CAMP WALKER, South Korea – One of the things preoccupying Kadena coach Sergio Mendoza’s thinking heading into Saturday’s game against Daegu was containing junior running back Ronald McLean, who came into the game with 618 yards on 84 carries.
So the Panthers coaching staff designed a lockdown strategy on McLean that worked. Kadena held him to 21 yards on 14 carries, while Justin Sego, Dionte Lora and Maverick Giron each scored twice to boost the Panthers past the Warriors 41-0 at Camp Walker’s Kelly Field.
“That kid’s an athlete,” said Mendoza, whose Panthers (3-1), coupled with Kubasaki’s 53-20 win at Osan American, helped Okinawa sweep the season series with its DODDS Korea foes for the fourth straight season.
Unlike the Panthers’ 14-7 loss a week earlier at Kubasaki, played in howling winds and rain, “we were able to get our team on better footing,” Mendoza said. “We didn’t give up the ball, we controlled the ball and did what we wanted to do.”
Mendoza is “an absolutely fantastic coach,” Daegu defensive coordinator Luke Spencer said. “He prepares his kids well, prepares them to play, week in and week out. They hit hard and they attack well.”
Sego ran for touchdowns of 90 and 25 yards. Lora returned an interception for a touchdown and scored on a 20-yard run. And quarterback Giron sneaked for TDs of 1 and 5 yards.
Tim O’Houlahan took his turn as Daegu’s leading ball carrier, running nine times for 42 yards. The Warriors (1-5 overall) experimented in the second half with freshman Torian James at quarterback. He went 2-for-5 for 50 yards.