Kinnick stays perfect by routing Yokota
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan – Wendell Harrison more than made up for a couple of fumbles with three touchdown runs as Nile C. Kinnick completed a season sweep of Yokota on Friday.
Making his first start in the Red Devils backfield, the sophomore running back ran for a Pacific single-game season-high 262 yards on 24 carries and Kinnick racked up 348 yards of rushing offense in a 35-8 victory over the Panthers.
Kinnick’s running game “worked, it clicked and it was all because of the offensive line,” coach Dan Joley said.
The 5-0 Red Devils were playing their first game since beating Matthew C. Perry 28-21 on Sept. 17.
“The fact that we had two weeks off, they (offensive linemen) were eager to hit somebody besides themselves,” Joley said.
He was both pleased and not pleased, Joley said, of Harrison both scoring three times, but putting two footballs on the ground.
“I don’t think he’ll ever fumble the ball again,” Joley said. “He did a great job on most fronts. For the first time carrying the ball, it was neat to see him have that success, but disappointing to see him drop the ball twice.”
Friday’s game also marked the return of senior quarterback Zeke DeLaughter to the lineup after injuring his left knee against Perry. He went 3-for-5 for 76 yards and ran three times for 18 yards, including two short TD runs.
Senior Daniel Burke booted four extra-point kicks and picked off two passes defensively. “Another great game for him,” Joley said. Kaito DeMoss added 68 yards on seven carries for Kinnick.
Junior quarterback Dylan Tomas paced Yokota with 87 yards on eight carries and 17-for-34 passing for 184 yards, including a 17-yard TD pass on the game’s final play to Royce Canta.
Caleb Jones had seven catches for 72 yards, Tre Perkins had 37 yards on six receptions, Owen Taylor rushed for 54 yards on seven carries and Perkins, Michael Woodworth and Nick Sales each recovered fumbles.
“They were more physical than us and better on the line of scrimmage,” said coach Tim Pujol of the Panthers, who fell to 1-3.
Kinnick is next scheduled to host Robert D. Edgren, while Yokota travels to Matthew C. Perry next Friday; kickoff for both games is at 6 p.m.