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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The cheers in the moments after Kubasaki halted Yokota’s Pacific-record 51-game winning streak 18-14 last Saturday didn’t last long.

A grim reality quickly replaced the joy — next for the Dragons is Friday’s important conference home battle against Kadena, the defending district and Far East Class AA champion, which Kubasaki hasn’t beaten since the 2005 season.

"Kadena is the toughest team in the Pacific," Kubasaki assistant coach Jon Fick said. "We haven’t lost sight of that. We’re happy with the win, but we are by no means finished. We have a lot of work to do. We have to catch up to Kadena."

Elsewhere, American School In Japan takes its 2-0 record and best start since 2005 to face Yokota (3-1), and Edgren (2-2), loser of two straight, hopes to snap that skid at home against Zama American (0-3).

At Blue Jacket Field on Naval Station Guam, Guam High hosts defending Interscholastic Football League champion Father Duenas. All of Friday’s kickoffs are at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Daegu American hosts Seoul American at 6 p.m. at Camp Walker’s Kelly Field.

Kubasaki has been outscored 141-28 by the Panthers in its past five losses in the series.That alone should provide plenty of motivation for the Dragons to want to build on that Yokota victory by taking down the Pacific champions, Fick said.

"You would like to hope so," he said. "This is their rival. They want to beat them just like Kadena wants to beat us for the same reason."

And despite the victory over one of the Pacific’s most storied programs, the Dragons have "a lot of things to polish before Friday," particularly when fundamentals are concerned, Fick said.

"Blocking and tackling. Fundamentals is what we need to stress," Fick said. "It starts with line play. We have work to do on the lines."

Likewise, Kadena enters Friday’s clash with its own sense of urgency; the Panthers haven’t played a game since shutting out Kubasaki 13-0 in the Sept. 5 season opener and now must play the Dragons three straight Fridays.

"We had a three-week bye," coach Sergio Mendoza said.

With so much time between games, there were periods when "we had to find a way to keep the fire burning," Mendoza said. "We have to be focused on our individual commitments. If we can take care of that, then the rest falls into place."

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.
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