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Yokota tuned up for the Far East high school football playoffs by winning its eighth straight homecoming game and tying a school record for longest regular-season win streak.

Anthony McNeill ran for two touchdowns, Stefan Welch booted a school-record three field goals and the Panthers shut out Zama American 23-0 on Friday at Yokota High School’s Bonk Field

It was the 39th straight regular-season victory for Yokota, eight-time Japan Football League and Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools champions.

The Panthers (7-0) last accomplished that feat from the last two games of the 1983 season to the 1990 season opener.

“That’s a nice record for the kids to be a part of sharing,” coach Tim Pujol said.

“I hope they enjoy the victory because it’s back to work on Monday.”

Yokota’s season continues Saturday when the Panthers host the Okinawa Activities Council champion Kadena in the Far East Class AA semifinal. The winner travels to Seoul American or Guam High to play for the title on Nov. 11.

Nile C. Kinnick also enjoyed a happy homecoming and closed its season with a 5-3 record after surviving a scare against the American School In Japan.

Larynzo Abernathy regained the Pacific season rushing lead and scored twice as the Red Devils erased a 13-0 half-time deficit for a 26-20 victory over the Mustangs (1-4).

“I’m amazed and proud of the way the kids came back,” coach Gary Wilson said of a Kinnick squad that suffered two comeback losses to Yokota by scores of 21-12 and 29-28 this season. “The kids had it in them.”

And for the second time this season, Guam High (3-5) lost a heartbreaker against Simon Sanchez, this time in the league’s third-place playoff game. Matt Cruz scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Sharks rallied from a 12-7 third-quarter deficit to upend the Panthers 22-20. Simon Sanchez scored a 20-18 comeback victory over Guam High on Sept. 23.

Guam High hosts Seoul American in the Far East Class AA playoffs on Saturday. If the Panthers win, they host Kadena or Yokota in the Class AA championship on Nov. 11; if Seoul American wins, the Falcons will host the game.

Yokota 23, Zama American 0At Yokota Air Base, Japan, McNeill ran for first-half touchdowns of 16 and 54 yards on his way to a 260-yard performance on 24 carries. His season total of 1,471 yards puts him second in the Pacific behind Abernathy.

Uncharacteristically, the Panthers stalled on three drives inside the Trojans’ 10-yard line. Welch set a school record with field goals of 21 yards in the first quarter, 23 in the third and 22 in the fourth. Yokota never kicked more than one field goal in a game in its 34-season history.

Caiveon Thomas intercepted three passes, giving him eight for the season, one behind the school mark of nine set by Mike Chamberlain in 2002. Darnell Murphy recovered a fumble.

The Trojans (1-6) lost their last six games after opening the season by beating Robert D. Edgren 7-6 at Camp Zama on Sept. 2.

Nile C. Kinnick 26, American School In Japan 20Kinnick, on its home field at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, spotted the Mustangs a 13-0 halftime lead on Ben Carr’s 27-yard touchdown run and Jason Cook’s 20-yard TD pass to Nicky Kleindell. Then Abernathy and the Red Devils ran wild in the second half.

Abernathy scored on runs of 43 and 55 yards on successive drives and finished with 343 yards on 39 carries, 19 yards short of the game record he set the previous week in a 34-6 victory at Zama American.

Abernathy blew past Seoul American’s David Smalls (1,322 yards) for the Pacific season lead with 1,662 yards and 18 touchdowns on 215 carries.

Jeff Galang was 5-for-12 for 29 yards, including a 24-yard TD pass to Chad Atchley. Andrew Preston ran six times for 44 yards and a score.

Simon Sanchez 22, Guam High 20At George Washington High School, Mangilao, Guam, Cruz returned a punt 41 yards for a touchdown three plays into the final quarter, then ran 4 yards for another in the late going to put the Sharks ahead to stay.

Cruz ran 22 times for 159 yards.

Quarterback Cameron Yecki, who went 8-for-20 for 189 yards and three touchdowns, got the Panthers within two points on a 75-yard scoring pass to Chris Brown. Following the two-point conversion to cut it to 22-20, Guam High tried an unsuccessful onside kick and the Sharks ran out the clock.

Pacific prep football

Pacific prep football

DODDS-Japan Football League

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Yokota 6 0 1.000 146 73

Nile C. Kinnick 3 3 .500 144 103

Robert D. Edgren 2 4 .333 93 119

Zama American 1 5 .167 52 140

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

Kanto Plain Association of Secondary Schools

W L Pct. PF PA

x-Yokota 5 0 1.000 150 53

Nile C. Kinnick 4 2 .667 150 98

American School In Japan 1 3 .250 37 104

Zama American 0 5 .000 27 109

x-clinched eighth straight Kanto Plain title

Friday, Oct. 27

Yokota 23, Zama 0

Kinnick 26, ASIJ 20

End regular season




Friday, Oct. 13

Guam High 26, John F. Kennedy 0

Saturday, Oct. 14

Simon Sanchez 22, Southern 6


Friday, Oct. 20

George Washington 42, Guam High 12

Saturday, Oct. 21

Father Duenas Memorial 30, Simon Sanchez 22, OT

Third-place game

Friday, Oct. 27

Simon Sanchez 22, Guam High 20

Bamboo Bowl

Saturday, Oct. 28

Father Duenas at George Washington, 7 p.m.


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