TOKYO – Andreas Elstrom wasted little time helping to turn the first meeting between American School In Japan and Osan’s football teams into a one-sided romp.
The senior fell on a fumble in the end zone on the game’s second play and ASIJ led from start to finish, routing the Cougars 45-6 on a rainy Saturday at Mustang Valley.
Elstrom also caught a touchdown pass from Isreal Rodriguez. Noa Grasse rushed for four touchdowns, including an 85-yarder, and Campbell Little also ran for a score.
“We had a good start. Everything was rolling. Good start to the season,” Mustangs coach and athletics director Timmy Jacobsson said.
It was also a good start for ASIJ in its quest to reach its first Far East Division II final, and a setback for the Cougars in their bid for their first D-II title in five years.
Elstrom’s end-zone recovery came off a bad shotgun snap by the Cougars, “and that set the tone,” Cougars first-year coach Tyler Greve said.
Osan’s lone score came in the first quarter on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Joshua Low to Jamaryeon Price.
“We looked sluggish in warmups, which translated to a sluggish start, which translated to a landslide of bad football,” Greve said.
Osan next hosts Robert D. Edgren on Saturday in a rematch of DODEA-Pacific’s first D-II championship game in 2005. “We have to be more physical in all three phases of the game,” Greve said.
The Mustangs get next week off and return to the field on Sept. 22 at Zama, one of their chief rivals for a D-II title-game berth.
“We have two tough tests coming up,” Jacobsson said of the Zama game and their Sept. 29 game at Yokota – the Panthers’ 50th anniversary homecoming game. “We have a bye week to prepare. We’ll be ready.”