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(Stars and Stripes)

CAMP ZAMA, Japan – It didn’t come with a Far East Division II title, or even a DODEA-Japan championship. But following Friday’s season-ending victory over Matthew C. Perry, Zama coach Scott Bolin said closing the 2022 season unbeaten felt just as fine.

Kai Kuroda threw three touchdown passes, the Trojans’ defense picked off three Samurai passes, Hiroki Davis returned a punt for a touchdown and Chris Nagle blocked two punts as Zama routed Perry 42-0 Friday at Zama’s Barry Huitema Memorial Field, to close its season at 7-0.

“It would have been nice to have a Far East championship, but it still feels like a championship season,” Bolin said. “The players, the coaches, the way they have responded, it was a great group of players and coaches who made it happen.”

Kuroda fired touchdown passes of 30 yards to Jeremiah Georges, 4 yards to Caleb Schmiedel and 38 to Pierce Ingram. Connor Lape added a 2-yard scoring run and Simon Escalante a 6-yard TD run.

“He’s got the skills set for what we do on offense,” Bolin said of Kuroda, a junior.

Ingram, Schmiedel and Ayden Helton each had interceptions. Davis’ punt-return TD went for 22 yards.

For the Samurai, who finished 3-4 on the season, little went right. Quarterback Jordan Wooten was injured during Perry’s first possession, “and it went downhill fast,” said offensive coordinator Daniel Burns. “We are just too banged up and outmatched.”

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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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