MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Nile C. Kinnick managed to remain a game behind Yokota in the Japan Football League, but not before the young, surging Robert D. Edgren Eagles gave the Red Devils a major scare.

Adam Krievs caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from third-string quarterback Enrique Quevas with 50 seconds remaining as Kinnick (3-1) completed a comeback from a 20-12 second-half deficit to post a 28-20 victory at Eagles Field.

“They [Eagles] played a great game,” Kinnick offensive coordinator Jimmy Davis said, praising Edgren coach Jim Burgeson for doing “a wonderful job with 28 players, and 13 of them freshmen.”

The Eagles (2-2) came into Friday’s contest riding a two-game winning streak, their longest in three seasons.

Davis said that he could sense even during pregame warmups that Edgren would be a tough opponent.

“They kept talking about keeping up the intensity that helped them win their last two games,” Davis said. “They came out ready.”

Even Burgeson seemed surprised at the effort by his young charges, many of whom were playing out of position because of injuries.

“We had a lot of kids … just playing on heart,” Burgeson said.

In the past, whenever a superior team got off to a quick start, as Kinnick did on Andrew Brown’s 67-yard punt return, “our kids would fold,” Burgeson said. “The kids never gave up. They got a glimpse tonight that they can play with good teams.”

Jacques Moton fired the first warning shot, returning an interception 95 yards to help give Edgren an 8-6 lead at halftime.

The Devils surged in front on Jarvis Williams’ 16-yard TD run, only to watch the Eagles pull ahead 20-12 thanks to Woody Carter’s hook-and-lateral play that went 65 yards and Rickey Andersen’s 1-yard scoring run.

Williams rallied Kinnick — playing without star senior Lenny Lynce, who was held out of the lineup due to a “coach’s decision,” Davis said — with a 1-yard fourth-quarter scoring run and Quevas’ two-point conversion, setting the stage for Krievs’ game-winning score.

Krievs ran 24 times for 124 yards, Williams 19 for 104 and Cuevas was 2-for-3 for 33 yards.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now