SINGAPORE – Kubasaki’s historic school-first trip for a football game at Singapore was like a homecoming of sorts for Dragons coach Fred Bales. And a happy one at that.
Cristian Rivera tossed three touchdown passes, including a pair to Brandon Crawford, and Deon Lewis ran for a touchdown and caught a TD pass as the Dragons scored 34 unanswered points to batter the Singapore Falcons All-Stars 34-8 Saturday at Singapore American School’s Eagles Field sports complex.
“Awesome. Unbelievable,” said Bales, who coached for 23 seasons at Balboa High School in Panama, which he says compares favorably with Singapore’s sultry, tropical ambience. “I felt like I was standing back at the stadium at Balboa back in the day.”
While the score appeared one-sided, Kubasaki of Okinawa, whose five victories have all come against off-island teams, needed a quarter to get its game in gear. Hayes Kimball got the Falcons going with a 4-yard scoring run and Nate Harris tacked on the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Singapore got the ball back on a turnover, but failed to capitalize. The Dragons took over at their 1-yard line, almost lost it in the end zone, then staged the first of its five scoring drives.
“Singapore came out and bashed us in the mouth. We barely hung on by our fingernails” at the 1-yard line, Bales said. “But we got ourselves together and played well.”
Rivera passed to Crawford for touchdowns of 25 and 50 yards and 22 yards to Lewis, who also scored on a 20-yard sweep. Jalah Patten capped the scoring with a 50-yard run and also intercepted a pass. Tyler Smith recovered a fumble.
Not being able to cash in a second time after the turnover “took the wind out of our sails,” said Roy Tomlinson, coach of the All-Stars, comprised of players from the Singapore American Football League’s four teams.
Kubasaki made “so many athletically gifted plays that we didn’t have an answer for,” Tomlinson said. “They were just too much for us.”
For his part, Bales hopes this is the start of a long home-and-home relationship with Singapore football. “We’d be honored if we can host them next year,” he said.