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On paper, Daegu American might seem to have all the advantages and the least pressure. It won 37-14 at home over Osan American on Sept. 25 for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three DODEA Korea series to see which team hosts the Far East Class A title game on Nov. 7.

But coach Ken Walter of the first-time DODEA Korea champion Warriors (5-0) thinks the opposite could be true heading into Game 2 on Saturday at Cougars Field — and that it might be imperative to win now, lock up host rights and deny Osan (1-3) any hope.

"I’ve had seasons like this before," Walter said Tuesday, four days before Saturday’s showdown. Kickoff is 2 p.m., with Daegu trying to wrap up its second Class A host bid in three years and Osan trying to send the series to a third game Oct. 30 at Camp Walker.

"The pressure builds. If Osan wins, they’d have the momentum. The whole season would be on the line (on Oct. 30). You could be Korea champions, but miss the playoffs. You’re 5-0, so you want to finish it off."

It leaves Osan, whose only win came Sept. 18 over Seoul American, with little to lose by leaving it all on the field. "If we can push it to a third game, that gives us a chance," coach Mike Miano said.

That’s easier said than done against a Warriors team that scored its school-first season sweep of Seoul American this season.

"I emphasize with the kids; we’re playing a 5-0 team. We’ve been the underdogs all season. They (Daegu) have a talented team, they’ve been free of significant injuries, a good coaching staff and the same offense for three years," Miano said.

While Daegu has thrived since Sept. 25, Osan, despite its losses, has made strides on both sides of the ball, even discovering a passing game in its 45-20 loss at Singapore on Oct. 10.

That was out of necessity, Miano said, after Osan lost running backs Paul Snead and Andrew Chestnutt to injury, forcing quarterback Jake Mattison to throw to targets such as Julian Johnson.

"We had no other backs who could carry the ball. The running game got taken away from us," Miano said. With Osan having had a week off, "hopefully, we can take the field halfway healthy on Saturday."

While not major, Daegu has had its share of dings and bruises, most of which Walter says he hopes are behind them. Star back Antoine "Flash" Feagin (hamstring) should be 100 percent and junior lineman Jerel Connie should also return after recovering from cyst-removal surgery.

Both coaches emphasized that little that’s happened before matters now, not even the one-sided outcome between the two teams last month. "The games in front of us are the most important," Miano said.

Elsewhere, the Guam Interscholastic Football League playoffs begin with second-place Guam High (5-1), after its best-ever regular season, hosting last-place Southern (0-6), a team the Panthers beat 27-0 last Saturday.

The first of three games the next two weeks to decide the Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools title takes place at 7 p.m. Friday when American School In Japan (5-2) visits Zama American (5-1). One or the other will become the first Kanto champion besides Yokota since 1998.

DODEA Japan

W L Pct. PF PA

a-Zama American 4 1 .800 138 92

Yokota 4 1 .800 165 64

Robert D. Edgren 2 3 .400 121 109

Nile C. Kinnick 0 5 .000 54 214

a-clinched berth in Far East Class A title game on Nov. 7 at Daegu or Osan American

Kanto Plain

W L Pct. PF PA

Zama American 3 1 .750 88 61

ASIJ 3 1 .750 146 31

Yokota 3 2 .600 131 105

Nile C. Kinnick 0 5 .000 60 238

Friday, Oct. 23

American School In Japan at Zama, 7 p.m.

Edgren at Yokota, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 30

ASIJ at Yokota, 7 p.m.

Zama at Kinnick, 7 p.m.

DODEA Korea

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Daegu American 4 0 1.000 84 48

Osan American 1 2 .333 36 51

Seoul American 1 4 .200 48 69

x-clinched 2009 DODEA Korea Football League title

Saturday, Oct. 24

Daegu at Osan, 2 p.m.

Korean club at Seoul American, 6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 30

Osan at Daegu, 6 p.m., if necessary

Okinawa Activities Council

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Kadena 3 0 1.000 120 10

Kubasaki 0 3 .000 10 120

x-clinched fourth straight Okinawa Activities Council regular-season championship, Far East Class AA playoff semifinal berth Nov. 9 vs. Yokota.

Friday, Oct. 23

Kadena at Kubasaki, 7 p.m.

Guam

Playoffs

Quarterfinals

Friday, Oct. 23

Game 1-Okkodo vs. Father Duenas at George Washington High School, Mangilao, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 24

Game 2-Southern at Guam High, 10 a.m.

Game 3-Simon Sanchez at John F. Kennedy, 3 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31

Semifinals

Game 4-Game 1 winner vs. George Washington, site and time TBD

Game 5-Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, site and time TBD

Week 9

The Top Ten

The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes’ 2009 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 17, points and last week’s rating, as compiled by Dave Ornauer of Stars and Stripes sports. Ratings are based on teams’ win-loss records, quality of wins, strength of roster, schedule and leagues, point differential and team and individual statistics. Maximum rating is 500 points:

Record Pts Pvs

1. Kadena, Okinawa 5-0 468 1

2. George Washington, Guam 6-0 460 2

3. Zama, Japan 5-1 452 3

(tie) ASIJ 5-2 452 4

5. Daegu, South Korea 5-0 448 5

6. Guam High 5-1 444 6

7. Father Duenas, Guam 4-2 428 8

8. Yokota, Japan 5-2 404 7

9. John F. Kennedy, Guam 3-3 372 9

10. Edgren, Japan 3-4 364 10

Week 8 grid honors

Kubasaki—A.J. Watson 172 yards total offense, 4 TDs (89 yards, 3 TDs 11 carries; 4-for-9, 83 yards, 1 TD). Ladarius Ball 122 yards, 1 TD, 12 carries.

Edgren—Zach Davis 111 yards total offense, 1 TD (11-for-20, 110 yards; 1 yard, 1 TD, 3 carries.

Zama—Michael Spencer 56 yards, 1 TD, 18 carries; 1 fumble recovery.

ASIJ—Alex Busam 210 all-purpose yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception (96-yard interception-return TD; 94 yards, 1 TD, 8 carries). Hayden Jardine 7-for-10, 134 yards, 2 TDs. Chris Kleindl 50 yards, 2 TDs, 2 catches; 1 interception. Thomas Jardine 160 all-purpose yards (58 yards, 3 catches; 102 yards, 2 returns). Ryan Christianson 74 all-purpose yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions (35 yards, 1 TD, 2 carries; 39 yards, 3 returns).

Kinnick—Elijah Gamble 192 all-purpose yards, 1 TD (140 yards, 1 TD, 26 carries; 50 yards, 2 returns; 2 yards, 1 catch).

Kadena—Shariff Coleman 168 all-purpose yards, 2 TDs (122 yards, 2 TDs, 19 carries; 46 yards, 2 returns). Thomas McDonald 132 all-purpose yards, 2 TDs (50-yard TD catch; 37 yards, 1 TD, 6 carries; 35 yards, 2 returns). Stanley Schrock 115 yards total offense, 2 TDs (65 yards, 1 TD, 8 carries; 1-for-3, 50 yards, 1 TD).

Guam High—Jason Brunson 113 yards, 2 TDs, 14 carries. Aaron Cosey 16-for-27, 147 yards.

Week 9 lookahead

Friday

Japan

ASIJ at Zama, 7 p.m.—The Trojans who clotheslined Yokota 33-6 three weeks ago win this game easily. The Trojans who barely escaped Misawa last Friday with a 12-7 victory over Edgren? They’d find the Mustangs, who are firing on all cylinders, too much to handle. … Mustangs 24, Trojans 23.

Edgren at Yokota, 7 p.m.—Prior to Friday’s Zama at Edgren squeaker, the Panthers might have seen this as a sure end to their uncharacteristic three-game skid. The Eagles will make ’em earn it. … Panthers 17, Eagles 10.

Guam

Okkodo vs. Father Duenas, 7 p.m.—Friars will have to take the field to win this one, unlike their forfeit victory over the Bulldogs last week. Friars tune up for semifinal battle against higher lights; Bulldogs tune up for the future. … Friars 20, Bulldogs 6.

Okinawa

Kadena at Kubasaki, 7 p.m.—Host Dragons play for homecoming pride; Panthers look to extend shutout streak against the Dragons to 19 quarters. They’ve outscored Kubasaki 120-0 since falling behind 10-0 in the Sept. 4 season opener. … Panthers 28, Dragons 12.

Saturday

South Korea

Daegu at Osan, 2 p.m.—Warriors again stand at the cusp of history, completing their first unbeaten regular season and earning second Class A title-game host rights in three years. But the Cougars, who’ve discovered a passing game, will make them earn it. … Warriors 19, Cougars 11.

Guam

Southern at Guam High, 10 a.m.—Another team that brings offensive balance to the table, the Panthers won’t make the same mistake of taking the Dolphins too lightly as they did in their final regular-season game. … Panthers 22, Dolphins 6.

Simon Sanchez at John F. Kennedy, 3 p.m.—Islanders closed the regular season on a down note, with two straight losses, but will right the ship in time to dethrone the defending champions. … Islanders 17, Sharks 14.

Last week-7-0, 1.000.

Season-31-11, .738.

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