Kadena edges Foster-Futenma, finishes OFL regular season undefeated
November 29, 2004
CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa — A pair of Robinsons struck the right offensive note when it counted in a defensive struggle that many observers called the Okinawa Football League’s “Game of the Year” on Saturday.
Paul Robinson tossed a 16-yard touchdown pass to John Robinson with 11:05 left, rallying the unbeaten regular season champion Kadena Dragons past the Foster-Futenma Bulldogs 8-3.
Kadena finished the regular season 8-0. Foster-Futenma entered the game having been forced to forfeit five of its six victories for using an ineligible player.
Meanwhile, the Schwab Panthers (5-3) sewed up second place and knocked the Kinser Knights (4-4) into fourth with a 50-8 victory.
Kadena 8, Foster-Futenma 3
Though Foster-Futenma was playing for pride after forfeiting the five victories, Kadena coach Will Cupp knew all too well that the Bulldogs’ defense had allowed a league-low 32 points entering Saturday’s game.
And the Bulldogs played like it, forcing four turnovers and getting three sacks and holding the Dragons to 136 yards on 57 plays, 67 of them coming on Kadena’s lone touchdown drive. The Dragons hurt themselves with 20 penalties for 139 yards.
“Foster-Futenma has by far given us the best game we played all season,” Cupp said.
“They appeared to be the hungrier team. We weren’t running our offense at optimum level. With no playoff implications for us, we didn’t want to get anybody hurt. But that’s no excuse for the turnovers, the penalties and poor execution.”
Kadena came out firing early, with Brandon Chatman’s fumble recovery sparking a drive to Foster-Futenma’s 5-yard line, but Chris McDougal sacked Paul Robinson on fourth down to squelch the threat. The Dragons turned the ball over on first down on their next three possessions.
Jimmy Hill’s fumble recovery set up the Bulldogs’ lone score, a 25-yard field goal by David Carroll 53 seconds into the second quarter.
O’Neal Brown intercepted off two passes and Tim Grant had two sacks to pace the Bulldogs’ defense. Chatman had a sack for Kadena, which forced six takeaways and had two sacks. The Dragons held the Bulldogs to 120 yards.
Kadena broke through early in the fourth quarter. From the Dragons’ 33-yard line, league leading rusher Trent Beavers rushed for 14 of his season-low 17 yards, and Paul Robinson gained 12 on a keeper and threw to Chris Clarke for 26 to the Bulldogs’ 15.
Three plays later, on fourth-and-11, out of a wishbone set, Paul Robinson dropped back and found John Robinson streaking into the right corner of the end zone — a play Foster-Futenma coach Lee Mew said he’d anticipated.
“They weren’t going to run it with 11 yards to go,” Mew said. “I knew it was coming. Good call, good play, good route, good throw.”
Mew still hopes the decision to forfeit the games can be overturned in time for the start of the league playoffs Sunday; he filed an appeal through his base command, which he says is talking to Marine Corps Community Services officials about it.
“It’s not over,” Mew said. “It’s very disappointing to have five games taken away from you. It’s hard to concentrate and focus. Hopefully, MCCS will come to realize that they made a bad decision.”
Mike Walker of MCCS Semper Fit Athletics, which oversees the OFL, acknowledged that the appeal process continues, “but the decision will remain firm until we hear otherwise,” he said.
Paul Robinson was 7-for-18 for 111 yards and ran 11 times for 52. Warner Murphy paced the Bulldogs’ offense with 56 yards on 12 attempts.
Schwab 50, Kinser 8
Juventino Camarillo went 8-for-19 for 181 yards and four touchdowns and added a 5-yard TD sneak.
Kyle Spencer caught four passes for 45 yards and two TDs, Ronnie Hawkins racked up four of the Panthers’ seven sacks and Vincent Reeves had a sack, a fumble recovery and two pass interceptions.
The Panthers’ defense forced six takeaways and held the Knights to 39 yards on 53 plays. Micorda Randall and Yean Diaz each rushed for touchdowns and David Burnell had a 21-yard TD catch.
New Knights starting quarterback Samuel Cruz was 11-for-32 for 131 yards, including a 23-yard scoring pass to Albert Marquez, but had four passes intercepted. Jesse Monk added a safety for Kinser.
Okinawa Football League
(listed in order of playoff tiebreaker seeding)
W L Pct. PF PA
y-Kadena 8 0 1.000 332 42
y-Schwab 5 3 .625 157 137
y-Courtney-Hansen 4 3 .571 75 141
y-Kinser 4 4 .500 118 122
Ryukyu University 1 6 .143 1 255
x-Foster-Futenma 1 7 .125 67 14
x-forfeited five victories and six total games for using ineligible player.
y-clinched playoff berths.
Kadena 8, Foster-Futenma 3
Schwab 50, Kinser 8
Sunday, Nov. 28
Courtney-Hansen vs. Ryukyu University at Courtney Bowl, Camp Courtney
End regular season
Sunday, Dec. 5
Kinser vs. Kadena at Courtney Bowl, Camp Courtney, 1 p.m.
Schwab vs. Courtney-Hansen at Courtney Bowl, Camp Courtney, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 11
Semifinal winners at Mike Petty Stadium, Kubasaki High School, Camp Foster, 6 p.m.