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Robert Stovall would like to think the end is near for the Yokota Panthers’ long run of league titles and consecutive games won.

That might seem ludicrous, given that his Nile C. Kinnick Red Devils haven’t beaten Yokota in 11 meetings since the 1998 season and have been outscored by the Panthers 321-39 during that stretch.

The Panthers’ run consists of five straight Japan Football League and Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools titles, four straight Rising Sun Bowl victories and 45 straight on-field victories (Yokota forfeited two victories during the 2002 season for using an ineligible player).

But Kinnick’s current group has Stovall believing it’s possible to declaw the Panthers.

In a driving rain at home on Sept. 24, the Panthers barely escaped Kinnick 7-6 — their closest call since opening the 1987 season by edging Zama American 7-6.

If the Red Devils can beat Yokota by two or more points on Friday, then down Robert D. Edgren on Nov. 5 at Kinnick’s homecoming, it will be a Red Devil of a Rising Sun Bowl on Nov. 13 at Yokosuka Naval Base’s Berkey Field.

“It’s a winner-take-all situation,” Yokota coach Tim Pujol said. “Any time you’re in a must-win situation, there’s always additional pressure.”

“If we play up to our potential,” Stovall said, “it ought to be as good as the first one. Hopefully, with a different outcome.”

Meanwhile, the Okinawa Activities Council begins determining who’ll be the visiting Rising Sun Bowl team.

Friday at Kubasaki’s Mike Petty Stadium, the defending champion Kadena Buccaneers play the 2002 champion Kubasaki Samurai and the last-place Kubasaki Shogun tangle with the regular-season champion Kadena Islanders.

Also embroiled in a playoff are the Guam High Panthers, who visit the John F. Kennedy Islanders in the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam quarterfinals on Saturday. Osan American and Taegu American conclude the Korea season on Saturday as well.

Weather forecasts project vastly different conditions than the first time Yokota and Kinnick met, with clear skies on the horizon after mid-week rain.

“Neither team could do what they would have liked, so it came down to a few basic plays, good defense and the kicking game,” Pujol recalled of the Sept. 24 clash, won on Chris Roach’s fourth-quarter TD and Stefan Welch’s extra-point kick. “One extra point made the difference.”

Stovall said Friday “hopefully will be a quicker and more precise game for both sides.”

“Both offenses will be able to be more wide open,” Pujol added. “You’d like to think there will be a few less unforced mistakes, fumbles, that kind of thing. A cleaner game.”

It will mean better footing for Yokota’s Roach, the JFL’s leading rusher with 979 yards and 16 touchdowns on 112 carries, and Kinnick’s deadly threesome of Leonard Lynce, Adam Krievs and Jarvis Williams.

“Roach is a good runner and he has good blockers in front of him,” Stovall said of his biggest worry. “We’ll have to step up, wrap up and have good tackling to take him down.”

Having to contend with Lynce (681 yards, 12 TDs, 61 carries), Krievs (459, 2, 86) and Williams (438, 4, 68) is a handful for Pujol’s charges as well.

“You can’t focus on stopping just one person,” said Pujol, noting that Lynce sometimes lines up under center, in the backfield or even at wideout. “We have to be aware of where he’s lined up, what potentially they may try to do with him, but you can’t discount the other players.”

And lingering in both sides’ minds is all that’s at stake.

“There’s extra pressure on both teams,” Pujol said. “You pretty much have to go in Friday with the attitude that you have to win this one.”

“I’m sure they’re pumped up to prove that Kinnick isn’t a threat, that they’re the dominant team,” Stovall said of Yokota. “And they have every right to feel that way over the last five years.”

Standings

Japan Football League

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 5 0 1.000 174 21

Nile C. Kinnick 3 1 .750 98 33

Robert D. Edgren 1 4 .200 48 175

Zama American 1 5 .167 64 155

Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 4 0 1.000 132 14

Nile C. Kinnick 4 1 .800 133 21

Zama American 1 4 .200 36 152

American School In Japan 0 4 .000 26 140

Friday, Oct. 29

Nile C. Kinnick at Yokota, 7 p.m.

ASIJ at Zama American, 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 5

Robert D. Edgren at Nile C. Kinnick, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 6

Yokota at ASIJ, 1 p.m.

End regular season

Okinawa Activities Council

Final regular-season standings

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Kadena Islanders 6 0 1.000 153 62

Kadena Buccaneers 3 3 .500 100 115

Kubasaki Samurai 3 3 .500 109 116

Kubasaki Shogun 0 6 .000 60 129

x-clinched regular-season championship, top seed in island playoffs.

Postseason

Friday, Oct. 29

Semifinals

At Mike Petty Stadium, Kubasaki High School, Camp Foster

Kadena Buccaneers vs. Kubasaki Samurai, 5 p.m.

Kubasaki Shogun vs. Kadena Islanders, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 4

Semifinal winners, time and site to be determined.

Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam

Final regular-season standings

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Father Duenas Memorial 6 0 1.000 195 38

George Washington 4 2 .667 107 44

Simon Sanchez 4 2 .667 132 58

y-John F. Kennedy 2 4 .333 95 48

Guam High 2 4 .333 98 100

Southern 2 4 .333 16 147

Guam Int’l Christian Acad. 1 5 .167 35 233

x-clinched regular-season championship, first-round bye in island playoffs.

y-forfeited two victories for using an ineligible player.

Postseason

Saturday, Oct. 30

Quarterfinals

Guam International Christian Academy vs. George Washington, time and site to be determined.

Southern vs. Simon Sanchez, time and site TBD.

Guam High vs. John F. Kennedy, time and site TBD.

Saturday, Nov. 6

Semifinals

Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, time and site to be determined.

Game 3 winner vs. Father Duenas Memorial, time and site to be determined.

Saturday, Nov. 13

Bamboo Bowl

Semifinal winners, time and site to be determined.

Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Council

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Seoul American 4 0 1.000 87 13

Osan American 1 2 .333 39 40

Taegu American 0 3 .000 6 102

x-clinched league title.

Saturday, Oct. 30

Osan American at Taegu American, 2 p.m.

End regular season

The Top Ten

The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes’ 2004 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 23, points and last week's rating, as compiled by Dave Ornauer of Stars and Stripes sports. Ratings are based primarily on teams’ win-loss records, quality of wins, strength of overall roster, point differential, team and individual statistics, strength of schedule and strength of leagues. Maximum rating is 500 points:

Record Pts Pvs

1. Yokota (Japan) 6-0 464 1

2. Father Duenas Memorial (Guam) 6-0 456 2

3. Kadena Islanders (Okinawa) 6-0 452 3

4. Seoul American 4-0 432 4

5. Nile C. Kinnick (Japan) 5-1 416 5

6. Simon Sanchez (Guam) 4-2 388 7

7. George Washington (Guam) 4-2 380 6

8. Kadena Buccaneers (Okinawa) 3-3 368 9

9. Kubasaki Samurai (Okinawa) 3-3 360 8

10. Osan American (South Korea) 1-2 332 10

Dave Ornauer's Week 9 outlook

Friday, Oct. 29

Yokota 17, Nile C. Kinnick 13

Zama American 20, American School In Japan 8

Kadena Islanders 19, Kubasaki Shogun 3

Kadena Buccaneers 16, Kubasaki Samurai 14

Saturday, Oct. 30

John F. Kennedy 23, Guam High 7

Simon Sanchez 21, Southern 6

George Washington 22, Guam International Christian Academy 6

Osan American 18, Taegu American 12

Last week: 7-1, .875.

Season: 43-10, .811.

Week 8 grid honors

Kubasaki Samurai — Justin Daugherty 11-for-22, 155 yards, two touchdowns. Stephen Thompson 112 yards, two touchdowns, eight catches.

Kadena Islanders — Keith Loving 259 all-purpose yards, two touchdowns (223 yards, two touchdowns, 21 carries; 24 yards, two returns; 12 yards, one catch). Stcyr Madayag two interceptions.

Kubasaki Shogun — Rafael Mew 150 all-purpose yards, one touchdown (8-for-20, 100 yards; 32 yards, one touchdown, seven carries; 18 yards, one return). David Motu two fumble recoveries.

Kadena Buccaneers — Darnell Womach 215 yards, two touchdowns, 17 carries. Jacob Love two interceptions. Tyler Schmidt 93 yards total offense, one touchdown (3-for-10, 43 yards; 50 yards, one touchdown, seven carries).

Nile C. Kinnick — Leonard Lynce 228 all-purpose yards, one touchdown (181 yards, one touchdown, 21 carries; 47 yards, one return); eight tackles. Adam Krievs 111 yards, one touchdown, 16 carries; seven tackles. Jarvis Williams 116 yards, 17 carries.

Seoul American — Kris Stadler 165 yards, one touchdown, 18 carries. Bruce Voelker 4-for-7, 91 yards, one touchdown; 2-yard touchdown run. Neal Hammitt one fumble recovery, one interception. David Feliciano one interception, one sack, one touchdown-pass breakup. James Osteen 10 tackles.

Taegu American — Kory Grammer 19 tackles, one fumble recovery. Mychal McGee 2-for-6, 111 yards, one touchdown; 13 tackles.

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