Pacific H.S. football: Big plays boost Yokota to win over Zama
Yokota’s route to a record 40th straight Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools football victory was anything but easy.
Zama American outrushed the Panthers 345-265 and ran 71 plays to Yokota’s 47. But Yokota forced six turnovers and recorded two sacks, one for a safety, and Rainey Daley ran for two touchdowns and had 175 total yards in the Panthers’ 28-12 win Friday at Yokota’s Bonk Field.
"They have a good team," Yokota coach Tim Pujol said of Zama, which outscored the Panthers 12-0 in the third quarter, fueled by two turnovers. "That third quarter was ugly for us. Pretty sloppy. We hurt ourselves with turnovers and penalties. Definitely a lot to work on."
Elsewhere, three-time Class A champion Robert D. Edgren rebounded from a 40-24 loss at Zama to rout Nile C. Kinnick 51-0 behind three Ja’Maal Dennis touchdowns.
On Okinawa, 2007 Class AA champion Kadena got two rushing TDs each from Shariff Coleman and Thomas McDonald to win its 11th straight Okinawa Activities Council game over Kubasaki 27-10 in the first game played at Ryukyu Middle School stadium.
JapanYokota 28, Zama American 12: At Yokota Air Base, the Panthers lost four fumbles and an interception and were penalized seven times for 53 yards, four of which halted drives. Two big plays were largely responsible for Yokota keeping Zama at arm’s length:
-- With Yokota backed up to its 3-yard line on third-and-30 in the second quarter, Bradley Forbes took a handoff on a trap play, somehow found his way through a wall of defenders and raced 97 yards for a TD.
After Zama crept within 22-12 late in the third quarter, Daley took a handoff on another trap play and blistered his way almost untouched to the end zone.
"They were great plays," Pujol said.
He also got help from a defense that bent but didn’t break, stopping the Trojans in Yokota’s red zone on downs three times and on turnovers four other times.
"Missed opportunities," said coach Steven Merrell, whose Trojans were missing two-way star Michael Spencer and lost several others along the way. "We can’t blame it on that. We have to learn to take advantage of those opportunities. And we have to quit giving up big plays."
D.J. Ward, who ran for 83 yards on 10 carries, broke the shutout with a 9-yard run and Mike Jorgenson sneaked in from 3 yards out to make it 22-12. Ashton Norwood had 206 yards on 30 carries.
Yokota also got a safety from defensive end Kevin Eckert and a 25-yard touchdown pass from DeEric Harvin to Paul Floyd. Forbes had 104 yards on three carries and Harvin, nursing a sore ankle, was 8-for-13 for 86 yards. Eckert had two sacks and Jake Jackson a recovery and a sack.
Robert D. Edgren 51, Nile C. Kinnick 0: At Misawa Air Base, Dennis ran 21 times for 230 yards, including a 95-yard touchdown run. Cheston Nurial-Dacalio had 110 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and Zach Davis passed for a touchdown and ran for another.
"My kids worked pretty hard," Eagles coach Chris Waite said. "We have a lot of hard work still ahead of us."
Matt Delapaz ran back an interception 65 yards for a touchdown and John Benavidez ran 25 yards for a score. Davis finished 3-for-5 for 80 yards, hitting Matt Linder for a 40-yard touchdown strike, and running 70 yards for another.
OkinawaKadena 27, Kubasaki 10: At Kadena Air Base, the Panthers didn’t have it any easier than their Yokota counterparts, trailing 10-7 to the Dragons for the first time since the 2006 season before scoring the last 20 points.
Kubasaki "showed us some things we hadn’t prepared for," and the Panthers hurt themselves with three first-half fumbles, Panthers coach Sergio Mendoza said. "But we cleaned up our act. … (Kubasaki) gave us a lot of things to prepare for."
Coleman ran for touchdowns of 5 and 19 yards, finishing with 71 yards on 12 carries. McDonald had 10 carries for 60 yards, running for TDs of 3 and 4 yards.
Dragons quarterback A.J. Watson had 124 yards total offense, going 3-for-7 for 82 yards, including a 62-yard TD strike to Jalah Patton. Mikael Barge added 30 yards on nine carries in his final Kubasaki game before he transfers.