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David Smalls’ rushing and a dominating first-half performance by Seoul American’s offensive line carried the Falcons to their fourth straight Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Korea Football League championship Wednesday.

Smalls, the Falcons’ senior running back, scored three of his four touchdowns in the first half and his 198 yards on 27 carries nosed him into the Pacific’s season rushing yardage lead and Seoul American held off Osan American’s second-half rally 34-20 at Falcon Field.

“Good, hard-fought game,” said Falcons coach Julian Harden, complementing Osan for making a game of it after falling behind 27-6 at halftime. “There was some great hitting, great play-calling and Osan has an ability to attack our weaknesses.”

The Falcons improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in league, dropping Osan to 4-2 and 3-2.

This season was a far cry from past years in which the Falcons swept all six matchups with the Cougars by a 152-48 point margin. Seoul American went 2-1 in its three matchups with Osan American this year, outscoring the Cougars by just a 115-87 cumulative score.

“We’re very appreciative … that we have somebody to push us now. For a long time, we had our way with them,” Harden said of Osan American, adding that the close outcomes — Seoul American lost to Osan 35-23 in their first go-round on Sept. 16 and beat Osan 58-32 in the rematch Oct. 4 — only strengthens each team for next week’s Far East playoffs.

“This … gets our guys to raise their game to another level,” said Harden, whose Falcons travel to Guam High for the Class AA semifinal Nov. 4. It also helps Osan prepare for the small-schools championship at Robert D. Edgren in Japan Nov. 4, he said.

Both teams played Wednesday on short rest after beating teams from Singapore just four days earlier. Osan American coach Tony Alvarado and the Cougars still have one regular-season game Saturday at Taegu American.

“We were a bit tired, banged up and bruised,” Alvarado said. “It took its toll.”

Osan’s mistakes, including throwing an interception on the game’s first play and losing two first-half fumbles, were the difference in this matchup.

Smalls took advantage, scoring on runs of 9, 9 and 5 yards in the first half; he tacked on a 3-yard TD run in the third quarter. Daniel Burns added a 39-yard bootleg scoring run.

Smalls ended the day with Pacific-leading totals of 1,322 yards and 19 touchdowns on 132 carries, 3 yards and three TDs ahead of Larynzo Abernathy of Nile C. Kinnick in Japan. Abernathy has one game left; Smalls may have two. Yokota’s Anthony McNeill lags behind them, with 1,211 yards on 166 attempts with at least two games left.

Osan replied with touchdown runs of 44 and 43 yards by Carlos Albaladejo and Abel May’s 5-yard scoring run. Albaladejo totalled 129 yards on 13 carries, giving him 850 yards and 11 TDs on 66 carries.

Will Rapoza carried just four times for 29 yards, giving him 576 yards on 56 tries, before suffering a high right ankle sprain. He’ll sit out Saturday’s game at Taegu and likely will be ready to go at Misawa on Nov. 4, Alvarado said.

“I wish the Osan team that had played the second half had come out to play the first half,” Alvarado said.

DODDS-Japan Football League

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Yokota 5 0 1.000 123 73

Nile C. Kinnick 3 3 .500 144 103

Robert D. Edgren 2 4 .333 93 119

Zama American 1 4 .200 52 117

x-clinched eighth straight JFL title, clinched berth in Far East Class AA semifinal Nov. 4 against OAC champion Kadena at Yokota.

Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Yokota 4 0 1.000 127 53

Nile C. Kinnick 3 2 .600 124 78

American School In Japan 1 2 .333 17 78

Zama American 0 4 .000 27 86

x-clinched eighth straight Kanto Plain title

Friday, Oct. 27

Zama at Yokota, 7 p.m.

ASIJ at Kinnick, 7 p.m.

End regular season

Okinawa

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Kadena 2 0 1.000 42 22

Kubasaki 0 2 .000 22 42

x-Won Okinawa Activities Council best-of-three championship series 2-0, clinched berth in Far East Class AA semifinal Nov. 4 at JFL champion Yokota.

South Korea

W L Pct. PF PA

y-Seoul American 4 1 .800 174 113

x-Osan American 3 2 .600 161 115

Taegu American 0 4 .000 26 133

y-clinched DODDS-Korea Football League title.

x-clinched DODDS-Korea berth in Far East Class A championship game Nov. 4 at Robert D. Edgren, Japan.

Wednesday, Oct. 25

Seoul American 34, Osan American 20

Saturday, Oct. 28

Osan American at Taegu American, 2 p.m.

End regular season

Guam

Postseason

Quarterfinals

Friday, Oct. 13

Guam High 26, John F. Kennedy 0

Saturday, Oct. 14

Simon Sanchez 22, Southern 6

Semifinals

Friday, Oct. 20

George Washington 42, Guam High 12

Saturday, Oct. 21

Father Duenas 30, Simon Sanchez 22, OT

Third-place game

Friday, Oct. 27

Guam High vs. Simon Sanchez at George Washington High School, Mangilao, 7 p.m.

Bamboo Bowl

Saturday, Oct. 28

Father Duenas at George Washington, 7 p.m.

Far East playoffs

Class A

Championship

Saturday, Nov. 4

Osan American at Robert D. Edgren, 7 p.m.

Class AA

Semifinals

Saturday, Nov. 4

Seoul American vs. Guam High at Ramsey Field, John F. Kennedy High School, Upper Tumon, Guam, 7 p.m.

Kadena at Yokota, 7 p.m.

Championship

Saturday, Nov. 11

Kadena/Yokota at Seoul American, noon, or vs. Guam High at Ramsey Field, John F. Kennedy High School, Upper Tumon, Guam, 7 p.m.

The Top Ten

The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes’ 2006 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Oct. 25, points and last week’s rating, as compiled by Dave Ornauer of Stars and Stripes sports:

Record Pts Pvs

1. George Washington (Guam) 6-0 472 1

2. Seoul American 5-1 460 4

3. Kadena (Okinawa) 2-0 456 3

4. Yokota (Japan) 6-0 448 2

5. Father Duenas (Guam) 4-2 424 7

6. Osan American (S. Korea) 4-2 420 6

7. Nile C. Kinnick (Japan) 4-3 404 8

8. Kubasaki (Okinawa) 0-2 384 5

9. Robert D. Edgren 3-4 376 10

10. Simon Sanchez (Guam) 4-3 372 9

Week 8 grid honors

Osan American (Oct. 21)—Carlos Albaladejo 158 yards, 2 TDs, 10 carries. Will Rapoza 145 all-purpose yards, 2 TDs (115 yards, 1 touchdown, 12 carries; 30-yard TD catch). Tommy Thompson 4-for-6, 101 yards, 2 TDs.

Osan American (Oct. 25)—Carlos Albaladejo 129 yards, 2 TDs, 13 carries; 12 tackles. Abel May 145 yards, 1 TD, 11 carries. Donnie Keshel 9 tackles, 1 fumble recovery.

Seoul American (Oct. 21)—David Smalls 239 all-purpose yards, 3 TDs (183 yards, 2 TDs, 24 carries; 56-yard interception-return TD). David Feleciano 17 tackles, 80-yard interception-return TD.

Seoul American (Oct. 25)—David Smalls 198 yards, 4 TDs, 27 carries. Daniel Burns 120 yards total offense, 1 TD (11-for-15, 81 yards; 39-yard TD run). David Feleciano 11 tackles. Charles Jones 11 tackles.

Kadena—Sean Shattuck 223 all-purpose yards, 2 TDs (192 yards, 2 TDs, 13 carries; 22 yards, 1 return, 9 yards, 1 catch); 12 tackles.

Nile C. Kinnick—Larynzo Abernathy 362 yards (JFL game record), 3 TDs, 28 carries. Jeff Galang 5-for-8, 57 yards, 2 TDs. Andrew Preston 12 tackles, 1 sack. Drew Dietrich 11 tackles. Joseph Richmond 10 tackles. Ian Vasquez 10 tackles.

Yokota—Caiveon Thomas blocked field goal with 6 seconds left to seal victory.

Dave Ornauer's Week 9 outlook

Friday

Japan—Yokota 22, Zama 12; Kinnick 20, ASIJ 6.

Guam—Guam High 17, Simon Sanchez 16.

Saturday

South Korea—Osan American 21, Taegu American 7.

Guam—George Washington 24, Father Duenas 14.

Last week—7-0, 1.000.

Season—35-9, .795.

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