YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Donovan Nance retrieved the opening kickoff at his own 14. The Zama American Trojans senior speedster zigged to his right — and was met head-on by the newest member of the Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils, senior Adam Krievs, who planted Nance solidly into the turf.

It was one of 14 tackles for Krievs, who helped lead the Red Devils to a 20-6 victory over Zama in the Japan Football League/Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools season opener Friday.

Krievs, who transferred to Kinnick from Matthew C. Perry at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, which shut down its program last week, says the best may be yet to come for him.

“I could do better,” said Krievs, who enrolled at Kinnick on Thursday but had the required 10 practices while at Perry before the team suspended operations. “I just got here two days ago, trying to get used to the area. I know I can do better.”

Krievs called his decision to move from Iwakuni to Yokosuka (he has an uncle stationed here) a “difficult one. I had a lot of things going for me at Iwakuni. But I had to make a choice. I love to play football.”

The 14 tackles Friday were by far the most on the team, and his teammates and coaches were appreciative.

“He’s incredible,” said senior back Leonard Lynce, who ran for a pair of touchdowns and had 131 all-purpose yards. “He adds so much depth, intensity and tenacity. He makes us play a whole lot better.”

“He makes me look like a heckuva defensive coordinator,” Kinnick assistant coach Matt Martinez added. “He has great feet and a nose for the ball.”

Krievs’ and Lynce’s performances highlighted an otherwise lackluster opener, in which the teams combined for 15 penalties for 157 yards and seven turnovers. Kinnick outgained Zama 173-117.

Jarvis Williams got Kinnick on the board with an 18-yard TD run on the Red Devils’ first possession. Lynce scored early in the second and third quarters, on runs of 5 and 43 yards.

“I’m happy because we got the win,” Lynce said. “But we could have played a lot better. We had missed assignments, missed alignments, silly penalties. But all that is fixable.”

Nance got off the deck to give Zama its only points on a 24-yard fourth-quarter pass from freshman Quentin Howard. Nance had 121 all-purpose yards.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Zama’s third-year coach Ron Geist. “We didn’t control the line of scrimmage the way I thought we would, and that was the difference in the ballgame.”

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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