Pacific H.S. football: Osan takes charge in Korea
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Win the battle of the line of scrimmage. Get yards when they’re needed. Share the scoring wealth.
Using that three-pronged approach, coach Tony Alvarado and the Osan American Cougars scored 28 points in the first half on their way to a 34-0 victory over the Taegu American Warriors on Friday.
Winning the first of three regular-season meetings with the Warriors put the Cougars (2-0) in control of the DODDS-Korea Football League. Osan also got a leg up in the battle for the right to visit Robert D. Edgren of Japan on Nov. 4 in the Far East Class A championship game.
“They’re awfully tough,” Warriors coach Tim McDaniel said of the Cougars. “They execute well. They’re clicking this year.”
Four players ran for touchdowns for the second straight week: Carlos Albaladejo ran 3 yards and Will Rapoza 30 yards for first-quarter touchdowns, Jesse Crockett scored from 52 yards out and Abel May scored on a 9-yarder in the second quarter.
Three players rushed for 100 yards or more: Albaladejo 128 yards in 10 carries, Rapoza 108 in 12 and Crockett 101 in 10. May added 65 yards on seven tries. Albaladejo and Donnie Keshel each had seven tackles.
“We’re trying to not rely on just a one-man show,” Alvarado said. “I’m very impressed with how well they’re doing the team thing.”
Alvarado said he also was pleased with how his team ground out drive after drive, not just relying on big, knockout-punch plays.
“We needed to be able to run the offense,” he said. “Just run the ball, be a well-oiled machine, chunk it up and wear down the defense, and we did that.”
Osan was able to accomplish that, Alvarado said, by winning the battle of the interior.
“We came out hard. The offensive line controlled the game,” he said. “When we needed a certain amount of yards, we were able to get them. I was happy to see that.”
After Rapoza closed the scoring by returning the second-half opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown, Alvarado also was able to work his second- and third-team players into the scheme. “It was good to give them playing time,” he said.
The lone bright spot for Taegu was the play of quarterback Angel Hickman, who rushed nine times for 95 yards.
“He’s a speed demon,” Alvarado said. “We had to keep an eye on him all night.”
The Cougars get 10 days off before their rematch Oct. 4 against Seoul American, which Osan beat 35-23 on Sept. 16.
Taegu visits Osan on Oct. 14, needing a victory to have any hope of earning DODDS-Korea’s Class A championship berth. The teams close the regular season with an Oct. 28 clash at Camp Walker’s Kelly Field in Taegu.