OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea – It might not have been as lopsided as some expected. But in the end, the visiting Kubasaki Dragons still kept Osan winless on the year with a convincing victory Saturday.
Jarrett Mitchell ran 12 times for 158 yards and three touchdowns, while Tyler Smith went a perfect 8-for-8 for 205 yards and two scores and Tyshon Butler had 13 tackles and 115 yards on four attempts as Kubasaki outlasted Osan 53-20.
“We were in a tussle,” said coach Fred Bales, whose Dragons improved to 4-1 overall. “They (Osan) played hard. They had nice execution. They came to play, they came to defend their turf. They played with class and determination.”
The win, coupled with Kadena’s 41-0 shutout at Daegu High, gave Okinawa a season-series sweep of its DODDS Korea opponents for a fourth straight season. The last time a Korea team beat Okinawa was Seoul American’s 22-21 Far East Division I title-game victory in November 2008.
Aaron Stravers added 48 yards on five carries plus 11 tackles, and Sho Green had 11 tackles for Kubasaki. D.J. Alderman defended three passes and had nine tackles. Kareem Key had three catches for 81 yards, Ryan Burnette 87 yards and two touchdowns on three catches and an 82-yard fumble-return touchdown.
The defeat spoiled a solid performance by Ibrahim Mustafa of Osan; he returned an interception 86 yards for a touchdown and caught a 3-yard pass for a score. Tim Ampa caught a 17-yard TD pass and rushed 14 times for 134 yards and T.J. Buscano had 49 yards on 15 tries for the Cougars (0-5).
“Kubasaki has a big, strong team,” Cougars coach Duke Allen said. “They had some big plays. We don’t have the size to match up with that. But we kept fighting. Our guys didn’t go down without a fight.”
Kubasaki next hosts Nile C. Kinnick in a Division I battle at 6 p.m. Saturday. Osan entertains Daegu in a DODDS Korea D-II showdown at 7 p.m. Friday.