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(Stars and Stripes)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan – It took 13 tries since the start of last season, but Robert D. Edgren finally found its way to the football win column.

Daichi Goodson caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from Jayse Ulechong and booted the extra points following the Eagles’ two touchdowns, lifting Edgren past Matthew C. Perry 14-6 to make for a happy, though rainy, homecoming Friday.

“It’s the win we needed,” coach Marcus Thomas said after the victory. “We talked all week about how the coaches want it but we’ve been preaching that it’s up to the players, they’re the ones who need to win. And they did.”

It was the Eagles’ first victory since a 54-21 triumph over Daegu on Nov. 2, 2019. Edgren went 0-8 last season and was 0-4 entering Friday’s contest, played in a game-long rainfall.

“We’re really building something special here,” Thomas said of the Eagles. “As long as we can get the guys to buy in, play four full quarters of real Edgren football, we can compete with anybody.”

Goodson’s TD catch and placement gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead at halftime. The Samurai, who fell to 2-2, clawed back within a point on Maddix Larue’s 10-yard third-quarter touchdown run; the point-after attempted was no good.

Sealing the victory for the Eagles was Aiden Larry, who rushed 10 yards for a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. The Samurai had two more chances with the ball but came up short.

“It was rough,” Samurai coach Billy Henry said. “Execution was the key. We had some good long drives downfield, but once we got inside the 10, we didn’t execute. We still have a lot of learning to do.”

The Eagles travel to American School In Japan next Saturday; kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. The Samurai next host Zama on Friday; kickoff is at 6 p.m.

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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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