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TOKYO – A Nile C. Kinnick team that did the lion’s share of its scoring through the air in 2021 did most of the damage Saturday on the ground.

Wendell Harrison rushed for two touchdowns and returned a kickoff for a score and new quarterback Josiah Chambers added a running TD and the Red Devils scored their second straight shutout of American School In Japan 28-0 at Mustang Valley in Tokyo’s western suburbs.

“We were heavier on the run than we normally are,” Red Devils coach Dan Joley said. “I think we’re more balanced this year as related to skills-positions players, and we’re going to try to approach the season that way.”

Harrison contributed on offense, defense and special teams. He ran for touchdowns of 4 and 14 yards, returned the opening second-half kickoff 94 yards for a score and chipped in with seven tackles in limited defensive action.

“He wasn’t in much on defense, but he was very valuable to us when he was,” Joley said of Harrison.

Chambers, meanwhile, was effective both on the ground and in the air; he ran five times for 105 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown, and was 8-for-17 passing for 120 yards.

In recording the shutout, “the defense picked up right where it left off last year,” Joley said. Counting a 42-0 blanking of ASIJ last Oct. 29 and a 50-0 whitewash of Zama on Nov. 5, the Red Devils have won three straight games by shutout.

Vian Barrera had 10 tackles and an interception, Trey Bennett also picked off a pass and had six tackles, Josh Hernandez added eight tackles and a fumble recovery and Devin Jackson a fumble recovery and five tackles.

“We have a nice balance to the team this year,” Joley said.

Despite the loss, the future is bright for the Mustangs, ASIJ coach and athletics director Tim Jacobsson said. The Mustangs have the possibility of seven games this season, as opposed to just the two they played in 2021.

“We have a lot of stuff to build on, but a lot of good things happened for us tonight,” Jacobsson said. “We learned a lot about ourselves and we’re going to keep working hard.”

Kinnick travels to Kadena next Friday; kickoff is at 6 p.m. On Sept. 24, Yokota visits ASIJ.

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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