Misawa Marauders rally, beat Yokosuka in OT
Revenge was sweet for the Misawa Marauders on Saturday.
Kevin Lowry ran 8 yards for a score in the first overtime series as Misawa rallied from a 6-0 fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the five-time defending U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League champion Yokosuka Seahawks 12-6.
In pouring rain, Misawa avenged its 18-12 loss in four overtimes to Yokosuka July 31, 2004, also at Ikego. And it also avenged its 22-0 defeat to the Seahawks on Sept. 11, in the USFJ-AFL title game at Yokosuka.
But more importantly in coach John Hemphill’s eyes, the Marauders answered a critical call, after losing 12-2 to league-leading Yokota on June 25.
“Every now and then, you need a test,” said Hemphill, whose team improved to 2-1.
“They stepped up like men today. I’m proud of them.”
The Marauders stayed within a game of the league-leading Yokota Warriors, whose offensive line carried the day as they equalled their 4-0 start of a year ago.
In another game played in torrential rain at Reid Memorial Stadium, the Warriors slogged past the Atsugi White Dolphins 27-0. Atsugi fell to 0-4 with its 11th straight loss dating back to last season.
Misawa 12, Yokosuka 6 (OT)Misawa prevailed in a game at Ikego Heights Naval Housing Facility that appeared headed into overtime scoreless.
Neither team got on the board until early in the fourth quarter, when Yokosuka quarterback Alvin Johnson found receiver Curtis White in the end zone from 12 yards out. Misawa responded on Shandon Lane’s 12-yard game-tying TD scamper, setting up overtime.
Hemphill praised the work of his team’s defense, which brought just six starters and “converted a lot of people into new positions” during a practice Friday.
“It was a worry” entering the contest, he said, “but they played a typically strong Marauders defense.”
“This could have gone either way,” said Yokosuka coach James Lomax, noting that injuries to six Seahawks players didn’t help their cause. “Misawa brought the heat when it needed to. Somebody had to win, somebody had to lose.”
Yokota 27, Atsugi 0After an early defensive struggle at Atsugi Naval Air Facility, Japan, “the offensive line got it together in the second quarter and we ran it at will after that,” Yokota assistant coach John Wilson said of a team that ground out 209 yards on 39 carries.
Mardie Wilson ran six times for 94 yards, including touchdown runs of 45 and 30 yards in the third quarter. Jacob Dowdell went 6-for-15 for 39 yards, including a 5-yard TD pass to Patrick Piazza.
None of the offensive lineman “had ever played football before” the current season, Dowdell said. “There’s been a steep learning curve. And they’ve stepped it up.”
Defense and special teams also contributed greatly. Jarrick Nunn recorded four sacks, Anthony Thomas added two and Raymond Norris one. Corey Fields intercepted an Atsugi pass and returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown.
W L Pct. PF PA
Yokota 3 0 1.000 63 15
Misawa 2 1 .667 42 18
Yokosuka 1 1 .500 12 14
Atsugi 0 4 .000 15 85
Yokota 27, Atsugi 0
Misawa 12, Yokosuka 6, OT
Saturday, July 16
Yokosuka vs. Yokota at Ikego Heights Naval Housing Facility, 6 p.m.