Pacific H.S. football roundup: Seward, Conkling spearhead defense in Yokota’s victory
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Andrew Conkling wasn’t even supposed to be at Yokota for his senior year. Coach Tim Pujol is thankful a last-minute change kept him in a Panthers uniform for one more season.
Conkling and fellow defensive tackle Ricky Seward combined for seven backfield tackles of quarterback Drew Holder, while Tony Presnell, Andy Silva and DeEric Harvin sparkled on offense as Yokota scored 22 unanswered points to pull away from Robert D. Edgren 29-6 on Friday.
"He’s a great kid and a great leader," Pujol said of Conkling. "He makes our line better on both sides of the ball."
Though the score looked one-sided, the battle of DODDS-Japan Football League unbeatens was anything but. The Eagles struck early in the third quarter to within a point of the Panthers before Yokota took control.
"They’re a very talented team," Pujol said of the Eagles (2-1). "Their players always give a team effort, guys who play with a lot of intensity."
Derick Seward put Yokota (3-0 overall and DODDS-Japan) on the board with an 18-yard touchdown run on Yokota’s second possession. The 7-0 lead held up until Edgren’s speedy Johnell Alexander broke a 62-yard draw up the middle to chop the margin to 7-6.
Then Harvin, Yokota’s quarterback, flexed his arm. A 22-yard pass to Seward set up a 5-yard TD by Presnell. Later, on a scramble, Harvin flung it downfield to a wide-open Silva, who rambled 58 yards for a score. Then a 35-yard pass to Silva set up Harvin’s 6-yard TD bootleg.
"Andy’s a good receiver," Pujol said. "DeEric made nice plays to get him the ball in key situations, big first downs, kept drives alive."
Harvin went 6-for-8 for 158 yards with Silva catching four passes for 125. Presnell gained 142 yards on 22 carries and finished with 183 all-purpose yards. Seward had 107 yards total offense.
That helped overcome a monster performance by Alexander, who had 245 all-purpose yards, including a game-high 140 yards on 13 carries.
"They’re the reigning champs," Eagles coach Chris Waite said of Yokota, nine-time DODDS-JFL champions who now sport a Pacific-record 51-game regular-season winning streak. "Until we beat them, they’re the champs."
American School In Japan 21, Nile C. Kinnick 12: Unveiling the novelty A-11 offense, the Mustangs opened their regular season with Alex Busam running for two touchdowns and Seaun Eddy catching a 45-yard TD strike from Doug Peterson at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. Eddy also had four interceptions in the first half.
As in a 30-26 loss the week before to Edgren, the Red Devils (0-3 overall, 0-2 Kanto Plain) rallied late, getting 122 yards and touchdown runs of 5 and 7 yards on 17 carries by Tyree Hunt, but it wasn’t enough.
South KoreaSeoul American 27, Osan American 0: At Osan Air Base, South Korea, Johnnie Hickson caught touchdown passes of 28 yards from Brent Spencer and 35 from Mike Mascalo and intercepted a pass as the Falcons (2-0) spoiled the home and season opener for the Cougars (0-1).
Trinadai Stansel returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown for the Falcons. Spencer went 4-for-11 for 76 yards, Han Yoon had two sacks and Tyler Colston five tackles.
Will Rapoza, a hero of Osan’s 2005 Class A championship 16-14 triumph over Edgren, saw his first action since a knee-ligament tear in 2006. But the Cougars could only penetrate as far as the Falcons’ 35 twice.