 10

The Top 10 teams in the Stars and Stripes’ 2007 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Sept. 10, points and last-week’s rating, as compiled by Dave Ornauer of Stars and Stripes sports. Ratings are based primarily on teams’ win-loss records, quality of wins, strength of overall roster, point differential, team and individual statistics, strength-of-schedule and strength of leagues. Maximum rating is 500 points:

Record Pts Pvs

1. Seoul American 2-0 460 1

2. Yokota 3-0 456 2

3. Father Duenas 3-0 448 3

4. Simon Sanchez 3-0 444 4

5. Kadena 0-0 424 6

(tie) Guam High 2-1 424 8

7. Edgren 1-1 412 7

8. George Washington 1-2 404 5

9. Kubasaki 0-0 400 10

10. Taegu American 0-1 392 9

Week 4 outlook

Friday

Japan-Zama American 17, American School In Japan 10.

South Korea-Taegu American 16, Osan American 15.

Guam-George Washington 18, John F. Kennedy 11.

Saturday

Japan-Yokota 21, Edgren 17.

Guam-Simon Sanchez 20, Southern 12; Father Duenas Memorial 22, Guam High 21.

Last week-5-1, .833.

Season-13-4, .765.

Week 3 grid honors

Yokota-Derick Seward 242 yards, 3 TDs, 8 carries.

Kinnick-Tyree Hunt 108 yards, 21 carries, 1 TD; 1 return TD.

Taegu American-Angel Hickman 75 yards, 2 touchdowns, 10 carries. Antonio Harris 70 yards, 12 carries; 10 tackles.

Seoul American-Daniel Burns (4-for-5, 59 yards, 2 touchdowns). Joe McLean 2 touchdown catches. Justin Stokes 10 tackles, 2 sacks. Demetrius Johnson 7 tackles, 2 forced fumbles.

Guam High-Paul Craimins 3-for-7, 80 yards, 1 touchdown. Ryan Ford 7 tackles, 2 sacks. DeAndre Weaver 80 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 catches.

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