Outlaws complete season-series sweep of Dragons; Stingray win
By STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 28, 2018
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Mark Gregory scored in the closing seconds, taking advantage of a late turnover and leading Hansen to the U.S. Forces Japan-American Football League regular-season championship, beating the defending champion Okinawa Dragons 14-7.
The Outlaws improved to 5-0 and dropped the Giants to 3-2 with one game left in the regular season. In Saturday’s other game, Ryukyu University improved to 2-3 with its second win of the season over Kinser, beating the winless Kings 20-12.
Hansen plays the Stingray and the Giants face Kinser in the final regular-season week next Saturday.
Hansen 14, Dragons 7: Aaron Walker forced a fumble with a strip sack that was recovered by Rafael Shinholster deep in Dragons territory with 45 seconds left. Gregory punched the ball into the end zone from the 1-yard line with 11 seconds left to win it for Hansen.
“We are happy to be the regular-season champions,” coach Dean McCown Sr. said, “but we are not satisfied. We must take it one game at a time and if we do that, then we will be in the championship game.”
Hansen got on the board first on a 3-yard pass from Aaron Ingram to Nick Jackson. Donivin Beasley caught a 90-yard touchdown pass for the Dragons to tie the score.
“This game came down to who made the bigger mistake and it was us,” Dragons coach Jermaine Baker said. The Dragons lost at Hansen 14-12 in Game 3. “I’m not used to losing two games in a season and have never lost three, especially to the same team.”
Ryudai 20, Kinser 12: Kazuki Nakashima returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown and Taichi Anpo and Naoki Yoshimoto each caught short touchdown passes to boost the Stingray to their second win of the season over the Kings.
Andre Walker caught a short touchdown pass from Matthew Verdick, who ran 41 yards for a touchdown to keep the Kings in the contest but setting up Nakashima’s late heroics.