MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – Whether on offense or defense, Nile C. Kinnick’s Dustin Kimberll showed Friday much of the promise he brought when he transferred to Yokosuka Naval Base from North Carolina.

The junior ran for 254 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and had two interceptions, including a pick-six for the game-winning TD with just under five minutes left, as the Red Devils rallied from a touchdown down to beat Robert D. Edgren, 27-20, at Eagles Field.

“Kimberll was a giant tonight, absolutely,” coach Dan Joley said after his Red Devils won their second straight game after opening with three straight losses.

“I think we’re clicking,” said Joley, Kinnick’s first-year coach, who transferred to Kinnick from Indiana. “Offense and defense. I like what’s going on. I like the fact that we’re becoming a team, a family.”

Kinnick and Edgren (0-5) came out of the blocks trading touchdowns early – “The score doesn’t reflect it,” Joley said.

Sean Gammel helped put Edgren on top 20-13 in the third quarter with a pair of touchdown passes to James Ervin, one of 64 yards and the other of 3. Julian Crawford added a 7-yard touchdown run.

But on a Kinnick punt, Ervin caught the ball and started to return it when the ball was stripped and recovered by Kinnick’s David Sledge.

Eagles coach Michael Gros and his staff argued the ball went out of bounds; the referees ruled that a Kinnick player kept the ball alive by batting it back onto the field.

Jarae Ward capitalized with an 8-yard run that brought Kinnick to within 20-19, setting the stage for Kimberll’s game-winning interception-return touchdown.

Thomas Hollingshead had 11 tackles, including 3½ sacks, for the Red Devils. For the Eagles, Gammel finished 5-for-9 passing for 106 yards, Ervin had five catches for 101 yards, Xavier Major rushed 16 times for 55 yards, Lewis Murphy had an interception and Jack Koch and Nathan Cunniffe each had two sacks.

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