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Glancing at the DODEA Korea high school football standings, one might rub their eyes, do a double take and ask, "Is this a typo?"

For never before have perennial also-rans Osan American and Daegu American found themselves in the unlikely position of playing each other for first place. And never before has perennial power Seoul American begun a season 0-2 and lost to Daegu and Osan in the same season.

"It’s like the league is upside down," Ken Walter, Daegu’s third-year coach, remarked Tuesday, three days before his Warriors were to host Osan. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. Friday at Camp Walker’s Kelly Field.

It’s a feel-good story for coaches and players, but Walter and first-year Cougars coach Mike Miano say they’ve gone to great pains to caution their players against getting too big of a head.

"The one that really matters is this week," Walter said of the opener in the annual best-of-three series to determine Korea’s Far East Class A title game representative. "This is what the season is about."

"Daegu has an explosive, talented team this season," Miano said. "I’ve told the guys to take them as seriously as they would if preparing for Seoul."

Beyond having each beaten the Falcons and being tied atop the DODEA Korea League, the similarities between the teams cease.

Call it a battle of speed vs. size, Daegu’s small but fleet players executing Walter’s intricate spread-option offense against Miano’s beefy, brawny bunch with their Maryland I rush attack.

"They’re big up front," Walter said of Osan, led by veteran Mike Gilliam. "They like to bulldoze you. We have a lot to prepare for."

Walter said he’ll likely mark Gilliam with his own big man, Tank Connie. "That will be a key matchup," Walter said.

The matchup could come down to which team takes better care of the football.

"Mistakes are deadly against a team like Daegu," Miano said.

Miano expressed hope that his team has worked hard enough to compensate for not getting its equipment until late August.

"We’re trying to smooth things out in time and prepare for a team in its third year with a third-year coach, so that we don’t have any hiccups come Friday night," Miano said. "Hopefully, we’ll come out ahead."

Elsewhere:

Ryan Blackstock, Michael Spencer and Zama American, with its wing-T attack that’s amassed 1,171 yards in three games, on Friday visits unbeaten American School In Japan, with "thunder and lightning" tandem Alex Busam and Andrew Stern and strong-armed sophomore Hayden Jardine."Guam High, which had last week off, tries to put its nightmarish 40-7 defeat against league power George Washington behind it and tries to improve to a school-best 3-1 against Father Duenas Memorial.Yokota hosts Nile C. Kinnick, needing only a victory or a loss by 48 or fewer points to punch a ticket to the Class AA semifinal.DODEA Japan

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 3 0 1.000 125 25

Zama American 2 1 .667 93 79

Robert D. Edgren 1 2 .333 81 82

Nile C. Kinnick 0 3 .000 33 147

Kanto Plain

W L Pct. PF PA

Yokota 2 0 1.000 83 18

ASIJ 1 0 1.000 45 6

Zama American 1 1 .500 53 55

Nile C. Kinnick 0 3 .000 39 141

Friday’s games

Kinnick at Yokota, 7 p.m.

Zama at ASIJ, 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 2

Yokota at Zama, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 3

ASIJ at Edgren, 1 p.m.

DODEA Korea

W L Pct. PF PA

Osan American 1 0 1.000 12 0

Daegu American 1 0 1.000 22 20

Seoul American 0 2 .000 20 34

Friday’s game

Osan vs. Daegu at Kelly Field, Camp Walker, 6 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 2

Osan at Seoul, 6 p.m.

Okinawa Activities Council

W L Pct. PF PA

Kadena 2 0 1.000 77 10

Kubasaki 0 2 .000 10 77

Saturday’s game

Kubasaki at Kinnick (Japan), 7 p.m.

Guam

W L Pct. PF PA

Geo. Washington 4 0 1.000 172 7

Guam High 2 1 .667 27 40

Father Duenas 2 1 .667 51 26

John F. Kennedy 2 1 .667 27 38

Simon Sanchez 1 2 .333 10 37

Southern 0 2 .000 6 69

Okkodo 0 4 .000 0 76

Friday, Sept. 25

Guam High vs. Father Duenas at George Washington High School, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 26

George Washington vs. Simon Sanchez at Okkodo High School, 3 p.m.

Southern at John F. Kennedy, 3 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 3

Father Duenas at Okkodo, 10 a.m.

Southern at Guam High, 3 p.m.

George Washington at John F. Kennedy, 3 p.m.

Week 5

The Top Ten

The Top Ten teams in the Stars and Stripes’ 2009 Far East high school football ratings, with records through Sept. 19, points and last season’s final rating, as compiled by Dave Ornauer of Stars and Stripes sports. Ratings are based on teams’ win-loss records, quality of wins, strength of roster, schedule and leagues, point differential and team and individual statistics. Maximum rating is 500 points:

Record Pts Pvs

1. Kadena, Okinawa 2-0 456 1

2. Geo. Washington, Guam 4-0 452 2

3. Yokota, Japan 4-0 448 3

4. Father Duenas, Guam 2-1 436 4

5. American School In Japan 3-0 432 5

6. Zama American, Japan 2-1 428 6

7. Daegu American, S. Korea 2-0 424 8

8. Guam High 2-1 416 7

9. Osan American, S. Korea 1-0 404 9

10. John F. Kennedy, Guam 2-1 396 —

Week 4 grid honors

Yokota-Gerald McCloud 87 all-purpose yards, 2 touchdowns (55 yards, 2 touchdowns, 13 carries; 3 yards, 1 catch; 29 yards, 2 returns).

Kubasaki-Josh Bales 83 yards, 1 touchdown, 16 carries. Jalah Patton 2 interceptions.

Kinnick-Elijah Gamble 163 all-purpose yards, 2 touchdowns (78 yards, 1 touchdown, 14 carries; 85-yard kick-return touchdown). Channing Meyer 16-for-25, 130 yards.

Zama-Ryan Blackstock 177 yards, 4 touchdowns, 14 carries. Michael Spencer 133 yards, 2 touchdowns, 16 carries. Cory Peckins 2 interceptions.

ASIJ-Hayden Jardine 7-for-11, 157 yards, 2 touchdowns. Hamish Denham 58-yard touchdown catch, field goal.

Edgren-Ja’Maal Dennis 150 all-purpose yards, 1 touchdown (102 yards, 1 touchdown, 25 carries; 8 yards, 1 catch; 40 yards, 2 returns). Cheston Nurial-Dacalio 100 all-purpose yards (61 yards, 3 carries; 3 yards, 1 catch; 36 yards, 3 returns). James Ervin 7-for-15, 98 yards. Matt Linder 69 yards, 3 catches; 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery.

Daegu-Antoine Feagin 143 all-purpose yards, 1 touchdown (86 yards, 1 touchdown, 13 carries; 57 yards, 3 returns); 13 tackles. David Martinez 88 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 catches; 1 interception. Tank Connie 12 tackles. Anthony Lampman 12 tackles.

JFK–Jacob Blas 100 yards, 1 touchdown, 12 carries. Moses Manibusan 80 yards, 1 touchdown, 10 carries. Jacob Torres 65 yards, 1 touchdown, 5 carries.

Simon Sanchez–Jermaine Tenorio 65 yards, 15 carries.

Father Duenas–Will Williams 133 yards total offense, 2 touchdowns (8-for-15, 100 yards, 1 touchdown; 33 yards, 1 touchdown, 6 carries. Kioni Pablo 78 yards, 6 carries.

George Washington–Stephen Santos 4 total touchdowns, 134 yards total offense. Derek Santos 7-for-9, 168 yards, 3 touchdowns. Jesse Manglona 3 total touchdowns.

Week 5 lookahead

Friday

Japan—Yokota 23, Kinnick 10; Zama 24, ASIJ 21.

South Korea—Daegu 17, Osan 15.

Guam—Father Duenas 20, Guam High 12.

Saturday

Guam—George Washington 24, Simon Sanchez 6; John F. Kennedy 18, Southern 3.

Last week – 6-1, .857.

Season – 14-6, .700.

Migrated
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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He served 10½ years in the Air Force, the last 4½ assigned to Stripes in Tokyo, and was then hired by Stripes on Oct. 25, 1985. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages Pacific Storm Tracker.
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